Kithras

Average Lifespan: 500 years
Average Height: 5 – 6 feet
Average Healthy Weight: 75 – 200 pounds
Pregnancy Duration: 5 months

Fiercely intelligent and extremely adaptable, the Kithras have carved out a section of Valindir where they have not only survived, but flourished. While the rest of the world may see them as only charlatans and tricksters, it is a gross misunderstanding of their culture and way of life, as any Kithra will tell you. Pride and honor are the lifeblood to the Kithra people; they simply hold a different set of values and ideals about life and how it should be lived. They are a people seeped in ritual, history and a rich culture that only in recent years has the rest of the world had the pleasure of experiencing. Their expertise as craftsmen of various mediums and their brilliant knowledge of business has begun to make them one of the more lucrative countries, and they are quickly gaining in economy and even tourism. While the Malawi Tribe has embraced this openness with the outside world, the Twalaki Tribe has become even more closed off and isolated.

Physical Characteristics

The Kithras are a varied race of people, with no two ever looking exactly identical. Most stand anywhere from five to six feet high, measured all the way to the tips of their ears that rest atop their head. They weigh about seventy-five to two hundred pounds on average, but most tend to try and stay on the thinner, sleeker side when they can. Their skin is covered in a soft, silky coat of fur that hugs their frame, save for a few family lines that have a fluffier coat. It is a point of pride among the Kithras to keep ones fur combed and clean, and while they do enjoy showing off the wide array of colors in their coats, they still have a sense of modesty and wear clothes like anyone else. Most have become at least passable tailors, as they find they often have to cut a hole for their tails in clothes that come from outside of their country.

Their faces, much like the rest of their form, are very cat-like, as that is the creature that their creator drew her inspiration from. They have either a pink or black nose that rests in the center of their face that is surrounded by sets of whiskers. Within their mouths is what some consider small fangs, just like a cat would have, as well as sharper finger nails along their hands. Their eyes have a slit instead of a normal pupil that contracts wide in the darkness, making them see easily in dim places. Their eyes are normally gold, green or blue, but occasionally silver and violet have emerged, but it is considered a rare sight to see someone with them. They also have a full head of hair that they keep and maintain as well, and many of them braid it with ribbons and even jewels when they need it to be kept out of the way.

History

Imala, the Goddess of Fate, was the goddess behind the creation of the Kithra race. Because of her reoccurring visions of Al’Drenra and the chaos that was to come, Imala traveled with her creations constantly. It was because of this that the race developed some of its more nomadic traits whose echoes can still be seen in their culture today. It was Shasienta who tricked them into the war when he convinced Faelcor to litter the bodies of dead cats and kittens in their wake. It was a clear call to war that the Kithras gladly accepted. To this day, the Kithras harbor a special hatred for the race that they see as her offspring: the Centaurs.

After the Elements returned to power, the Kithras were able to secure a diplomat in the Assembly in Isavra. It was not without resistance though, as the Dwarves saw them all as tricksters and thieves that were not to be trusted or given rights in Valindir. They began recruiting from the other races and the Kithras accused them of planting evidence against them, calling for the Dwarves to be removed from the Assembly. It was the Talmori and Alubra that stepped in behalf of the Kithras and offered a compromise.

The original dispute had been over the territory bordering what is now Danzibar and Bröndólfr. The Dwarves didn’t want to share a border with the Kithras, and the Kithras could not share a border with the Centaurs in fear of another war. The Alubrans offered to take the western section of the Khabren Mountains and their lands would act as a buffer between the Dwarves and Kithras. The Talmori would then inhabit the Hashena Forrest where they had originally lived, and the Kithras willingly gave this land to them as thanks for defending them in the Assembly. Since then, the three races have enjoyed peaceful negotiations, even after the Assembly was disbanded, and the friendship between them has continued to this day.

Culture and Religion

The Kithras culture is one revolving about two main ideas: profit and reverence. The Kithras as a whole are a culture of doing things for an overall purpose; a gain either in one’s personal or financial life. They take great pride showing off what they have accomplished in their lives, and often show outward signs of their wealth. Many mistake the culture as revolving solely about money, but this is a misunderstanding. The Kithras see money as a means to acquire things that one wants, nothing more. It is a waste to them to horde money for no reason and they often buy themselves lavish items frequently. It is a culture of indulgence, but not in excess, for to become lazy is seen as a disgrace.

