- This article concerns the D'ni as a species as biology and anthropology, and their culture.
Compared to humans, the D'ni had "a strange elongation of the features, that almost-human fineness to the bones". Their nose and mouth was less thick and coarse, with cheekbones much less pronounced. Their eyes were pale, accustomed to the weak lighting of the cavern and had to wear goggles when in exterior environments.
However owing to the women limited fertility (only one yahr every two vileetee), they rarely had more than 4 children. Pregnant women were believed to be much more insightful and part of the pregnancy experience was religious meditation to gain revelation and guide themselves to the child's future and is purpose.
A child entered Guild education at the age of 5. When a child reached the age of 25, the Ceremony of Readiness celebrated the entrance into the Age of Reason. True wisdom came around the age of 125 when a D'ni reached the Age of Wisdom. It appears also that a woman's fertility ended around that age.
The D'ni society was centered around a Guild system, which existed since Garternay. Each of these organizations had specific tasks and roles. The Guilds were also the basis of the D'ni education. D'ni was a class society, and Guild membership, especially in its highest ranks, was considered prestigious. The D'ni people didn't have servants or a word for servant. The role of women in D'ni society is somewhat unclear; it does not seem that they join Guilds. They seem to occupy more of a familial supportive role.
The D'ni lived in the bleak cavern, however their culture depended on the technology of writing and visiting other Ages, the infinite universes of the Great Tree of Possibilities; the same technology that brought them to the Cavern in the first place. The Ages they wrote gave them access to lush and fertile worlds, which they exploited for food as well as materials. It's no wonder that among the Guilds, the Guild of Writers was the most important and prestigious. Their contact, relationship and dependence on the native peoples of the Ages (called "Outsiders") was a controversial chapter in their history.
D'ni religion was centered around the worship of a Maker or Yahvo, who created not only the universe, but each and every of the infinite Ages in the Great Tree of Possibilities. Significant events and social trends in D'ni history often had to do with the interpretation of the will of the Maker by prophets; there were also periods of religious confusion. Ri'neref, the founder of the D'ni civilization, dedicated their existence inside the bleak Cavern, and the founding of their Guilds, to the better understanding of the Maker's will.
The D'ni people believed that marriage was an important and considered a lifetime commitment. It was also an important part of a relationship with Yahvo as it taught and revealed the necessary requirements for taygahn. As such, all citizens were expected to marry. 
While most of the Ronay escaped to Terahnee, a few thousand wished to follow Ri'neref and his ideals, to an Age he wrote. Ri'neref had prepared for himself and his followers a new home inside a cavern, believing that harsh conditions would enable them to be loyal to Yahvo. The place, as well as his followers, were named D'ni (meaning "New Beginning") and were excited to follow new laws that would separate them from the old ways. Some of the first establishments of the D'ni were the 18 Guilds of D'ni, aiming to be a healthier reconstruction of the Guilds of Garternay.
As the numbers of the D'ni grew, their first feat was the construction of a ventilation system that would provide the cavern with fresh air. With their then-primitive tunneling technology, much help was employed from many volunteers in order to manage wider and larger tunnels. During that time (84-114) some D'ni seem to have disappeared. There are vague historical references, such as guild discussions concerning what action they would take after finding some remaining on the surface, unwilling to return. Although all official historical accounts deny any contact with the surface dwellers, it's possible that there was some communication or commerce, and some people, like the Amad, could be their descendants.
Despite living in a bleak cavern, the D'ni, especially the wealthy ones, had access to other Ages through Linking Books. That was until 233 with the opening of the Common Library. It was the first time the commoners had access to other Ages.
Groups who strongly disagreed with the mainstream theologies sought to make their own causes more widely known. In 1323 the extremist Judges of Yahvo and Pento warriors attacked the palace and the Pento War begun. King Koreen was unable to reinforce the small military of the day, as the Judges and the Pento destroyed the City and killed the citizens, until they claimed control of the D'ni City and began to move into other Ages. Meanwhile, the public felt as though the prophecies were coming to fruition. Koreen's son Ahlsendar, took advantage of the Pento infighting and in 1376 he defeated the Pento and the Judges.
