Dasaka appear similar to Toa and Matoran, and yet dissimilar. Their most distinguishing feature is the crystalline protodermis armor they wear. From a broader sense it may be realized they are a culture exclusively composed of psionic-element Toa, Turaga, and Matoran, developing and evolving in isolation.
Menti warriors fight using different psionic powers. To limit their warriors' strength as individuals (advancing the virtue of Order) and to turn their Menti warriors into specific tactical weapons, ancient warlords split Menti training long ago into several different disciplines. The discipline or disciplines a Dasaka will study depends upon her pre-existing affinities and aptitudes – tested at the beginning of her training – and on her rank in society. While no discipline is inherently better the next, students of each tend to believe their practice is the superior one.
The higher on the ladder of power one ascends, the more schools are open to be learned. All Menti are trained in at least one school. With more experience and military rank, it is possible for Menti to attain a second discipline. Gifted and endowed Dasaka can be proficient with three and are known as a Battlemaster, and the heroes of legend were rumored to have been able to use all four psionic powers. The disciplines are as follows: Soulswords, Sighteyes, Mindarms, and Willhammers.
Soulsword Discipline (Psychophysical Energy)
- Allows the user to harness psionic energy and, to an extent, use it in the physical world. A rudimentary and less precise Soulsword ability is to take psionic energy and whip it at foes, most often as a blunt attack. Fully experienced Soulswords, however, can form and mold the same raw psionic energy into a physical weapon, breaking the barrier between mental and physical attacks. The psychophysical weapon produced is made of shimmering, dripping and solid energy, and it can be used in lieu of a normal physical weapon. Soulsword students, however, must choose only one weapon shape to study, as an incredible familiarity with that weapon is essential to its effective use.
- Weakness of the Discipline: Soulswords’ training in recognizing and resisting other disciplines of the mind – the illusions of Sighteyes and the influence of Willhammers – is minimal, as most of their time is devoted to the rigorous endurance conditioning necessary to maintaining their weapons in extended combat. Soulswords are also rarely aware of the line between their reserves of physical and elemental energy in the heat of battle.
Sighteye Discipline (Illusion)
- Allows the practitioner to create and maintain illusions that can fool all five senses. Sighteyes can make their enemies believe anything they wish by overriding the sensory receivers of that enemy's mind and replacing those feeds of information with fictional information. A Sighteye's illusions are utterly convincing when maintained properly, so much that they can fool the deceived into believing almost anything. A highly trained Sighteye can make themselves basically invisible by replacing their appearance, scent, sound, and etc. with other sensory perceptions. A Sighteye, however, cannot fully eliminate an enemy's senses, only change what they are sensing. Sighteyes can target multiple minds at once, though the more sets of senses they are fooling, the more energy it will take them to do so successfully.
- Weakness of the Discipline: Sighteyes, when performing convincing illusions, cannot move. To leave the mental plane long enough to even, say, take a step, would immediately break the Sighteye's projected deceptions.
Mindarm Discipline (Telekinesis)
- Allows the practitioner to moving objects by mental force. This schools trains in the art of manipulating physical objects with the mind, and Mindarms are able to lift, push, pull, shove, or throw objects using only their mental prowess. Simple actions, such as throwing objects in battle, are very basic and take little concentration for a Mindarm. More delicate or complex motions, however, require more finesse and focus to be done correctly. Objects in motion, such as projectiles, also take far greater skill to manipulate than static ones. The larger an object that a Mindarm is trying to influence is, the more rapidly it will tire them to move. Limited levitation is possible to advanced Mindarms, who have the ability to lift and toss themselves in a controlled manner.
- Weakness of the Discipline: Mindarms have the most physically strenuous Menti discipline, since they are often involved in other bodily action at the same time as they are wielding their powers. As such, they tend to burn out relatively quickly.
Willhammer Discipline (Mental Entry)
- Allows the practitioner to see into, enter into, and interact with the minds of other beings. A Willhammer can thus press their will upon others through honeyed thoughts, sheer force, or other forms of mental deception. Warhammers can project emotions, words, images, and subliminal thoughts into their minds of choice, and are as such the only Menti able to converse telepathically with non-Menti (such a conversation occurring inside the mind of the subject). Since Willhammers can more or less see what the subject of their power is thinking, they generally understand the best way to convince others to follow their will on a case-by-case basis. Willhammers can only affect one being at a time. Mental entry is, in its nature, a one-sided negotiation of wills; as such, it does not work automatically. Its power can be resisted if the entered mind has an abnormally strong will or sense of self.