One of the traditions that many outside the culture find strange is that of polygamy in the Kithra culture. While most only have one spouse and stay with them monogamously, there are those that have multiple wives or husbands. The head of this family is called the Quintal, meaning “prominence” and often takes three to five spouses at any given time. It is seen as the ultimate sign of success and wealth for a man or woman to have enough steady income not only to support one spouse, but many. These men and women love and care for each one of their spouses, and to show favoritism to one spouse and not the other is seen as abhorrent. Many times the wives or husbands of the head spouse will dress in the same attire, only in different colors, symbolizing they are one family and all equal.

There are strict rules and guidelines for Quintals and their spouses that all of them must follow, or else they risk being exiled from Keperu’Rai. Firstly, the Quintal and their first spouse must have been married at least one year before any talk of another spouse can even be entertained. If at that time both parties consent that the man or woman should be the Quintal of the relationship, they both start looking for another suitable mate together. They often times court that person as a couple, going on dates as a group. Both the Quintal and their current spouses must all agree that a person is suitable to become another wife or husband before a wedding can be preformed. When a second, third etc… wife or husband is added, all the spouses are involved in the ceremony as brides and grooms, and all must pledge themselves to the Quintal, and to the family. While it is illegal for the spouse of a Quintal to marry others themselves, they are allowed to partake of their Quintals other spouses, as the race does not condemn homosexuality, but accept it as normal.

Another different ritual that the Kithras practice is the burial of their dead and the care for those that are spirits about the realm. Long ago, the deserts and mountains that the Kithras dwell in were infested with Devas and Demons. They all flocked to that place, and to this day the Kithras believe somewhere, beyond what can be seen, there is a rift in the spirit realm where all manner of creatures can enter into Valindir. They believe it empties somewhere in Keperu’Rai, and thusly they have adapted customs to combat the destruction, and give thanks for the blessings. It is how the two tribes came to be split; not out of malice or hatred, but out of necessity to practice this way of life. While those in the Malawi are in charge of burying the dead in their obelisk in the Akinat Desert, it is the Twalaki that have dedicated their existence to combating the invasion from the spirit realm that empties into the mountains.

The Malawi are the Kithras that the rest of Valindir will be familiar with, as they are the ones who reside in the desert and trade openly with the rest of the realm. It is the Twalaki that live and travel about the mountains, and wage a constant war on the creatures that live there. Any Kithra may serve in either tribe, as it is not something one is born into, but something one chooses, and can choose to switch at any time without shame. Most Kithras will only serve in the Twalaki for fifty to a hundred years, normally in their youth before they marry, but some couples and even children are members of the tribe. After that, many indulge themselves in the pleasures that the Malawi Tribe offers and live out the rest of their lives in the desert.

For more information on each tribe, please follow one of these links:

Malawi Tribe
Twalaki Tribe

Geography

The Kithras own and control Keperu’Rai, which consists of the Akinat Desert and the Sinwashi Mountains. While the Crescent Road does not touch their lands, in recent years they commissioned a road that runs through Soluma and Bhargreis to connect their lands with the rest of the world for trade. Since then, many tourists and merchants have flocked there, especially to the capital of the Malawi Tribe of Kintaba. Most of the other cities and settlements are small compared to their capital, they generally all specialize in a type of living, whether it be fishing, tailoring, or weaponry. There are also a few groups that specialize in trade between not only the Malawi cities, but with the Twalaki as well. Because of the dangers in the caves through the mountains, many outsiders only ever see the Twalaki capital of Galtenka. It is considered a beautiful sight to behold, as it sits on the edge of an underground lake and is protected by the magical crystals that grow along its walls. Otherwise the rest of the caverns and tunnels are considered extremely hazardous, and few but the Twalaki venture too deep within them.

Relations with Other Races

The Kithras have not been the most open of races until more recent history, but since then have tried to keep friendly trade agreements with several people. Old grudges have died hard however, and the hostility and distrust has continued since then, giving them a bad reputation throughout Valindir with some people.

