The Skeksis

At the close of the Age of Harmony, the second Great Conjunction occurred and marked the beginning of the Age of Division. During this Great Conjunction, the urSkeks stepped into the light of the suns that filtered through the Crystal and refracted through the urSkeks’ mirrors. Unintentionally, the urSkeks were split into two separate creatures: the Skeksis and the urRu.

The Skeksis were the personification of their destructive, cruel and aggressive impulses while the urRu were the personification of their creative, healing and passive impulses. For every urRu, there was a corresponding Skeksis. Immediately following the split, confused fighting erupted. Two Skeksis, and therefore two urRu, were murdered.

Destructive behavior continued, and one of the Skeksis struck the Crystal and cracked it. The resulting release of energy – the kakoi – broke off a dagger-shaped shard and changed everything.

The Crystal darkened, turning from pure bright white to dimly glowing violet. And with the darkening of the Crystal, so too did the world turn dark. A blighted wasteland slowly and inexorably crept from the Castle and strange creatures began appearing throughout Thra’s wilderness.

After the initial shock of the cracking of the Crystal, the Skeksis settled into their roles as Lords of the Dark Crystal. Led by Emperor skekSo, they played the role of extravagant hosts to both Gelfling and Podling alike, holding grand feasts and games.

Meanwhile, over the course of hundreds of trine, the Skeksis went from eccentric nobles to mad despots. With the passage of time, their powers began to fade. The Skeksis scientist called skekTek experimented with the Dark Crystal. It discovered how to use the refracted light of the Crystal to drain the essence and weaken the will of Gelfling and Podlings, turning them into mindless slaves.

  • skekNa the Slave Master

    SkekNa the Slave Master remains silent most of the time, except for occasional sneers and hisses. His action is dominated by kicking, whipping, and herding little Podling slaves. Between meals, the Skeksis sought out skekNa the Slave Master for scraps to appease the raging hunger they always felt. SkekNa was purely and openly evil from the beginning, and without him the work of the Castle would never have been done.

    The essence of vile gluttony: an abundance of spices, sweet cakes, thick creams, and opulent liqueurs mixed with the scent of whip leather and rusted padlocks.

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  • skekTek the Scientist

    SkekTek the Scientist kept some real power of thought, but in truth he had become only a juggler of ideas, of memories from his previous life. He had studied the light of the Crystal and used it for the division. And he studied the wounded Crystal, and by that light he saw his ways to acts of darkness. First, he learned the art to make beams of light from the Dark Crystal, which he burned into the eyes of the Pod People and Gelfling to make them his slaves. After the light had struck them, no light lived in their eyes, but they obeyed. And the second evil was to use dark light to draw the essence of life, to drain it from the living to make a drink for the Skeksis, above all for the Emperor. This essence gave them back their youth and vigor for a while, only for a little while; but many Gelflings were victims forever.

    Metal and stone and beams of dark light: hyssop, black currant, black viola, passionflower, and myrrh.

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  • skekUng the Garthim Master

    Strongest of all for brute force – after the Emperor – was skekUng the Garthim Master. Torment was his pleasure, though his urSkeks originally had been a healer and continued so in his urRu form. Hidden in that tall, shining urSkek was one who, ages later, could find pleasure in tearing apart the gentle Gelfling. The urSkeks knew this evil was in them and tried hard to burn it out.

    Brute force and destruction: vetiver, smoke, steel, and dragon’s blood resin.

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  • skekZok the Ritual Master

    SkekZok the Ritual Master was thought to hold control of the court entirely in his own hands. He had the ear of skekSo the Emperor, whose wishes were absolute; no one could hope for success except through skekZok. He sought to rule the other Skeksis through prophecies he invented and false apparitions he conjured. SkekZok found that the Emperor raised favorites only to enjoy the pleasure of their fall, while other distrustful Skeksis practiced their own secret divinations. 

    An incense of deception: frankincense, opoponax, hyssop, champaca, and opium poppy accord.

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