- Weakness of the Discipline: Willhammers, unless extremely well-trained, are hardly ever able to convince their enemies to do exactly what they seek, even if their intended puppet has submitted to the Willhammer's wishes. Their discipline also requires much concentration, and as such restricts most bodily movement.
- A minor discipline that allows the practitioner to communicate with other Menti. It is the first skill taught to every Dasaka during their training; as such, all proficient Menti have the ability to "speak" with one another via thought. Telepathic communication basically works like a radio: an individual will project the words/images they wish to communicate onto the mental plane, where others can selectively pick up the “transmission” with mental plane access. Every Menti (indeed, every sapient being) has a different "feel" on the mental plane; this is how when multiple Menti are communicating at once, they can distinguish different streams of consciousness from one another, or sense approaching beings on the mental plane. Telepathy grows more difficult and less accurate as distance increases.
- Dasaka (DAH-suh-kah): the species equivalent of Toa, but also an umbrella name for the species as a whole. Dasaka individuals can be learned in up to four disciplines of the mind depending upon rank and experience.
- Dashi (DAH-shee): the species equivalent of Matoran, but also the name for the working class and the title for those in that class.
- Datsue (DAHT-soo-ay): the species equivalent of Turaga. These are revered elders who exist outside the social hierarchy. Generally retain some of the disciplines of the mind.
Society on the Kentoku Archipelago is highly regulated. Life on the Archipelago is defined by bloodlines, which supersede almost everything else. All Dasaka owe loyalty to their families; society is divided into interrelated clans – made up of one or more families – all vying for power. Blood bonds, courtship, and fleeting alliances define the political game for power among the notable clans.
The Dasaka, like the Matoran, hold three virtues paramount. The Dasaka’s virtues, like the Dasaka themselves, might seem at a glance to be a warped reflection of what exists on Mata Nui. The Dasaka do not, in fact, revere the Great Spirit Mata Nui; they venerate a completely different Great Spirit, Zuto Nui , and they fear her sister the evil Zataka . Her three virtues, the central pillars of Kentoku society, are as follows:
- Order – Always respect your place on the social ladder, in the family, and in the clan. Never go against the caste system or cause entropy in society.
- Power – Strive to be better than you are, stronger than you are; become as powerful and resilient you can become. Always act to improve yourself and your clan.
- Honor – Make your actions reflect positively on your clan and your fellow Dasaka. Give elders, betters, and teachers the respect that they are due. Be humble, be courteous, and be courageous.
Female/Male birth rate – about 40:1
Because of the imbalanced gender ratio on the Kentoku Archipelago, males are rare; as such, they are highly prized within society as both reproducers and aggressive warriors. After a male is born, the Toroshu of his clan isolates him at a young age, sending him to Sado to be trained as a fierce Menti warrior. After extensive training – males are almost always taught in two disciplines of the mind – they are generally assigned as companions or bodyguards to high-ranking females. Only familial First Sons, the eldest males of prominent clans, escape such duties.
Ironically, males have virtually no rights save those defined within their specialized role in society; male Dasaka are, due to their value, perhaps the most completely controlled by the caste system. The birth of a male in a family can instantly gain that family status; conversely, the death of a male prior to his apprenticeship will cast a family into the deepest shame.
Most females will never have offspring, this task being either regulated to those higher in the caste system or saved as rare gifts for acts of service or bravery. To mate and bear offspring with a male is considered a great honor.
When it comes to loyalties in Kentoku society, family ties are superseded only by the Archipelago’s long-standing caste system. There are four castes in Kentoku society: Menti, Dashi, Ringti, and Saihoko.
Menti (Warrior Class: mostly Dasaka, and the rare Datsue)
- The warrior caste of society, and the highest tier. While this entire caste is generally referred to as “Menti”, within this caste there are three further ranks: Rora, Toroshu, and Menti Warrior.