Alubra – The Kithras have enjoyed a long standing friendship with the Alubra and consider them one of their closest allies. Most Kithras see them as kindhearted, and maybe a bit naive, but otherwise trustworthy companion and a kindred spirit that can understand the pursuit of pleasure and happiness.

Centaurs – The Kithras despise the Centaurs and everything about them, and it has been this way for as long as anyone can remember. It was the Centaurs and their creator, Faelcor, that dragged the Kithras into Al’Drenra and cost them countless lives that can never be replaced. Aside from their bloody history, the Kithras see the caste system as too rigid, and the Centaurs too concerned with shallow ideals than true happiness and fulfillment. Centaurs are seen as violent, stubborn and unintelligent and are avoided at nearly all costs.

Danava – Viewing them as a somewhat arrogant race, the Kithras aren’t incredibly trusting of the Danava, nor do they particularly dislike them either. They see their aquatic neighbors as tentative trading partners, as the Danava enjoy their gems and jewelry, and the Kithras see them at the very least as a way to make a profit for themselves.

Daphinae – Seeing a lot of their same ideals in the Daphinae, the Kithras enjoy their company in bars and sorts, but otherwise the two races don’t intermingle often. The humid rainforests of the Hellios are most unpalatable to the Kithras, and so they don’t often make the journey there unless needed. Otherwise, Daphinae are viewed as perhaps a bit unpredictable, but not incredibly dangerous, at long as you aren’t bothering their trees.

Drakien – Kithras now see Drakien perhaps as misunderstood, but they are not in any hurry to understand them. They have not forgotten the arrogance that their ancestors the Dragons showed, nor the barbarism they are capable of unleashing. They see a potential for them in the future, but for now, they are seen as unstable, temperamental, and something best avoided.

Dwarves – Dwarves are seen as nothing but paranoid liars in the eyes of the Kithras. The two races have been mistrustful of each other since the times of the Assembly, and the Kithras never forgave them for almost removing their diplomat and stealing their lands. They blame the Dwarves for many of the lies that have been spread about them, especially about them being nothing but cutthroat thieves, and to this day, the Dwarves have never been welcome in Kerperu’Rai.

Elves – The Kithras are often bemused by the Elves and their staunch, prim and proper way of doing everything. They see the arrogance displayed and simply chuckle, as they see the Elves as vastly inferior to most races, at least in physical prowess. While they acknowledge their mastery with silk and the two often try and trade, the Kithras have never been quiet about their views on how ridiculous and laughable they think Elven society is with all their rules.

Gryphons – The Gryphons are seen with a mix of respect and pity. While they can understand staying by a close friend, they think the Elves abuse their power. They see the Gryphons as mislead, but with their hearts in the right place. That doesn’t mean they’ll tell that to their face, as they are well aware that a Gryphon is not someone to tangle with.

Humans – While the two may enjoy lucrative trade, that’s about as far as the friendship goes. They have not forgotten that the Humans sided with the Dwarves at the Assembly, and don’t trust a race that is so easily swayed by simple words. They see them as somewhat foolish and impulsive, not investing well in the finances or personal pleasure.

Kren – Avoiding a Kren has been the best policy for a Kithra, not because they hate them, but they cannot stand their way of life. They see them as so closed minded, relying on the hive mentality to make their choices for them. They cannot understand anyone who would willingly live in that kind of an environment, so the two races don’t often interact.

Melrog – The Kithras are fascinated by the Melrog, but that’s about as far as the friendship between the two races go. They are often looked upon with interest when they visit Keperu’Rai, and many will treat them to a drink or dinner, just to see how they act and what they think. They aren’t quite sure what to think of them, as their culture is so scattered, that each Melrog is different from the next.

Minotaur – Seen as a somewhat simple race, the Kithras can respect the idea of doing what makes them happy, even if that is something as trivial as farming. While they can’t understand why the Minotaurs don’t indulge themselves more, they see them as a people worth knowing and understanding, as they have always been accepting of the Kithra way of life.

