The Brechan are a simple, stoic people who are, by all accounts, pretty unremarkable. Because of their backward ways—their center of trade and largest city, Ayaroka , has yet to adopt the Oofite (laughable, I know) and most Brechan couldn't give you the number of Astroluces—it is often assumed that the Brechan are stupid. This supposition turns out to be only somewhat true; though the great majority of Brechan are rather dense, there is a small group of bright Brechan Engineers (they insist on the capitalization). It is thanks to the ingenuity of this elite group that the Brechan have been able to survive the threatening, sere environment of the Hakamagin Desert in which they reside, and have resided in for the past 5,000 years. In return, the Engineers have great power: they run a shady oligarchy that operates beneath the facade of representative government. Given the furtive ways of the Engineers, and the spell of secrecy which they attempt to cast over the Brechan people, researching and writing this dispatch was difficult, at times, even dangerous. I remain confident, however, that what follows is the facts as they really are, not simply as the Engineers insisted they be told.
It is unclear exactly when the group of people known as the Brechan came into being. Rather than suddenly uniting under a common banner, it is more likely that the primitive aboriginals that roamed the desert gradually conflated into a people. Most scholars believe this coagulation began in the 50th century D.C., a time of hunting-method advancement which resulted in a surplus of food, and thus yielded the time to meet and greet other Dak folk. After that, a whole litany of wars, internal and external, evictions, and diasporas follows—I shan't bore my fellow scholars with such minutia when they can read it themselves in the history books that the Engineers regularly publish. Today, and in recent history, the Brechan have enjoyed a period of homeostasis and stability: the meager wants and needs of the Brechans are fulfilled and they are left alone by other peoples (besides necessary trade, of course).
The Brechan are like most other Dak, though they tend, on average, to be a little shorter in stature. A strange feature of the Brechan is their incredible homogeneity. Really, with the exception of the occasional birth defect, the Brechan all appear exactly the same. They are thus required at all times to wear a badge with their identification number. The Engineers at one point even considered branding newborn Brechans with their identification number—for practical purposes, of course—but this proposal was discarded in light of a 100% badge compliance rate among the Brechan. There simply was no need to do so.
The Brechan also differ from the Dak in more peculiar ways. They have a little fleshy nub protruding from their bodies near the eliminating organ which I can only believe is either the beginning, or vestigial remains of, a tail. Why a people who have spent 50 centuries in the Hakamagin Desert should have tails, and what it means, is the source of never-ending scholarly contention. The Brechan tail calls into question all of Brechan history (the only history books are published by the Engineers naturally). The more radical scholars suggest that the Brechan are actually descended from an entirely different ancestral species than other Dak peoples and only have the appearance of other Daks because of convergent evolution. Moderate scholars claim that the Brechans and other Daks do share a common ancestor and are recently diverging evolutionarily. Some wackjob conspiracy theorists, primarily those who populate the League of Extraordinary Windbags, hold that the Engineers are putting chemicals in the water and crops to genetically modify the Brechan into Drimates, a low life-form, to make them more subservient and easier to control. All agree, though, that the study of such matters would be made vastly easier and more accurate if independent scholars were granted access to the large tomes and texts of Brechan history that the Engineers are rumored to have locked away in the Engineer's Library .
DivalchemyEditThe Engineers' greatest achievement, which therefore represents Brechan's greatest achievement, is divalchemy (pronounced: di-val-kuh-mee). The word is a portmanteau of “divine” and “alchemy”. Divalchemy, developed in the 25th century D.C., is the process by which soft metals and minerals (like Arachnidium) are converted directly from physical material to energy. It is the most efficient way of producing energy on Dakai yet devised (far more efficient than burning Pudjaret trees), and as such, it remains a closely guarded secret of the Brechan Engineers. Though one can't know the specifics for sure; you can be certain that divalchemy is simply very clever chemistry, involving neither divine processes nor alchemy. Instead, the name became popular first among the simple Brechan commoners (all of whom are very pious) who ascribed the miraculous source of energy to their god, Dakrun, simply because they couldn't understand the actual abstruse process. The name stuck, and the Engineers very actively encouraged the term's adoption. By connecting their science with the Brechan faith, the Engineers secured the everlasting support of the common Brechan. In this way, divalchemy and Brechan religion support one another; the miracle of divalchemy lends physical credence to Brechan religion, and religion gives the Engineers a free warrant to continue with their science (it is holy after all, right?).
Divalchemy provides all the energy that the Brechans could use, indeed, could want. The small metal deposit closest to Ayaroka is expected to provide 200 years of energy. Divalchemy fuels everything from the desert-walkers that navigate the dangerous Dramas fields to the lights that illuminate the Ayaroka Fair. Perhaps an even more useful application of divalchemy is in the generation of food: when the curious electrical current that divalchemy produces is plunged into the desert sand, the sand liquifies, turns several arresting colors, vibrates rudely, then slowly settles as fertile soil. The process is simply fascinating to watch and the Engineers have produced several hundred acres of arable land with this method. Truly, divalchemy is among the most distinguished discoveries of the several past hundred centuries.
Ayaroka is currently governed by Lord Maley, elections being held every three-and-a-half years. As leader of Ayaroka, Lord Maley is the de facto ruler of all Brechan people. These are the facts as the Brechan people know them. In reality, Lord Maley is a jealous pawn of the Engineers. I say jealous because it is well know that Maley was cast out from the Engineers for being too dim, and his grudge is very much obvious to anyone who's met him. Maley “invented” the Maley constant, notated ℳ,an utterly useless and random number that lacks any purpose but impressed enough Ayarokans to earn him the mayorship. The Engineers remain unworried by the threat he poses.
--Commissar Ben 10:01, September 14, 2010 (UTC)