The Kaur - Daemonborn
The battle between the Daemon and the Styarm was most bloodthirsty. The Daemon battled with fiery rage against the Styarm's thunder and lightning. They clashed and the heavens shook. It was as if the heavens and the molten rock below clashed and bled.
That is a part of the tale of the Untold War. This is the beginning tale of the Kaur.
Kaur - Daemon-born
Description: The Kaur stand roughly seven feet tall and are a heavy, full bodied race. Thick of muscle and anger, their skin radiates their inner fire in its darkened tint. Their eyes seem to radiate a slight glow in the dark as if their fury fuels their body from the inside. They wear no footwear as their feet end in three long talon like toes that are rough and capped with claw-like nails. Their hands end in sharp blackened barbs that does not limit their use. They have a short bone like spike the trails behind their elbow and a protruding ridge alone their foreheads that give them a barbaric look which they despise anyone pointing out. A select few carry on their backs connected to powerful muscles, leathery dark wings. Those who are gifted with a pair are a select group in their society and are regulated to positions of power, station, and importance. They become rulers, warlords and generals in their armies, or the highly mistrusted yet accepted Sangoma.
The Sangoma having different features that are common to the other Kaur. They are sleek in nature. Where the warriors and other Kaur are thick of muscle and heavy, the Sangoma are trim and narrow. They stand a head taller than the other Kaur and have full grown horns that grow from the bony ridge from their foreheads that look similar to a rams horn but black and smooth as glass. They still possess the other characteristics their sharpened claws and bone spikes, but they have no wings. And while they are just as adept as physical combat as the rest of the Kaur, they are also skilled in the ways of magic granted to them by their Creators.
History: Born of the blood of defeated Daemons in the Firstwar, the Kaur are the offspring of the dying of hell itself. When the Daemons battled the Styarm for control both sides fought without quarter. Killing was no option, the destruction of body and soul was the only answer. The blood of the Daemons fell to the crust in the mud and earth. The energies flowing through the fallen blood mixed in the sediment where the fires from the battle in the heavens baked it dry. When the ashes fell and the rain came to wash away the bile the dried clay broke and out clawed the first of the Kuar.
They gathered together and traveled west across the mountains to the deserts of the Sea Sands of Ohajar. They took stock of their surroundings and called it home, fighting among the strange creatures that roamed the lands before them. After years of asking who they were and why they were there, a Daemon who called himself Sadael came to them proclaiming to be one of the creators. They refused to fall to their knees and beg for his approval and divine favor, but he struck them down with a simple swat of his hand and struck fear into their cold hearts. He spoke of the other false creators gathering their forces and removing them from their rightful places. How they should gather their people, claim the Daemon as their Gods and wait for the day of Reckoning. He persuaded them more out of force of arm than a willingness to obey.
Personality: The Kaur are a tough people, having lived in the burning sands of the Ohajar. They are bitter, uncaring for weakness, and willing to take what they desire regardless of who had claim in it before. They favor strength over guile and choose leaders for the battles they have won over the land that they control. They are a stubborn people refusing to be pushed in any direction but willing to be advised in a particular direction if it gains them titles or followers.
Culture: All of the Kaur are warriors, down to the children. While they may be small and seemingly without strength a group of six or more young ones can swarm over an enemy and cause lasting damage. They are vicious warriors and take pride that their heritage is one of strength. Rituals of passage and strength run deep within the ages of the Kaur, as each stage in their life they must accomplish something to prove their worth and continue on in a station of worth and power. Before the children of the Kaur can be accepted as adults and worthy members of society they must become a citizen. To do so they must undergo a two part ritual of sorts. First they must go on display in the Court of the Open Sky and stand naked for two days while they are examined by everyone passing by. If something is seen that is not worthy of the people, a deformity, malformed ridges, damaged or poorly grown wings; they are called out as unworthy and cast out from their home banished from their kin and society. The second part is to defeat a worthy foe. Whether it is another Kaur, an enemy of the people, or a large vicious beast; the worthiness depends the honor they receive from the kill. Sometimes, if more than one youth goes on display at the same time, they will choose to fight each other. While this can have its draw backs as the two youths fighting are both unworthy, it is seen as acceptable for overcoming adversity in the face of failure.
