The Kharajyr, or simply Kha, is a race of digitigrade humanoid creatures sharing many biological traits with that of felines.
- 1 Physical Attributes
- 2 History
- 3 Subraces
- 4 Language and Accent
- 5 Culture
- 6 Appearence
- 7 Courtship Initiation
Kha are covered from head to toe in fur with hair colour depending on one of the four subraces: the Kha'Pantera, a black-furred sleek being with a history in mastering the art of stealth; the Kha'Tigrasi, with its fur pattern being that of a tiger's, this Kharajyr is notably the more muscular, broad and tall; the Kha'Cheetrah, the smallest and fastest of the Kha with a light spotted coat; and finally the Kha'Leparda which is the jack of all trades but master of none, being the average on all Kharajyr aspects. The Kharajyr are the creations of the Daemon Metztli, and are the result of many failed experiments when the Daemon combined the being of humanoids with Ocelots - despite this, the Kharajyr as a culture fiercely worship the Daemon as a Goddess.
Although varying between individuals Kharajyr of both sexes reach maturity at around 15 years old. Prior to reaching maturity young Kha’s are referred to as “kittens”. They act halfway between a real life kitten and a human child, often being highly playful and disobedient. Upon turning 15 kittens are required to complete a trial of adulthood, after which they will be granted the title of “Si’/Sa’/So’’”. Until the trial kittens are not permitted to hold titles.
After reaching maturity Kharajyr age very little until they reach the age of around 130. At this point, the aging process begins to rapidly take its toll and by the age of 150 most Kharajyr will die. There are a number of notable exceptions to this, such as those who have been particularly blessed by Metztli may live well beyond the expected lifespan of a Kharajyr.
Note: Some information below is derived from in-character beliefs and legends.
The creation story of the Kharajyr is one not bound in tomes, nor found on any shelves. It is held within the minds of those scholars who are called madmen, who are denounced and forbidden to speak. These men are the wisest, and yet, they suffer the worst fates.
The legend goes that in the dark times, during the world’s infancy; a time few believe existed and Aenguls & Daemons roamed freely, there was an old wives’ tale. They spoke of a Daemon, one who had an affinity for stealing babes from the cribs in the recesses of the night and leaving no signs of the coming. It wasn’t an isolated tale, however, it was known to many; springing up sporadically whenever a child disappears without explanation. In spite of this, few knew the truth. Under the cover of stars, the Daemon Metztli would visit lonely farmsteads, called by the scent of infantile blood, and she would whisk away the children straight from their beds.
Legend has it that Metztli’s form was so beautiful; those adults who looked upon her were driven mad and tore their eyes from their sockets. Fearing and denying the truth, elders would attribute this phenomenon to the intense grief the parents’ experienced rather than anything otherworldly. The truth behind the disappearances unfortunately does not end with the children vanishing. The aftermath of these kidnappings were much more gruesome and horrifying.
These children were taken far away, to an undiscovered land in the mists of the oceans. This island was of untold beauty, giving life to incredible varieties of flora and fauna; a paradise of Metztli’s own creation. All that was missing was sentiency, Metztli needed a master race. The ocelots that called the island their home were taken by Metztli, and in a series of horrifying, magic-ridden experiments, were crossed with the infants. It took centuries of perfection and tweaking, hundreds of hideous failures discarded into the ocean, Metztli at last created a single, white, humanoid ocelot. This was the first of the Kharajyr, the father; he of the purest blood.
Metztli was immediately filled with a maternal need to protect this child, to nurture him, and bring him and a new race of his kind into being. After all, she had created what she deemed to be perfection. She desperately tried to recreate this perfection, but could never achieve the same beauty as the original. Nevertheless, she brought about many more creations, spawning a species until they could sustain themselves. When her children had matured, she knew (as any caring mother would), that it was time to depart the island paradise and leave her children to thrive alone.
Although the Daemon’s true intentions for the creation of these people were never revealed, it has been speculated that she wished to recreate the form of a lover who was stolen away from her. Others say she wished to grant the world a race of beings in her own image, and still others suggest Metztli wished only to play God and nurture other living beings.
The Early Kharajyr
Generations passed, and the Kharajyr survived in their jungle paradise. All was not well however; Metztli felt neglected by her children, and desired them to show their gratitude. She was benevolent towards them, after all, she had not given them any indication towards her existence, so she gifted them signs, guiding them to the knowledge of their creation. These signs were unraveled and interpreted by the Kharajyr sages, and her people accepted her as their creator and divine ruler. They raised majestic temples in her name, and the order of Priests and Priestesses came to conception, those devoted to her worship.
However, all good things come to an end. Xerdun’s patta (father) believed himself to be far greater than any other being, his dominance absolute. His arrogance was to be the downfall of the Khalenwyr Empire. Xerdun did not miss this arrogance, and he ultimately slew his patta, but the damage was done. Metztli would teach her people a harsh lesson. The mountain around which their capital city was created had been a volcano, and in a torrent of fire, the civilization was annihilated. Kharajyr desperately scrambled onto boats and sailed West, never to see their island again, but with a newfound respect for their Goddess. Sacrifices and ceremony became an integral part of society once again, and Tla’Xerdun views the volcano as a personal warning not to follow in his patta’s footsteps.
