Black Sun | The DyiithJhinn
"I was told there would not be stars in the Abyss, sans those Adashim's fathers had constructed. So color me perplexed when we were basking in not one, but a dozen such heavenly bodies. Confusion turned to anxiety quickly, however. These were not stars. They were fiery hearts cradled in tremendous sapphire bladefas, and they did not so much bask us with their warmth as they did stare down upon us. Their children came for us. The children of the deep, lightless sea, who had forged their own light to draw ours to the shadow."
When the Anahn completed their jump to the Abyss and began the Retribution campaign, Adashim had plotted course for where he remembered the Kyru's capitol city – the so-called Forgotten City – to be located. Instead, our fleet manifested in an undocumented corner of the Abyss, surrounded by a new foe – the DyiithJhinn.
Unlike the haunting Undead or elegant Xy`Kranasha, the DyiithJhinn are a bewildering visage of shining sapphire metals, glossy blacks, and glowing circuits. Their armor pulses with life and their hulks are cast in vast attennae and exotic spires. They were of another world. Nonetheless, their declaration was one we had become rather accustomed to.
The DyiithJhinn are demons created by the like-named devil, DyiithJhinn, which the Prince calls an "Avatar of Mal`Ash". Adashim extensively documents the mechanism through which DyiithJhinn function. They are true demons, spirits created by DyiithJhinn and bound to machines. The machines act as their vessels in both form and function. In this manner they can be considered similar to the Undead, but that is as close as they get. Whereas most Undead are shadows of their former selves at the best of times, DyiithJhinn exhibit exceptional individual intelligence and function with a silent, determined fervor. They are every bit as technical and calculated as their robotic features insinuate. Theirs is a doctrine that focuses on maximizing minimal resources. They focused on long-range engagements which, had we tried to face them with a third-generation fleet, would have been an unwinnable confrontation. With our fourth-generation fleet, however, we stood a chance.
The immediate thing to note about the DyiithJhinn is their capacity for chaos. Their communion is nearly as difficult to resist as the Undead, although they do not make an effort to interact with outside influences. Rather, the strength of their psychic network is overwhelming to undisciplined minds . This is a defense rather than a weapon. The communion is strong enough to descend into radio waves and subspace bands, and acts as an impressively effective jamming field. It also disrupts jump drives, an activity that initially pulled us out of our jump. The resulting confusion from lack of effective communications allowed the DyiithJhinn to assess and analyze us carefully before engaging, while remaining nearly invisible to all but our most advanced sensors and the naked eye.
DyiithJhinn almost exclusively utilize Proteus, but in techniques very much unlike Xy`Kranasha. Adashim details that their mechanism for Proteus utilization is most comparable to the Zelconian, whose technology they derive heavily from. Their emulation of Proteus is not as efficient as the Zelconian, however, but they make up for it in scale. DyiithJhinn technology is curiously lopsided, with advanced fabrication and defensive technology coupled with limited propulsion, average offensive coefficients, and lack of large-scale weapons. Adashim believes that this is because the DyiithJhinn fleet that interdicted our jump was merely a distraction, intended to lure us into a confrontation with what he calls the "Slayer Squadron", a fleet of Undead Zeterekkai that stalked the Abyss for their survivors. Instead, the Xy`Kranasha arrived, and the brawl turned out much differently than anticipated.
If it weren't for the Wayward Daughter's arrival and the Khorannorath's Black Sun Driver, the DyiithJhinn stood to win the battle against the Emperors through attrition. Adashim cautions that, although our documentation seems extensive, we know only what Mal`Ash and DyiithJhinn have intentionally shown to us.
DyiithJhinn seem to hold little regard for the safety or protection of individual ships. Instead, each ship serves as a disposable component of a larger composition, usually one intended to serve a single strategic function. The vast redundancy and disposability of drones all throughout DyiithJhinn architecture is likely an indicator that the value each vessel represents is very small; and the loss of entire fleets is acceptable to attain simple, sometimes irrelevent ends. Whether this is a flaw or an indicator of genius remains to be seen.
Jhinn basics - Nanites
Much like us, DyiithJhinn ships make heavy use of nanite-like drones, each averaging roughly a meter in size, in all mannerisms of engineering, warfare and construction. Unlike us, however, these nanites do not serve merely engineering functions. The nanites themselves are built upon modular designs that can be interchanged at will, allowing DyiithJhinn mechanics to continually adapt to any situation. These modules, including ship components, are all extraordinarily single-minded in function, with each component adhering to a strict classification, often times specific to individual types of ships. Foundries forge the individual modules and then fuse them with the introduction of localized nanites. The exception to this rule, Adashim explains, are the foundries we encountered during Retribution. These facilities fabricate ships from energy using a Proteus singularity as a power source. Nonetheless, they are still fabricated as nanites.
The nanites themselves operate on a complex subspace hierarchy, and produce a potent quantity of electromagnetic interference – communion that ties them to their host demon. This interference is exposed through subspace, and can defeat most methods of EM protection. Nanites can typically attempt to communicate to external hardware through subspace, including the hardware of alien ships if they can figure out a means to inject data into it, such as false sensor information. Because of the nature in which these signals are introduced, it is extremely difficult to design operating systems able to locate and protect against such attacks, and thus particle-scattered shielding is typically necessary to suppress their subspace presence. Even so, we had to rely mostly on intuition during the battle.
While nanites communicate through subspace, they can only function within a range of their host. DyiithJhinn are thought to use a subspace network to transmit power to the nanites, and this system has a range limit before it loses strength due to particle speeds. Thus, nanites usually have an operating range of around a billion kilometers before they completely lose functionality. Nanite Hosts, large ships whose function is to exclusively house nanites, are essentially giant power generators and have a longer deployment range. We saw few weaponized nanites during the battle, and Adashim warns we were lucky this was the case.