When adults attempt to increase their station of power they must publicly announce their actions and call out the member of society in which they are choosing to replace. Once done, the challenged has two days to accept or give just cause as to why they will not defend the challenge. If the challenge is accepted the two Kaur fight in the town square till only one stands. The option of fighting to the death is up to the two fighting as it isn't required, however often times it is still fought to the death as the loser will often retaliate against the winner and if they succeed in killing the other they are allowed to take the position of the loser. To keep the death toll at a minimum, and to stop some from rising to fast, a rule of seven/five years has been established where once you challenge someone, you have seven years before you can do so again and five years before someone can challenge you.
Their society is simple, they have the ruling caste which consists of their military leaders. The ruling cast consists of thirteen members, the Gerent and the Twelve. The Gerent is the high leader, chosen for his or her skills in battle as well as their control over the Twelve. The Twelve is a common name for the Council of Generals, where the twelve families of Kaur have their highest leader present. These Twelve are representatives of their collective families and are chosen in a similar manner as the Gerent, by being the dominant leader of their Kin. They have no set time of ruling and are displaced when a challenge is set forth or one dies. The Gerent is chosen in the same way, as long as they can stay alive and defeat would be usurpers their rein of rule can last for decades. Few do.
The twelve families, or Kin, are separated in their own countries in the Sea Sands of Ohajar. While to the outside world the everlasting and endless sands of the Ohajar seem hospitable, there are small countries prospering within the wastes. They build their cities among the mountainous rock walls, carving them into the stone to give shade of the beating sun. These stone cities are built deep into the crust down where water sits below the surface. There they grow a large leafy plant similar in shape to mushrooms yet very nourishing. As well as these plants they have stocks of animals similar to camels that they groom for eating. Since they are far to large to ride these animals they breed them to eat.
While trading with the outside world is limited, they need little than what they can not make on their own. They are superb metal smiths. Having dug deep into the crust to build their homes, they found rich supplies of metals for their everyday lives, as well as outfitting their soldiers.
Traits: They are strong and sturdy bodied, able to wield weapons despite their claw-like barbs on their finger tips. They can see marginally in the dark but are hampered in complete blackness. They are nearly immune to natural heat, and fire doing little more than irritating them if exposed to it for short periods of time. Their wings are medium in size, not quite covering them from head to lower leg, and look like the webbing membrane between their fingers and toes. They do not allow them to fly but can be used for quick bursts of movement and short spans of gliding.
Relations: They have an odd sense of family where they feel the need to procreate and build large clan like family followings, but care little for it outside of a need to have one. While they spend little time with and think less about their family they will brutally kill anyone who attempts to harm anyone in their family. Once the threat is removed they go back to treated everyone with a dispassionate attitude. While they have a strong sense of bond with family and blood, it does not correspond to allegiance. They will form alliances out of need and necessity but only do so if they result brings them some form of reward.
Religion: They actually have a fear for their creators they call Daemons. They grudgingly abase to them although it sickens them to do so. They refuse to call it fear and will kill any number of city populations if that accusation was spoken within hearing. The have members of their society that are devote in speaking with their Creators and await the day of Reckoning that was told of them centuries ago. It is a fear of what is stronger then they can imagine that makes them worship the Daemons. Though they share the same blood they share an inner rage and refusal to submit yet submitting to their Creators causes them more anger. Anger at the Creators, all of them, and be damned if they will force them to their games but understanding that to do so is futile.
The Sangoma is the spiritual leader of the Kuar, they have one for each of the twelve families. Outside of their kin however no one knows if there is a headman in charge of the twelve Sangoma. They are chosen at birth by signs and portents to choose a life of the shaman of their people. They claim to speak directly to the Creators and are often times at odds with the Twelve and the Gerent with their passages of the Daemon. They are more feared than respected, which makes them all the more hated and despised.
Adraghan – The scaled Creators who rule the skies with fire and might. That is a worthy site to see. Body armor made of their flesh would scare the other Creators into their place, and possibly one of their heads to mount on our wall to scare the others of our Kin.