Va’Khajra, as the new island would come to be called, started off very plain. However, with the effort of ever Kharajyr, it flourished into a small village, temple and palace sprouting from the sands. However, there was more to this new land than they thought: they were not alone. A Kharajyr by the name of Miian was kidnapped in the ‘Mainland’ by a force foreign to the Kha’. Tla’Xerdun brought all Kharajyr that could fight and trailed in on the location of the kidnappers. When the Kharajyr reached this location, they found sentience. The Orcs made a deal: The Kharajyr could have Miian back if they could defeat them in a klomp, a form of orc combat. Unfortunately, the Kharajyr lost. Tla’Xerdun was forced to make a deal with the orcs to prevent the death of all of the Kharajyr, however, a term to this deal unknown to the Kha’ was that they could not bring Miian home with them.
After months, scouts of Kharajyr were sent to mainland to search for more answers on these new creatures and Kharajyr reacted violently because of the other races reaction towards Kharajyr. The empire was fully built and the Va'Khajrian Empire had risen. During this time, tragedy struck. The Emperor, Xerdun, believed himself to have seen Metztli in a dream, telling him to throw himself from the temple and that she would catch him. When he did so, he discovered the truth: her arms were not there, not in this life. She would only embrace him in the next.
The population of the Kharajyr decreased after the ‘suicide’: some lost faith, some died, and some just went missing. They had become acquainted with the ‘apes’ of the mainland by this point, and Metztli decided she needed to help her people. Through a painful, terrible transformation, one Kharajyr, Tiazar, had every last tuft of his fur fall out in bloody masses, only to regrow in a pristine white. Here was the new Tlatlanni. Yet still the numbers decreased, threatened as the Kha’ were by the Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs. The Kharajyr continued their attitude towards the apes, annoyance and violence, until the orcs decided to punish the Kha’ for not carrying out the terms of their agreement so long ago.
Small parties were the first to try and take on the Kharajyr, and twice the Kha’ succeeded in driving them off. Sadly, the final blow was coming. While the Kha’ were weak, scouts informed of the orcs plans to perform a total strike. Instead of fighting, the Kha’ ran. Tla’Tiazar ordered them to flee the island, few Kharajyr survived, sheltered with the High Elves who they had encountered during the Blood Moon ceremonies. The year was around 48. Va’Khajra had fallen.
The Dark Ages of the Kharajyr
By Tla’Tiazar’s commandment, the Kha’ had fled from the Empire and had spread across Asulon. These were dark days indeed, and many fell into the ways of other races. As such, the word apekha’ was formed, a Kharajyr that has abandoned the ways of the Goddess and of the Kha’. All was not lost, however. Tla’Tiazar appeared from the shadows, ordering any Kha’ still loyal to come to Holm and form an army to take land. Once some land had been conquered, more Kharajyr returned to the ways of the past, making reparations for the past.
Tiazar was old by this point. He gave up hope in his ability to lead, his faith fading, and at this point, his fur yet again fell from his body, growing back in as the original Tigrasi he was. Of course, a new Tla’ had to be chosen. This time, it was of the blood of Skar and Kizena, their per (son) Morthawl. He made agreements with the race known as the Mori'Quessir, and they invited the Kharajyr to live nearby to them in a jungle that was grown by the druids of the place. This became their new home Xer'Tlaasu (A forest in the dark caves built with wooden and stone dens. Bridges acrossing from trees to trees, with a new temple in their new land.)
New Aelkos accompanied the new Tlatlanni, and the Kharajyr population grew. After the passing of his mother, the Tlatlanni met a female that he was certain had to be a send from Metztli herself, by the name of Sathera. They became mates, and for a long time things were good. A scandal struck, however, in the form of a Cheetrah known as Sahra, former apekha’. A tryst formed between Sathera, Sahra, and Morthawl, which resulted in only unhappiness. Eventually, the fall of Asulon came. The storms that rocked the land forced the Kharajyr to the Cloud Temple just like the others, and Sathera stayed behind. The Kha’ were off to a new land.
Kalosian and Elysian Kharajyr
Upon reaching the two islands, Kalos and Elysium, the Kha’ were met with opposition immediately. They had to scramble for land, and managed to achieve just that, an encampment made a few miles north of the original docks. This didn’t last long, however, as orcs posed trouble for the Kha’ yet again. They fled from the encampment, and ended up quite a ways west, over the mountains. Then they did what the Dwarves do. They burrowed, digging into the mountainside and forming dens inside of the mountain, a small settlement but a settlement nonetheless. This served them well for a time, in fact, the Kharajyr managed to fight off the orcs using ballistae.
However, as is commonplace with the Kharajyr, they did not stay in one place for long. Eventually, they moved back to where they felt most at home: a jungle island, this one part of an island chain known as Kalos. They built up a small town here, and at this time, Sahra, the Tlatlanni’s metz’al, brought into the world two white cubs: Vyallu and Rynsuho. There was much rejoicing, but again, it could not last. The orcs came, storming that land and razing everything, flames going up everywhere. Fatalities were high in number, and shame much higher at the Monk resurrection camp among the Kha’.
