At one time the pre-eminent race of Eärwa, but now much reduced. The Nonmen call themselves ji’cûnû roi, “the People of Dawn,” for reasons they can no longer remember. (They call Men j’ala roi, “the People of Summer,” because they burn so hot and pass so quickly.) The Chronicle of the Tusk, which records the coming of Men to Eärwa, generally refers to Nonmen as Oserukki, the “Not Us.” In the Book of Tribes, the Prophet Angeshraël alternately refers to them as “the Accursed Ones” and “the sodomite Kings of Eärwa,” and he incites the Four Nations of Men to embark on a holy war of extermination. Even after four millennia, this xenocidal mission remains part of the Inrithi canon. According to the Tusk, the Nonmen are anathema:
- Hearken, for this the God has said,
- “These False Men offend Me;
- blot out all mark of their Passing.”
But Cûnuroi civilization was ancient even before these words were carved into the Tusk. While the Halaroi, Men, wandered the world dressed in skins and wielding weapons of stone, the Cûnuroi had invented writing and mathematics, astrology and geometry, sorcery and philosophy. They dredged mountains hollow for the galleries of their High Mansions. They traded and warred with one another. They subdued all Eärwa, enslaving the Emwama, the soft-hearted Men who dwelt in Eärwa in those early days.
Their decline is the result of three different catastrophic events. The first, and most significant, was the so-called Womb-Plague. In the hope of achieving immortality, the Nonmen (specifically, the great Cû’jara-Cinmoi) allowed the Inchoroi to live among them as their physicians. The Nonmen did in fact attain immortality, and the Inchoroi, claiming their work done, retired back to the Incû-Holoinas. The plague struck shortly after, almost killing males and uniformly killing all females. The Nonmen call this tragic event the Nasamorgas, the “Death of Birth.”
Cûno-Inchoroi Wars and Near-ExtinctionEdit
The following Cûno-Inchoroi Wars further sapped their strength, so that by the time the first Tribes of Men invaded, the Nonmen had not the numbers or, some say, the will to resist their advance. Within the course of a few generations they were nearly exterminated. Only the Mansions of Ishoriöl and Cil-Aujas survived.
It is possible for Nonmen to impregnate human women; and, when Nonmen females still existed, it was possible for them to impregnated by human men. However, such mixed-breed pregnancies are rare, and it is even rarer for them to come to term. Those who do survive may have very long lives; Anasûrimbor Nanor-Ukkerja I’s life of 178 years was credited to the Nonman blood in his veins. The earliest known instance of interbreeding between humans and Nonmen was Cimoira, the child of the human Sirwitta and a female Nonman, whose birth was recorded in the Isûphiryas.
Instead of cities and castles Nonmen built underground systems of waste halls and passages called "mansions", always located beneath the mountains. The total number of Nonmen mansions is unknown, although it is known that the mightiest, the High Mansions, numbered nine.
The names of six have survived through recorded history. Greatest, most powerful and most populous was Siöl, lying under the titanic peaks of the Northern Kayarsus. The proudest and most fiercely independent was Nihrimsul, located under the south-eastern Yimaleti Mountains. Cil-Aujas lay in the east, under the peak of Aenaratiol at the south tip of the Osthwai Mountains. Ishoriöl, the Exalted Hall, lay in the far west, beyond the Demua Mountains near the shores of the Great Ocean. Viri, in the north, lay under the peak of Antareg in the Urokkas, a small range of mountains overlooking the Neleöst, the Misty Sea. Illiseru lay far to the south, under the Betmulla Mountains. Other High Mansions lay under the Araxes and Hinayati Mountains, and the last in the hills near what is now the city of Domyot, but the names of these last three mansions remains unknown to us.
Nonmen are bigger and stronger than humans. They are adapted to subterranean life and thus have skin devoid of any pigment, all-black eyes, and are hairless.
It is mentioned in the books that Nonmen cannot derive meaning from paintings, which is why they depict their history through sculpture. This may imply that they do not see colors, having monochrome vision.
The god-alien 'Engineers' in the movie "Prometheus" (2012) by Ridley Scott look almost exactly like Bakker's Nonmen.