Entity 12 - "Dunks"
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An artist's rendition of a Basic Dunk.

Entity Number: 12
Habitat: Majority

Description:

Dunks are small, boxy entities, sporting a long trunk that strikingly resembles a human arm. Dunks are well-known for how easily they may be tamed, and how excessively compliant they are towards their owners. Dunks are naturally peaceful in temperament. However, due to their unquestioning obedience towards their owners, tamed dunks will not hesitate to commit acts of extreme violence if commanded. Interestingly, the only exception is the fact that dunks will always refuse to attack anyone with an elderly appearance or age. Dunks also seem to be rather adventurous and are found in a majority of well-lit levels. As a result, they boast remarkable adaptive capabilities.

Behaviors:

Wild Dunks are quite adventurous. They are known to wander large distances, rarely settling in any one area. Though they tend to stay within the bounds of a single level, it is not unheard of for them to wander across multiple levels, leaving clones behind them as they go. Wild dunks are passive in disposition, and will neither attack nor help others. They seem indifferent towards other entities and pay no mind to anything which does not directly bother or endanger them.

Dunks were previously believed to be completely emotionless, but closer examination has revealed that they do experience basic emotions, like most animal lifeforms. However, dunks rarely express what they are feeling. Displays of emotion have only been observed in wild dunks while they interact with other dunks, or in solitude. Tamed dunks never display emotion of any kind, apart from a sense of loyalty to their owner.

Research has shown that wild dunks seem to try to avoid being tamed, avoiding human contact, and trying to run away from anyone who approaches them. It is speculated that dunks would rather live free and undisturbed, and, when tamed, may be forced to obey every order against their will.

Of course, dunks only behave in this manner until they are tamed. Dunks can be tamed by wanderers as well as entities. Simply by tapping the end of their hand-shaped trunk, they may be brought to a state of trust and total acquiescence. Almost immediately, they will begin to physically follow their new owner and will answer to commands no matter the language or if words are even spoken. They seem to have an amazing ability to understand orders, without needing their owner to even speak. Because of this, it is speculated that they have telepathic powers. Despite their subservience, however, dunks do have basic common sense, and will usually ignore any commands that they are physically incapable of completing, or which are generally absurd.

Owners who have accidentally tamed dunks will have no way to disown them other than by terminating the entity or by dying themselves. If a dunk’s owner enters somewhere that their dunk cannot, their dunk will repeatedly hit their head against the object obstructing its path. Sadly, this usually leads to the death of the dunk. Owners who wish to temporarily leave their dunk may overcome this difficulty by placing them in a padded enclosure or commanding their dunk to stay in an area.

Dunks will defend their owners at all costs, even to the point of giving up their lives, unless told otherwise. They can be used to attack others, and seem to show no hesitation, fear, or reluctance, even when told to commit acts of extreme violence. Smarter entities have even been observed taming dunks and using them to attack wanderers, though this is a rare sight. When sent to attack an organism, dunks will normally use their trunk to grab their victims, pulling themselves towards their target. They will then slam themselves against their target, painfully goring them with their sharp horns. While this may seem intimidating, dunks are physically rather weak compared to other entities. They are easy to evade as they are not particularly strong or fast, and can be outpaced with little difficulty. However, their body can be quite heavy, so you are advised not to let dunks put their weight onto you. If you fall over and a dunk sits on top of you, it may crush you or leaves you immobilized and vulnerable on the ground.

The only order dunks have been known to reject is the order to harm anyone with an elderly appearance. Some examples of this are Old Man Facelings or wanderers who look 50 years old or above. It is believed that this behavioral quirk has to do with the way dunks were first domesticated.

When in a new environment, wild dunks will start a process where they intentionally clone themselves, with their clone taking on aspects suited to their surrounding area. This acts as a sort of sped-up evolutionary process, where dunks can adapt to fit into their environment. More information on this process may be found under 'Biology'. After cloning itself, the original dunk will carry on like usual, they will invariably abandon the clone, wandering on to find a more suitable level for themselves. The clone usually stays within the level they are built for.

Biology:

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Artist's rendition of a Basic Dunk.

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Artist's rendition of a Dunk's Muscular system.

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Artist's rendition of a Dunk's Skeletal system.

Dunks are small entities with the appearance of miniature, boxy elephants, having an average height on average of 2.5 ft (76 cm), a width of 2.4 ft (73 cm), and a length of 3.5ft (106cm). They are exceptionally heavy with a weight of 80kg (176 lb); if a dunk collapses on you it will be difficult to pull them off. They have small round legs that provide them minimal mobility. On average, they walk 2 mph (3 kph) and run at top speeds of 5 mph (8 kph). They have a long trunk in a shape resembling a human hand, though this trunk is not as advanced as a human hand and is similar to an elephant's trunk in behavior and anatomy.

Two sharp horns also grow from the top of their heads. These horns are made of keratin and grow over time. They have obtained their unique shape through a strange growing pattern that makes them twist and cross over each other. Wild dunks are known to rub their horns against rough surfaces to shave them down from time to time. Owners of tamed dunks are advised to shave down their horns occasionally, to prevent them from getting too large for the dunk to manage.

Interestingly, because of their passivity, people have been able to scrutinize the overall anatomy of dunks. This has revealed numerous oddities in their physiology. For example, dunks do not have mouths or even a digestive system. Instead, they seem to absorb light in their skin, undergoing photosynthesis like plants to obtain energy. Similarly, though dunks possess a musculoskeletal system similar in most respects to that of normal animals, they have a hexagonal pattern shaping their bones, which mechanically strengthens their signature cube-shaped skeleton. Dunks also have mostly functional muscles.