Daemon – What can be said of our own Creators. We lack the love for them, but that is perhaps because we are of them and share their inner heat. We bow to them as proclaimed. But do not ask to much, as we know the stories of the Untold War from their very own lips. We know they can be brought down.
Faeyi – What is there to say about the one Creator who survived the chaos unscathed? She travels the world in her silence and taking her own council. While we think her weak, we respect her survival.
Shaedow – Disgusting seekers of the dark. They hide in their shadows and holes only to leap out at the weak. Leap at us, we beg. Creator or no, we will see who the weaker is.
Styarm – The enemy of our Fathers are our enemy. Little can be said for them except when the last one falls, we will take our place in the heavens ourselves, and possibly show our Creators the err of their ways.
Tetian – Strength we respect. Even loosing a battle when the odds are against you and surviving, we respect. Hiding and licking your wounds never to seek vengeance, we detest. All those gifts yet the heart of a weakling. Bah, you deserved your loss.
Velkaryes – Of the Creators we dislike them all, but they show the strength of arm and of sarifice. We respect these soldiers of the Gods and desire one day to put forth steel against theirs in battle.
Dracaer – These barbaric scaled beasts are worthy of battle. They say they eat the hearts of their victims to gain their prowess and strength. You will found my heart is no so easily removed from my chest, as it will fight back as well.
Threy – While we respect their Creator in some manner, we have little to say of these weaklings. More of a walking shrub, break them across our soldiers and use their dead for kindling.
Shalari – Savage brutes, near to the dead already. They are not worthy to be called warriors. At least the Dracaer eat the hearts of their enemies for a reason. The Shalari eat their enemies because they are sick. I do not want their blood to stain my steel, but I will gladly do it.
Duavaet – The children of the Styarm. What can be said of those that call themselves the Stormlords? Cast your lightning at me and you shall only hit yourself.
Tuauan – Slow thinkers one and all. Slow to anger and slow to fight. To bad, make one anger and he would bring an entire mountain down on your head. Worthy enemies if they used their strength of arm instead of their heads.
G'rar – The progeny of the Velkaryes. Warriors born from the first scream of life. Worthy to be called enemy, possibly ally if they could ever get over their desire to be protectors of the weak. We shall see.
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? Responses (5)
I like their creation story a lot - they're a by-product, accidental and misguided, yet to find a place in the world.
Where I could see improvement is the following:
> Their appearance is archetypally demonic, yet uniform. I'd expect more variety and perchance a slightly more innovative take wouldn't be bad.
> I'd like to know more about their culture.
> Just curious - why the mistyped Valkyries, Shadows, Dragons (Adraghan = a dragon, yes?), Titans, Fey, Trees, etc.?
Thanks, unfortunately a simple thought for a new race idea turned out to be not only a creation myth but the beginning of the seven races.
As for their appearance, I hadn't really thought of the differences I just hit home on the major look. I had naturally assumed they would have different features but I suppose I narrowed it down a little to much. I'm assuming you mean different looks of the demons. Perhaps I'll add more with different archetypes in the culture.
The different spelling of the Creators was due to the advice and opinion of one of the proof readers, not liking my original names saying to make them a tad different from the norm. The way they were spelled prior was not innovative enough it seemed and took away from the readers experience.
I think these lovable fellers are cool! I like the link to the original creation story. I like the cultural description. I really like their ecological / economic niche. I wondered as I read through this how these creatures lived and what kept them going. But then you brought up their towns in the rock and answered all those pesky questions.
Way more interesting than another Orc tribe. Hooah, thanks!
This is going to turn out to be an interesting setting. I really like the fear they won't call fear aspect of their relationship with Daemons. Very cool. Not much I'm longing for after reading this. They do seem reminiscent of Orcs, now that Dreamer mentions it. Not a bad thing, per se, but I can also see Echo's point about uniformity. You might have just described the archetype a little too well and it makes it easy to picture a horde of these guys with little difference other than height (and maybe wings).
I like this. Good descriptions and an intriguing setting.
I am curious about their physical possessions. What types and styles of clothing do they wear? Does dress denote rank? I think clothing can go a long way toward differentiating them from each other.
Also, what kinds of weapons do they use? Are melee weapons seen as more courageous than ranged ones? Do they wear armor?