The Great KingEdit
His reign was considered to fulfill the prophecies of the arrival of the Great King. Throughout his reign, Ahlsendar encouraged his people to return to the principles taught by Ri'neref: forget about Garternay and focus on why they came to D'ni.
Ahlsendar devastated the Pento by amploying an artificial plague. He took responsibility and buried himself in the Tomb of the Great King along with infected linking books and those that linked the D'ni with their past (like Terahnee).
Ahlsendar managed to shape a fairly stable culture, but without their greatest leader, the D'ni were on the fringe of religious anarchy. In 1520 "The Book of Nemiya" denounced Ahlsendar causing an outrage and bringing the D'ni people to religious chaos. King Solath made attempts to re-unify D'ni and divert attention from religious arguments.
In the time of King Me'erta, cults sprang up everywhere, wreaking havoc on the existing religious beliefs. The Temple of Yahvo was empty and its priests and prophets were small in number, as many had left to pursue other beliefs.
When the seal to the Tomb of the Great King was broken, the plague escaped, and its signs appeared in the early reign of King Gan. The Guild of Healers would discover that the plague was an evolved version of Ahlsendar's disease. It cut D'ni life spans in half and caused massive infertility. For the elderly and the young, death usually came quickly in the form of heart failure. Most people to turned to religion seeking trust and hope. Many factions and cults were created, with messianic figures and healers.
In its later stages, there was a 95% fatality rate. The plague ended up killing over a quarter of the D'ni population and cutting birth rates in half, until its cure was found in 2262. An elixir and cure was developed by the Healers. A newfound optimism spread throughout the culture, and unofficially, the D'ni Renaissance began. After the upheaval, the people were focused in a love for the arts, technology, of the further exploration into the "truths" of the universe.
The Renaissance was spearheaded by King Naygen. Guild of Fine Artists was broken down to several Minor Guilds to advance them. The teachings of Ri'neref and the Great King were largely left behind and religious confusion was increased. 2500 sects were registered and the original beliefs of Ri'neref their culture had been founded upon, were now known by very few.
King Hinash pursued better relationships, further interaction and increased trade with the outsiders. The rules of traveling and trade, as well as the cultural "rules" concerning relationships with them were opened up. Foreign materials were used much more in construction, clothing and jewelry; foreign influence began to show itself in the D'ni art and music. Hinash himself was the first recorded D'ni to marry an outsider.
Tevahr, an ardent student of the Great King, was appalled at the state of his people, especially pertaining to religious confusion, denounced the sects and encouraged return to faith. Supported by King Rakeri, Tevahr led the public back to their original beliefs. The once numerous sects had diminished to 47, with only 10 having more than 500 members. The people were again unified and much work was done to join the D'ni classes of rich and poor. Tevahr's teachings unified the people throughout the poor reigns of King Tejara and Ti'amel, managing to focus on their personal lives and Yahvo more than their King. After them, King Kedri proved to be the most popular King, and all respected and cared for him greatly.
Kings Lemashal and Ishek focused on the involvement of the outsiders and their importance to the D'ni culture and expansion. Lemashal was the first recorded D'ni to have a child with an outsider. Ishek resolved a crisis fabricated to discredit the outsiders. The public realised that it was their own blood who could not be trusted. As a result, there was a great push for more strict guidelines for interaction with other Ages as well as rules for the Ages themselves. Loshemanesh passed laws and restrictions considering involvement with the Outsiders, to encourage it. He preached that problems were not caused by the outsiders, but by the D'ni themselves, unless they changed.
Around that time the people attempted to be unified, but during the time of King Ji religions and classes were again separated. The "Words" added to the confusion, prophecizing a great destruction.
King Demath, and the D'ni Council enforced the Loshemanesh Laws and stand against the extremist isolationist factions, if they led to any infractions. The Relyimah pursued all who were carrying out illegal activities with the outsiders. Demath also enforced an unprecedented amendment to the Guilds, allowing a percentage of non-paying qualified students. After the murder of King Yableshan's son, the D'ni were further separated with the majority becoming angrier and less tolerable with the isolationist minority, who were becoming stronger every day. Very few D'ni fell into the middle ground.
