The Outsiders (D'ni: ahrotahn-tee[1][2]) are collectivelly any peoples that are native to other Ages and so, by definition, are "not D'ni". Outsiders include the Yimas, the Pento, the Rivenese, the Tree-Dwellers and Humans, the surface dwellers of Earth. Occasionally, Outsiders are interfertile with the D'ni, as is the case with Humans.


As the D'ni were physically isolated in the Cavern, the Outsiders were the main foreign contact. The Guild of Linguists were responsible for communication between D'ni and the Outsiders. The political stance of the D'ni towards these foreign cultures was controversial and varied throughout history. At several points the D'ni hired the native civilizations of an Age in order to produce resources which then were imported to the D'ni City; there also had been regulations concerning imported goods and travel between Ages. During the more progressive years, there was immeasurable Outsider contribution to culture, art, construction, technology, and resources. There were however conservative, isolationist factions among the D'ni society that wished no or minimal contact with any Outsiders.

According to the ethics of the Guilds of D'ni, an Age that turned out to be inhabited, could not belong to anyone.[3]

Historical evolution[]

The circumstances of the contact between the original Ronay and the Outsiders was unknown. However the culture of the Terahnee was based on the cruel exploitation of Outsiders, called Bahro.[4]

It seems that the early times of D'ni there were strict regulations about interactions with the Outsiders.[5] However that didn't stop the cult known as Judges of Yahvo to manipulate the people of Pento in order to conquer the D'ni city.[6][7] Undoubtedly the resulting Pento War must have left a bitter mark for the remainder of the D'ni history. The public described non-D'ni as "animals", "uncivilized", and "primitive".[8]

Progressive tendencies[]

King Hinash was apparently very interested in pursuing better relationships with other cultures, pushing for further interaction and increased trade. He opened up the rules concerning relationships with the Outsiders leading to the usage of foreign materials in construction, clothing and jewelry, as well as foreign influences in music and art. He was the first known D'ni to marry with a non-D'ni woman, something that was (somewhat surprisingly) met with little opposition.[9]

King Lemashal was the first after Hinash who looked toward the outsider cultures, leading efforts to supply better lives for them, along with freer trade and sharing of resources. Not only he remarried to an outsider, but they also had two sons, forcing the D'ni to confront with their views. The remaining years of his reign were marked by the controversy of whether a non-D'ni would someday rule as King. Lemashal ended the controversy signing into law the decision that a King had to be of pure D'ni blood and left the throne to his nephew, Ishek.[10]

Following his example, King Ishek also focused on the involvement of non-D'ni and their importance to culture and expansion. However this did not appeal to the conservative factions. One of them (sources differ whether it was Light of D'ni ot the Blood of Yahvo) staged the abduction of Ishek's wife in the Age of Yimas to dicredit the outsiders. After the crisis, the rules of writing Ages and contacting the outsiders became stricter, as "our own culture could not be trusted to deal with them honorably."[8] Both Ishek, and his son, King Loshemanesh often pointed out that the strict regulations on interaction with other cultures did nothing to stop the Judges of Yahvo.[5]

Loshemanesh Laws[]

Loshemanesh had seen first-hand the effects of too much interaction with Outsiders and disagreed with what was becoming the majority view in the people. He encouraged further interaction, arguing that the problems would always exist until the D'ni changed themselves. He proceeded in signing the "Loshemanesh Laws" to prevent those who wish to take advantage of outside Ages and peoples.[5]

During his reign, in the Age of Trases, an Outsider who operated D'ni machinery caused a disaster. This fueled many conservatives to push for stricter measures on the Guild of Writers and a complete sealing off of any interaction with outsiders.[5] The following years were a tenuous period within D'ni over the outsiders and religious principles.[11]

In the first years of King Demath's rule, the D'ni Council carried out emergency meetings, concluding that relations would continue with much stricter guidelines, including the restriction of any outsiders operating D'ni machinery or Linking Books. Demath also strictly enforced the "Loshemanesh Laws". He executed two isolationist assassins but this led other like-thinkers to feel even stronger about their case. In a public speech Goshen, the leader of the Blood of Yahvo cult argued, "D'ni is killing itself, for the sake of the outsiders."[12]

The society was very fragmented by the time of King Yableshan. Two members of the One D'ni faction set up an explosion in the Age of Meanas, seemngly a bad combination of native and non-native gases. This created another argument for the isolationists that the D'ni should seal themselves from outsider influence. However the true culprits were found and arrested years later.[13][14]

The influential prophet Gish was conservative and isolationist. He preached against contact with the outsiders, saying that it was not the will of the Maker.[15]

In the shadow of Gish's influence, King Lanaren promised to rid outsider involvement to pacify the factions. He ordered the Major Guilds to replace all Ages that required outsider involvement, with Ages that would carry out the same tasks without such involvement. This resulted to 4 new Ages which, in reality, none were ever used to the extent the Ages they came to replace.[16]

By the time of King Asemlef, Outsider involvement was diminished although he asserted that elimination of this influence was not realistically possible and held councils in the Palace for that matter in order to pacify the disagreeing factions. Privately, Asemlef used Outsiders as servants and slaves (allegedly as gladiators or as hunting game).[17]

During those centuries contact was Outsiders was uneventful. However many still wishing to close down interaction. During a council King Rikooth cited their contribution to D'ni culture and argued that there was no way, to force strict resolutions, unless there was a grave reason.[18]

Isolationism period[]

However his son and last King of D'ni, Kerath, was raised by his mother as a devotee of Gish and a believer in the Followers of Yahvo. He considered the outsiders a threat, and often said "If not now, then soon". By the end of his reign, he persuaded the majority of the D'ni people about his views.

Years after his death, conservative D'ni factions staged the Mee-Dis War during which Outside factions supposedly invaded the Guilds. By the end of the War, and even after its true origins were discovered, most came to believe in the end of most outsider involvement.[19]

During the last millennium before the Fall of D'ni, some called the mixing of D'ni blood with outsiders a travesty, some considered that a child who marries an outsider was better off dead to his parents.[20] Nonetheless, the Council approved an expedition to the Surface to contact the surface dwellers.[21]

The arrival of Anna brought some uneasy moments, as she was the first Outsider to join the D'ni community for Ages. Veovis forbid her to link to Ader Jamat.

After the Fall[]

Gehn, despite having a human mother, identified himself as a D'ni and considered his mother an Outsider. In light of his view considering the D'ni gods and creators, he considered Outsiders (such as the Rivenese) creations of the D'ni.[22]

In direct contrast to his father, Atrus established respectful contact with the Outsiders he discovered in his Ages, often found there without his expectations, believing it was the Maker who put them there "between the lines". He aided them to boost their civilization, he aided or protected them from hazards.