- At the very top of the Kentoku hierarchy is the Empress, the Rora. While the Rora retains unassailable authority in name and prestige, she has little actual military power, that resting chiefly in the Toroshu below her. In essence, the Rora is a figurehead of the Dasaka species, not its true leader. Nevertheless, what the Rora says carries much weight, as she can bestow punishments or rewards upon anyone she wishes. The Rora acts as an arbiter of inter-clan disputes.
- Immediately below the Rora in terms of political power are the Toroshu. They are the generals and the diplomatic heads of their respective clans. In practically everything, especially in war, Toroshu hold absolute power, as all Menti warriors are instructed to obey their Toroshu before all else. Under a Toroshu is generally a web of nobility and lieutenants.
- Menti warriors, the soldiers and guards of the empire, answer directly to their Toroshu both in peace and wartime. Menti warriors are trained in particular disciplines of combat to become deadly soldiers, the muscle of a Toroshu's power. A handful of Menti warriors serve the Rora directly as peacekeepers and guards on Sado.
Dashi (Worker Class: generally Dashi)
- The second tier of society, the Dashi class is comprised of farmers and other manual laborers. Great value is given to those who work, so the simple farmer and peasant are the next-highest rank after the warriors and nobility.
- According to Kentoku ideals and work ethic, farmers are superior to artisans and merchants because they produce the food that all the other classes depended upon. The Dashi also make up the majority of the population, and therefore represent the near entirety of the workforce and taxable income. The lives of Dashi are simple and safe; it’s seen as extremely dishonorable (and impractical) to slay a Dashi.
Ringti (Artisan Class: generally Dashi, and occasionally Dasaka)
- Third tier of society, the Ringti class is made up of skilled workers. Although artisans produce many beautiful and necessary goods, such as clothes, cooking utensils, weapons, etc, they are considered less important than the farmers. Even skilled weapon makers and boat wrights belong to this third tier of society on the archipelago.
- The artisan class lives in its own section of the major cities, segregated from the Menti (who usually lived in the Toroshu's castles), and from the lower merchant class. They usually live comfortably, as imperial quotas and tariffs regulate the supply and demand for goods, and a profit is almost always turned.
- The Dasaka individuals in the Ringti class are usually crystal smiths, who use their abilities as Mindarms and Soulswords to craft fine crystal objects, such as buildings and weapons. There is a specialized school in Sado that trains crystal smiths to apply Menti powers to delicate tasks.
- Ringti inventors are treated with fickleness by society. The Menti leaders are generally adverse to technological advancement, as it goes against tradition, but some of the more shrewd ones are willing to disregard this pride if a truly useful invention, such as the submersible, is created. Ringti generally have thick skin against critics, and so will celebrate these victories rather than wallow in their rejections.
Saihoko (Merchant Class: generally Dashi)
- Merchants occupy the bottom rung of the Dasaka’s feudal society: traveling traders, shopkeepers, and even sailors are placed here. Merchants are ostracized as "parasites" that profit from the labor of the more productive peasant and artisan classes, and despite their essential role in society, most other Dasaka revile them.
- Not only do merchants live in a separate section of each city; the higher classes are generally forbidden to mix with them, unless on business. Nonetheless, many merchant families are able to amass large fortunes through their hard work and business sense, and force their ways into higher castes.
- It is common to insult someone by calling them a “Saihoko”, or even “Hoko” for short, representing the lowest of the low.
Datsue (Outside class system)
- The Dasaka species equivalent to the Turaga exist as a general rule outside the caste system, having lived a long time and now retired from their previous careers to become respected advisers and holy women. Their elder status earns them freedom within the Archipelago, and they are free to pursue whatever they wish.
- While they are an integral part of the traditional Kentoku hierarchy, Datsue are simultaneously above and separate from it. They are the keepers of the history and knowledge on the archipelago, and the ones that perform the spiritual and symbolic ceremonies important to the Dasaka. The Datsue serve those who seek understanding and counsel. They help prepare new Menti for their training and give sage counsel to the young as well as the old.
- In times of great crisis, it is the Datsue who act as judge and jury, ferreting out the dishonorable and administering justice according to the ancient laws. Most Toroshu work in tandem with a Datsue, relying on the elders as advisers.
