A thousand years ago, they conquered death.
An army of Ikuna, three million strong, marched to the gates of the Last Fortress, to war with the world beyond the world. Zira, She In Pain, trembled at their approach, and Lady Dogrunner pulled the race of men from their path.
The souls of the dead fought back, their desperation and anger crashing against the Ikuna like an ocean against a mountain. The dead were cut down, and trampled under the Ikuna’s ironclad feet.
The Last Fortress was taken. Many Ikuna died. Broken bodies littered the doorsteps of the Last Fortress, smashed, aged, and destroyed. But the Ikuna had won. Death was theirs.
Ninety thousand Ikuna survived the assault on the Last Fortress. Ninety thousand creatures who had conquered death.
An Ikuna is tall. Taller than any man, and stronger too. Smarter as well. And better-looking. Pale, graceful, and inhumanly strong. Inhumanly quick. Inhuman in everything but basic shape.
Ikuna are perfect. They spent hundreds of years in the pursuit of perfection. Then a hundred more in the wallows of debauchery. Many have brought themselves back to perfection once again.
Their swords are heavy enough to be used as a bludgeon. Their armor is too thick to be dented by anything less than a dragon. Their magic shatters minds and bodies alike, leaving twisted amalgamations of flesh in their wake.
None of this matters.
Ikuna do not use swords. Ikuna do not wear armor. Ikuna do not use magic. They don’t have to. They don’t want to. They spent lifetimes fighting as the best the world… any world, had to offer.
Ikuna will not fight you. They will speak. Or they may stay silent. They may try to kill you, but it will be halfhearted. A joke they have not heard, or an impressive display of skill will stop them in their tracks.
Death was the greatest challenge any Ikuna could face. In the end, even it fell before them. They do not die.
Some say death is frightened of them. Frightened to go near them. The greatest of the Ikuna cannot even kill: death will not enter their presence, no matter how much it should.
An Ikuna isn’t a challenge to kill. Not the first time. Maybe not even in the second. Fighting them is almost… easy. You stab them, and they go down quietly, without even so much as a sigh. But they’ll be back.
They won’t fight as skillfully as you.
They won’t scheme as cunningly as you.
They won’t try as hard as you.
Because in the end?
They only have to win once.