In Extremis (also InEx or NX) is a high fantasy series created by Mr. Skeli’n (Mikkel S. Christensen). The stories presented in literature are accompanied by artwork and music, all created by Mr. Skeli’n (unless otherwise noted).
There are four main tenets of the In Extremis universe. They are the following:
- Combination of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, and Anachronistic elements
- Emphasis on characters having to make tough choices
- Books that immerse the reader but leave mysteries around the universe
- Literature supplanted and augmented by aural and visual arts
There are many secondary tenets as well, such as the themes of returning, both to places and things, as well as influence from many Role Playing Games. This influence manifests itself in the characters embarking on trading quests, collecting items and managing them in their physical possession, and characters traversing dungeons.
The series takes place in Plot-Arcs, which tell their own encapsulated stories that fit into the overall series. There are currently three Plot-Arcs, with two in production (Before The Wind and Gallants of Cyliajaca). Each Plot-Arc can contain multiple books, though in the case of Gallants, the story is told through multiple campaigns because it runs as a Choose Your own Adventure game.
The in-universe backstory of In Extremis is presented in The Ontiba, which also functions as a Holy Text to the characters. The Ontiba chronicles the creation of the Known Universe–the Known Universe is usually referred to as Omneutta–which is also created with the first Deity, Aster. Over time, Aster creates seven other Deities to fulfill roles in the universe, who later have their own Sentient Species made in their image. Omneutta consists of several different sections of space made up mostly of star-planets and planet-stars. Planets in Omneutta are curved landmasses orbiting around star-cores – burning spheres of gas and metal. Landmasses that are far enough from their star-cores to be hospitable are called planet-stars and inhospitable worlds are called star-planets.
With the Sentient Species created, the Deities retired to their world of Astran, a star-planet so hot that only immortal beings could live there. The Deities proclaimed that time would reset and history after that point would hitherto be known as After Time. All Plot-Arcs of In Extremis exist in After Time.
Xiruen are towering behemoths, usually preferring to live separate from the other Sentient Species. They are distinguishable not only by their height (over 2.4m, 8′), but by their four arms. The upper pair are usually smaller than the lower pair. Their bones are also quite hard and can be used to punch through most rocks.
The Avotoc are a diminutive race of skeleton-like creatures with large heads. They are a fairly sociable species, but are prone to bouts of emotional extremes. Their societies revolve mostly around shipping and merchantry, due to their planet-stars’ tendencies to have water. They were the first Sentient Species to be created, and their culture is rich and steeped with history as a result.
Kettlah are fairly sociable creatures, though usually tend to live in small groups or in isolation as hermits. As a species, they live as nomads, so it is rare to find a Kettlah who values material possessions. All Kettlah have a faint glow, as well as having eight tendril like appendages- four on each arm. Kettlah’s hands can also morph into many shapes, fists, keys, etc. Most times, their hands take on a mitten-like shape.
The Poria are a culture that prizes knowledge above all else. Because of this, most of Omneutta’s technological innovations have come at the hands of Poria. They see, feel, hear, smell, and taste through their molten skin, but change their heads into faces to be more aesthetically pleasing. Their outer skin can be manipulated at will, as it is just hardened molten material.
Quarryn are the most visually distinctive Sentient Species in Omneutta. They not only have three legs, but also have no eyes. They depend on vibrations through the ground to guide them as a sense of ‘sight’, so it is rare to find them not in a natural environment. Quarryn also grow wooden appendages on the exterior of their bodies as a way to absorb and transport nutrients from their environment, in addition to consumption of food. Because of their love of nature, they are often natural scientists of some sort.
Sha’an resemble upright foxes to some extent. They have shorter, thick tails that also aid them in balance. They are known for their cunning, though their lack of societal structure makes them rare to encounter in most of Omneutta. This lack of societal structure stems from feuds many generations old that has left The Blade (home of Sha’an) in a dystopia.
Turath are among the most amicable and welcoming of all the Sentient Species. They have long, thin tails and manes. Turath are fairly androgynous as a culture, but the styling of the mane is usually a good indication on gender. Turath’s religious affiliations are also of note. While most Omneuttians acknowledge the existence of the eight Deities, Turath as a species are the only practitioners of worshiping multiple Deities.