Weaponized Nanites are tiny drones that are capable of penetrating particle-scattered shielding or capable of fusion. Nano-fusion weapons rely on a group of nanites that fuse into hyper-condensed balls of plasma. They are utilized in various deployment schemes, such as fired from cannons in plasma shells. Adashim documents that the DyiithJhinn can also simply send out swarms of the drones themselves to dismantle unprotected ships, but the engagement ranges for such weapons are short. While nanites do not possess any independent psionic abilities, they may be able to project the psionic presence of their host. Typically, if a host is destroyed, its nanites attempt to join another host or self-destruct.
Sapphire Energy-Metal - "Addecis"
DyiithJhinn energy-metal is remarkably different from Undead, but creation of the material is probably very similar. Particles are bonded, presumably sub-elements of both Proteus and Dark Matter, creating a crystalline material that gradually stabilizes into a metal. DyiithJhinn armor is not regenerative like Undead energy-metal.
Although it has mass, the Dark Matter elements still present in the metal render it highly resistant to low-purity Deimos and is practically impossible to melt through kinetic energy. It is believed that this metal is not capable of changing states except when it destabilizes, which causes it to either crystallize or carbonize and lose elemental properties, making it useless for the DyiithJhinn. It is much less conductive than Tiran and rather resistant to Proteus as a result.
Biometal - "Byn"
The DyiithJhinn also produce a second, more mysterious material. This is a glossy gray metal that seems to be their conductive element, much like Chazrite is for the Templar, but it is also often used for armor and internal components. This material is extremely tough but very flexible, referred to as Byn by the Prince. Byn is most often observed in the form of long cables, pipes, or other otherwise vulnerable elements littering Jhinn ships and mechanics. It seems to possess both organic and metal properties, granting it flexibility and durability under intense heat from conduction. It is thought that the Jhinn utilize this material excessively in exterior components with emphasis on redundancy so that any lost components are easily compensated for elsewhere in their modules. Why these systems are kept external is not entirely understood, potentially to dispose of heat waste.
The presence of supermassive pipes and cables is important. These are probably power conduits of some kind, almost always constructed out of Byn. While DyiithJhinn ships are typically not heavily armored, they boast a reactive armor system that allows them to energize both materials. This is responsible for the glossy appearance of these materials. Sensor analysis reveals that not only do DyiithJhinn project particle-scattered shielding, they also scatter particles on the surface of their hulls, a practice Adashim says comes from the Zelconian, who employ very similar technology to prevent nanite penetration of their ships.
Almost all DyiithJhinn weapons are powered by Proteus cores, the nature of which are not understood, but Adashim notes they must be very different from ours and the Zelconian's. They are considered to be about as powerful as Zelconian tech, but are usually smaller in size and much larger in number, granting each individual weapon a unique power source. Not all DyiithJhinn weaponry are based on Proteus particles, however.
Their weapons either use Spire focuses or more traditional barrel systems. The former is exceptionally rare, but some classes do make use of them. Presumably Jhinn spire focus technology is not nearly as advanced as Undead, and so they only use it for secondary weapons. Rather, almost all of their spires are exclusively shield generators, comitted to spreading and maintaining multiple layers of refractive particle bubbles around their vessels. These shields have limited effectiveness against high-purity energy weapons. Their refraction system is best observed when faced with kinetic projectiles, where it desintigrates portions of the projectiles as they pass through the shielding layers. We speculate that the stronger the shield, the more effective the fracturing, but the more demanding the individual impacts are on power sources to maintain the layers. Thus, DyiithJhinn shields are most effective against individual impacts, especially those of a physical nature or those that attempt to conduct and are shunted away, such as Proteus weapons. The bleed effect of Deimos is likely to defeat this defense, which is probably why the Undead have been allowed to grow so massive despite the DyiithJhinn's presence in the Abyss.
It is worth noting some of the more unique DyiithJhinn weapons observed during the battle before we get into the individual constructs.
Light Darts. These are knife-like Proteus pulses encased in elemental photons. They fire extremely fast and make an effort to cut into matter through conduction. These weapons are highly ineffective against Undead or Xy`Kranasha defenses since they lack particle quantity, but are extremely dangerous against Tiran as they tend to target vulnerable subsystems such as turrets.
Light Lances. These are guided beams that arc around some form of psionic manipulation. DyiithJhinn are often able to bend their beams around to impact targets behind their drivers or to circumvent defenses. The particle output of these weapons tends to be low for most small ships, presumably so the vessel can direct them with greater ease, but are still lethal to non-shielded Anahn ships.
Wave Drivers. These launch a wave-shaped emission of Proteus that acts as a body of a blade impacting a shield. They are typically fired in short bursts, allowing each blade to hit the recoiling shield particles after another. Their goal seems to be less about breaking shields and more about simply overwhelming them. Unshielded ships, both Anahn and Xy`Kranasha, are easily dismembered by larger scaled versions of these weapons. Particle scattering has a difficult time dealing with the thin impact radius, and calculations need to be handled to anticipate the breadth of the impact to maximize shielding efficiency on the fly.
During the battle with Retribution, Adashim declassified a number of documents that were given to us during Vulkaskeramaan's campaign, provided by the Zelconian. These documents were updated by Adashim and our analysts after the battle of Retribution. They may be inaccurate, as there is much to be seen in regards to the DyiithJhinn. For example, the Zelconian claimed the DyiithJhinn had two distinctive fleets, one called Haktu, translating to Omen, and Hakryel, translating to Prophecy. The evangelical nature of their naming conventions aside, the machine devils only committed the Prophecy fleet to personal goals by their God, DyiithJhinn, and there is no explanation provided for their titles. Adashim says it is not surprising we did not see of them during our battle.