Mithyrn – Kithras cannot understand why someone would keep themselves locked away for so long, and see the Mithyrn as a little paranoid. That is not to say they aren’t fascinated by them, and in more recent years, the two cultures have struck up trade, and the Kithras have been one of the first to offer some of the Mithyrn trinkets. They have also tried to introduce the people to the pursuit of happiness and pleasure, but it’s been a long process for them, as any Kithra will tell you.

Orcs – Orcs are far too militaristic and concerned with battle for the Kithras to want anything to do with them. They view them as violent and foolish, as they so easily accepted a race like the Centaurs, who they see as nothing but traitors and instigators. Kithras avoid any sort of contact with Orcs, and even built roads around their country so they didn’t have to cross into Lhucrete to trade.

Sidhe – Kithras adore the Sidhe, primarily because of the pleasure they enjoy spreading around to other people. Because the Sidhe aren’t concerned as much with themselves, the Kithras always make them feel welcome in Keperu’Rai, as they always bless their lands with joy and peace. To be friends with a Sidhe is said to be a high honor in the Kithra culture, and that race is always treated well when they visit.

Senai – Originally, the Senai weren’t thought about much by the Kithras, as they don’t contribute much to the outside world anyway. Few have made it down to where the Senai live, but in recent years the two have started to form a tentative friendship. The Senai have assisted in finding hidden sources of waters beneath the sands and the two have started trading goods, as the Kithras find their trinkets fascinating and profitable.

Talmori – The Talmori have been a dear and close friend of the Kithras for many years, and the two races enjoy a peace and prosperity together. While the two cultures are incredibly different, there is a mutual respect for one another, and the Talmori are always treated well when they visit Keperu’Rai. A few of the Talmori have even served in the Twalaki Tribe, and have lived as a Kithra there before retiring back to Bhargreis.

Language

The Kithras speak Yasei, which is actually the ancient language of the Alubran people. It is said that after Al’Drenra, the Kithras were so moved by how beautiful the speech was they adopted it as their national language. This was done in thanks to the Alubra, and also because they could barely piece together their own language anymore because the dialects had gotten out of control and no one could understand each other.

Names

Choosing a name for a child is an important ceremony in the Kithra culture. When a child is born they are brought before a priest or priestess and blessed in the name of the Elements. Incense is burned and it said that the scent will surround the parents and a name will appear in their thoughts, and that shall be what is passed on to their child.

For help naming your character, the inspiration for their names comes from African/Egyptian influence.

Male Names: Chioke, Runako, Hauhouot

Female Names: Manya, Adebumi, Ainka

Player Difficultly Level

Easy – Kithras are a fairly straightforward race that focuses a lot on the individual and their personal wants and desires. As long as the cultural norms and guidelines are observed, the Kithras are fairly open and accepting to new ideas and lifestyles.

Notes on Role Playing this Race

Many have confused a few points on the Kithras so we’d like them to clear them up here. While Kithras are based on cats, they do not act just like cats. No Kithra would lick itself clean, nor do they have an aversion to water. In fact, they love taking hot, luxurious baths to help clean their fur and skin. They also do not have paws like a cat does, but have a five fingered hand complete with an opposable thumb and five toed feet. They also don’t have retractable claws on their hands or feet, but nails that tend to be harder than some of the other races, leading them to sharpen them to points and use them as crude weapons in an emergency.

They do not hunt the Alubra because they are based on birds, nor do they fear the Talmori because they are based on dogs. In fact, those three races share a close bond and friendship with one another that dates back to the days after Al’Drenra.

To call a Kithra “kitty” or any other feline name would be taken as an insult, as they do not see themselves as cats. They also don’t behave just like cats, and don’t go into heat or anything like that. Their appearance was simply inspired by that animal, and that is as far as a cat is like a Kithra. Calling one of them kitty would be like calling a human a hairless monkey.

All Kithras are not sneaky thieves, and shouldn’t be played as such. Many of them would be highly insulted to be called a thief, and therefore wouldn’t tease or joke around about it, nor would they take it as just a joke if someone made that claim. To the Kithras, its nothing but slanderous lies and rumors, and the vast majority of them make an honest living without the need for theft.

Posted July 5, 2011 by Evoru

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