Dasaka culture is organized into a system of clans, with a matriarchal ruler of each clan titled Toroshu. Toroshu look over the affairs of their people and lands, and answer to the Rora, the empress of the empire. There are three main clans, followed by several notable clans which have risen into prominence either through deeds of valor or for other reasons.
- Umbralines: Leaders of the Empire
- Fursics: Traitors and Schemers
- Dastana: Merchants and Traders
- Ageru: Farmers and Warriors
- Daikura: Scholars and Teachers of Menti Disciplines
- Eiyu: Protectors of Lore and Knowledge
- Hogo: Retainers to the Rora's line
- Mamoru: Miners and Shapers of Crystal Protodermis
- Mashtet: 'The Lost Clan'
- Plangori: Dye Artisans of the empire
- Roku: Architects and Builders
- The Taajar: Semi-Nomads with a lost heritage
- Clan Angavur: Leaders of the Taajar
- Clan Kuychar: Taajar Traditionalists and Artisans.
- Clan Okrihnok: Nomadic Taajar Assassins.
- Vadiru: Retainers to the Fursic line
- Vilda: Conservationists and Animal Caretakers.
- Kyoshi: A scientifically-focused sister clan of The Dastana.
- Korae: Sea captains and opportunistic warriors.
Dasaka enjoy a variety of leisure activites. Commoners and nobility alike are entertained by Paero, a field game similar to Ultimate Frisbee, along with gladiator battles and races. Stones, similar in likeness to the East Asian game of Go, is also a fond board game. Dasaka have been seen to enjoy drink and merriment, along with cuisine and festive attire.
- Yumiwa, Rora of the Empire.
- Yusanora, mother of Yumiwa and Desdemona, killed at Yumiwa's party.
- Desdemona, the Rora's younger daughter and current Chōjo.
- Rayuke, Umbraline First Son and Imperial Executioner. (Rumored Battlemaster)
- Ayiwah, Commodore of the Rora’s nautical forces.
- Yutang, Yusanora's sister and the Umbraline Toroshu.
- Yomiken, Dastana Toroshu.
- Jasik, Dastana First Son.
- Arsix, Jasix's twin sister.
- Shieka, The Dastana's hired Battlemaster.
- Kyōshi Amakusa Seiryū, First Son
- Kyōshi Amakusa Minami, Toroshu
- Kyōshi Drakata Eldani, Datsue advisor
- Nihonei, Toroshu of Clan Eiyu.
- Ankora, Datsue High Dean of Education.
- Nihi, Menti warrior who was chosen for the first expedition to Mata Nui.
- Kilanya, Toroshu of Clan Ageru.
- Tazera, Lieutenant to Commodore Ayiwah.
- Dakte, estranged minor male noble.
- Nahila, captain of the Mahuika Hall Guard.
- Enali, young Menti sent on the Kanohi Dragon expedition.
- Eshiwa, the Toroshu of Clan Herupa (deceased).
- Jiyu, the eldest of Eshiwa's children and her only son.
- Seigyo, the second-oldest of Eshiwa's children, and twin to Jiyu.
- Hanako, Handmaiden and total bff to Yumiwa.
- Ikori, Handmaiden to Kuno.
- Lhurai, Clan Roku First Son.
- Ihi, toroshu of clan Daikura.
- Sakrayo, a datsue and mother of the clan's First Son.
- Koga, the clan's first son.
- Morie, Toroshu of Clan Plangori.
- Soraya, dashi clan representative and salesperson to the Imperial Household.
- Shuuan, Morie's third daughter.
- Chiyo, Morie's youngest daughter
- Senavysh: Astyzyar Jahagir of The Taajar, Toroshu of Clan Angavur.
- Hatchi: A caravan leader and informal koshi-zrupgar (Dashi Warrior) of the Kuychar tribe.
- Nurora, Toroshu of a small and respected family, leader of the first expedition to Mata Nui.
- Tsura, Datsue with a motherly temperament and a wry humor, was on the first expedition to Mata Nui.
- Saru, Menti warrior who was chosen for the first expedition to Mata Nui.
- Dasaka became a playable race on November 9th, 2013 (PST).