A dunk's most recognizable appendage is, of course, its long arm-shaped trunk. Their trunk can be used to feel and pick up items. The end of the trunk appears to contain specialized sensory nerves which react to being tapped, and are responsible for producing the biological mechanisms which change a dunk's behavior when it is tamed.

Cloning:

As a species, dunks have also proven to be very adaptable in new environments. They are known to reproduce by cloning themselves, producing forms suited to their surroundings. To clone itself, a Dunk will use a sharp object to tear off a tiny piece of their skin or chip off a piece of their horn. If possible, they will then hide the piece of skin/horn in a safe, secluded area within the level. After several minutes, the biological tissue will reform into a replica of the original Dunk with specific evolutionary adaptations suited to the region. This clone is an entirely distinct organism from the original Dunk, with a different appearance and personality.

Variants:

Variants are the result of the dunk cloning process. Variants usually have a different color, a different personality, and adaptations to suit the environment they were created in. These clones can clone themselves as many times as they want, producing variants with increasingly effective niche adaptations. While most dunks are adventurous, variants with significant adaptational changes (generally speaking, variants resulting from the second or above cloning cycle away from a basic dunk) seem to mostly stay in their own environment and will not purposefully move across different levels. In addition, dunks seem to avoid darker environments because their energy is taken from light. However, some variants have been able to survive in darker levels, usually by absorbing far-red or artificial light.

Each variant is tamable and will behave like any average dunk would in most situations. Some variants include, but are not limited to:

Snow Dunks:

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Artist's rendition of a 3rd stage Snow Dunk.

  • 1st stage clone: This clone has a white or light blue hue and has a resistance to cold temperatures. These clones sometimes have an underside resembling an ice-like color. This variation is found only on levels with ice lakes.
  • 2nd stage clone: This clone has a layer of white fur and, occasionally, loose pieces of skin resembling grass. These clones may wander a bit, but generally like to stay at their level.
  • 3rd stage clone: This clone has amazing resistance to the cold and is practically built for the environment. It will try not to leave its home level.

Field Dunks:

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Artist's rendition of a 3rd stage Field Dunk.

  • 1st stage clone: This clone has a green hue and is a bit quicker than the usual Dunk. They move at a constant speed of 5 mph (8 kph).
  • 2nd stage clone: This clone has loose pieces of skin resembling grass. These clones may wander a bit, but generally like to stay at their level.
  • 3rd stage clone: This clone absorbs much more energy than the usual dunk and can reach speeds up to 15 mph (40 kph). This ability makes them desired by many wanderers.

Stone Dunks:

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Artist's rendition of a 3rd stage Stone Dunk.

  • 1st stage clone: This clone has a dark hue and has learned to absorb Far-red light. This variation will also gain small bumps on their skin resembling pebbles, but generally, this variant is the most simple of the ones listed here.
  • 2nd stage clone: This clone has a thicker skin to resemble a rock. It moves slowly at 1.5 mph (2.5 kph) to conserve energy in darker environments. This variant may also gain resistance to high temperatures, but this depends on the level.
  • 3rd stage clone: This clone has a strong build, but moves at a very slow speed of 1 mph (1.6 kph). They are quite solitary and will actively avoid being tamed by purposely hiding their trunk, but will behave like any other dunk once tamed.

Extra Variants:

  • PlayHouse Dunks:
A dunk that is adapted to stay in childish levels. These dunks are resilient to loud noise but are not very interesting other than their nice hues.
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  • Beach Dunks:
These dunks are adapted to beach-like levels. They are resilient to sunlight and are great diggers. They are noticeable for the single palm tree poking out of their back.
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  • Arcade Dunks:
Dunks that are adaptable to arcade-themed levels. Arcade Dunks have a more playful personality and are slightly faster than their basic counterparts. These clones are known to display more emotion than any other dunk, though this is still a rare sight.
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Discovery:

Dunks have been found throughout The Backrooms for quite a while. It is difficult to identify when exactly they were discovered, but photos and sketches of them have been commonly found in wanderers' journals. There are many carvings displaying them, some have featured unusual traits that the common dunk does not have. The majority of these drawings portray Dunks with mouths, ringed stripes around their trunk, and even with tails. It is unknown why these drawings contain these characteristics, but it is speculated that it has to do with their domestication.

The reason Dunk is domesticated is tied to the story of an elderly wanderer. Rumors would suggest that this wanderer specifically trained Dunks to follow orders. These Dunks would have cloned themselves with adaptations that made them more obedient and caused less trouble for their owners. Such adaptations would include photosynthesis or the taming nerves at the end of their trunks. This would explain why Dunks are so easily tamed, as this attitude would have been embedded in their species ever since they were first domesticated. It would also explain why Dunks refuse to attack anyone with an elderly appearance, as it would instinctively remind them of their original domesticator. Though there is no concrete proof for this, it has become the most popular theory on how dunks developed their subservient nature.

Do's and Don't's:

Do:

  • Slowly approach wild Dunks, to avoid startling them.
  • Allow tamed Dunks time to comply with your orders. Keep in mind that Dunks can be very slow, and be patient with them.
  • Be consistent. Dunks follow specific orders to completion, so they may be confused if you give conflicting instructions.
  • Stay in well-lit areas to feed your Dunk with energy as you travel. Dunks can function in darker areas, but be sure to take them out for a break if they get tired.

Don't:

  • Allow Dunks to put their weight on you, this may leave you immobilized and susceptible to attacks from different entities.
  • Make lots of noise. Dunks may be alarmed and hide their trunks so as not to be tamed.
  • Enter an area your dunk cannot. This may lead to the death of your Dunk.
  • Leave your Dunk unsupervised in the open. Dunks are vulnerable and very easily killed, so make sure to take good care of them.

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