In 5312 a plague was imported from Yasafe to Nehw'eril District which was confronted by King Me'emen. As he was more interested in technological advancements and city expansion, he paid little attention to the religious pulse; the "Words" started having much influence to the public, who started caring again for the older temples.
King Lanaren attepted to pacify the extremist factions by eliminating outsider involvement; for example he replaced some Ages used by outsiders, with 3 new Food Ages, which however were never used as productively.
Asemlef allowed any and all religious factions and classes equal access to property, opportunity and benefits, while himself took no stance on any of the varying ideologies. The D'ni people were technologically advancing with many great construction, mining, and scientific inventions, thanks to which they were expanding within the cavern. The involvement of outsiders returned, but was diminished resulting to some stability. During his time, the D'ni were philosophically confused between The Watcher, Gish and Tevahr. His son Jaron continued his father's policies, debating with the factions, now pacified and diminishing. Jaron focused on pleasing everyone, from rich to poor, although he did nothing to unite them.
Rikooth understood why the isolationists wished to close down interaction with outsiders, but he argued that there was no way, to force strict resolutions regarding the outsiders, as their contribution to D'ni culture was immeasurable. In later centuries, te D'ni became more numerous and divided as ever, with many religious, philosophical and ideological views.
King Kerath realized that the old ways of the Kings as Ri'neref established them, were no more appropriate, and that the D'ni should be ruled by the Guilds themselves. After establishing his reformations, he resigned willingly, beginning a new era for D'ni.
Conservative factions orchestrated another war. The Mee-Dis War broke out when Outsiders invaded and almost succeeded to destroy the Ink-Making Guild and Book-Making Guilds. By the end of the War, most came to follow the teachings of Gish and thus believe in the end of most outsider involvement. The conservative trends were too strong, even after the actual origins of the war were revealed.
During the last years of D'ni, a project begun to discover and establish contact with the surface dwellers. The project was abandoned, but D'ni was discovered by a human girl, Anna. Her welcoming to the D'ni society triggered events that resulted to the disastrous actions of Veovis and A'gaeris who brought the Fall of D'ni. Most D'ni were devastated, while the plague spread throughout the cavern. Some managed to escape by linking to other Ages, but the plague spread into as many Ages as the renegades could find, nearly wiping out the D'ni.
Atrus, descendant of the last survivors, attempted to rediscover the survivors and gather them to rebuild D'ni 80 years after the catastrophe. Traveling to other Ages, he found more than 1800 survivors and their descendants. It turned out that the city contained deep tragic history and they decided it was a time for another fresh start. Eventually Atrus wrote for them a new age, Releeshahn, and the D'ni relocated there.
- ↑ Myst: The Book of Ti'ana
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Marriage Notebook
- ↑ Maturity Notebook
- ↑ Class System Journal
- ↑ Shomat story Notebook
- ↑ The Guild of Writers
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 King Ri'neref Notebook
- ↑ Why a Cavern?
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 King Ailesh Notebook
- ↑ Old DRC Site: Early Earth
- ↑ Gehn's First Journal
- ↑ King Ja'kreen Notebook
- ↑ King Mararon Notebook
- ↑ King Koreen Notebook
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 King Ahlsendar Notebook
- ↑ King Rakeri Notebook
- ↑ King Solath Notebook
- ↑ King Me'erta Notebook
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Gan Notebook
- ↑ Behnashiren Notebook
- ↑ King Hemelin Notebook
- ↑ King Hemelin Notebook
- ↑ King Naygen Notebook
- ↑ King Hinash Notebook
- ↑ King Rakeri Notebook
- ↑ King Tejara Notebook
- ↑ King Kedri Notebook
- ↑ King Lemashal Notebook
- ↑ King Ishek Notebook
- ↑ King Loshemanesh Notebook
- ↑ King Ji Notebook
- ↑ King Demath Notebook
- ↑ King Yableshan Notebook
- ↑ King Me'emen Notebook
- ↑ King Lanaren Notebook
- ↑ King Asemlef Notebook
- ↑ King Jaron Notebook
- ↑ King Rikooth Notebook
- ↑ King Kerath Notebook
- ↑ Old DRC site
- ↑ Myst III: Exile - Prima Official Guide