These lands did not last as long as Asulon did, before long, storms chased the people from Kalos and Elysium, to a new world known as Anthos.
Upon finally reaching the land known as Anthos. The kharajyr quickly scrambled to another island paradise, known as the island of Karakatua. A few years past and the land had been occupied by some Kharajyr for ages: they had constructed a mighty citadel and only had to wait for the rest of the Kha’ to arrive. And arrive they did, to a new island, and new empire: Karaktua. Upon their new island, this time, respecting and utilizing the volcano for sacrifices rather than fearing and avoiding it, the Kharajyr thrived. They had much better protection, for war machines could not mount the sand outside their walls without sliding, and ballistae could be seen in various places. It was in this place that the new age of priests came about as well: a magical resurrection, the ancient Sage Natayshi teaching the Priestess Ja’Sahra and the Priest Ja’Dato the ancient ways: Muun'Trivazja. They would go on to teach more students, and thus the revival of the ways of the ancient Kharajyr.
To be added: Alliance with Dwarves and became a state under their empire, only to find out they were being used. Offer by humans but diplmacy failed when Oren fell. Kharajyr leave island after it got trapped in time. Settled close to Orcs, but Kharajyr left after aggression by them. Took over old Druid tree near new cloud temple location. Relocated to temp map, and settled with the High Elves. Told by The Traitor to not go to the new lands, Kharajyr was pulled in time by Natayshi to get a message by Metztli of this promised land and what will happen to the land they are in (freeze/winter). Moved to New lands. Zeriko encountered ruins of the sun god, he spreads the message he was given and formed a rebellion. It fell to emptyness, Zeriko exiled.
The most generic of the four subraces, the Leparda has not been seen to excel particularly in one specific area, but are more likely to practice in multiple. They are a light brown colour and have many spots covering their fur, or sometimes rings.
The Cheetrah is fast and tends to be more golden in colour in contrast to their Leparda kin. They also have spots spread amidst their fur, but find themselves to be far more formidable sprinters, or even climbers. Notable Kha'Cheetrah have mostly been warriors or hunters. However, there has never been a single Kharajyr whose occupation was bound by their subrace alone.
The most intriguing to look at, the Pantera are the only Kharajyr to naturally and normally carry a black or dark fur colour. This Kharajyr is noted for its capabilities in stealth and thievery, considered the best among the subraces.
Perhaps the most mighty of all of the Kharajyr, the Tigrasi is known for it's strength in battle and in pride. No other Kharajyr can naturally match the capabilities of a fully fledged arsenal that is the Tigrasi.
Language and Accent
Although Kharajyr do have an ancient language, many have forgotten it. Some have relearned it from the sages, but not many. In spite of this, there are still some words that all Kharajyr know:
Patta – Father
Munna – Mother
Muuna – Moon mother (Metztli)
Metz’al – Life mate/spouse.
Bunn – Wife
Munn – Husband
Per – Son
Maut – Daughter
Per’ta – Brother
Mau’na – Sister
Sa’vi – Hello/Goodbye
Mul’ta – Thank you.
Tra’kul – You’re welcome.
As to the accents of the Kharajyr, they sound out the words very similar to how they are spelled, rather than how they are normally pronounced, and they will often include ‘w’s and double up on ‘u’s in order to give it a more organic and tribal feel. They all speak in third person, addressing themselves by their own names, or an appropriate pronoun. For example, a Kha named Do'Kuta may say, “Do’Kuta dawssa nawt appruv uffa yawr akshuns” (Do’Kuta does not approve of your actions).
Prefixes of Kha’ Social Statuses
A Kha’s social status is expressed with a short prefix prior to their name. These are considered a form of title, earned honorably and granted by individuals of higher power. Upon any formal meetings, they are required to be used. For example, a High Aelkos would be prefixed with Tul’ before their name. So, a High Aelkos Kha’ named Rajir would be referred to as Tul’Rajir.
Kharajyr who carry the incorrect prefixes or pretend to maintain one when not meeting criteria are highly frowned upon, and in extreme circumstances may be identified for sacrifice. Prefixes also determine a Kha’s position in society, identifying how much authority they hold.
High Aelkos = Tultelkos (Tul’), Varkolu (Var’), or Aluhuso (Alu’) The individual that carries these prefixes are the High Aelkos of the Kharajyr. They lead above the Aelkos, the tribe leaders and Inner Cabal members. Holding ultimate authority, only these individuals determine which Kharajyr may become an Aelkos, and will serve as their leader. This Kha’ is the most respected in the culture. The varying prefixes refer to the particular aelkos of the trio with the Tultelkos as the military leader, Varkolu as religious, and Aluhuso as the economic related high aelkos.
Aelkos = Ri’[Name] -- Pride leader or Inner Cabal member The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are one of the Kharajyr pride leaders or select few in the Inner Cabal by the High Aelkos. Responsible for maintaining entire prides, an Aelkos has one of the more difficult positions of power. Acting as advisors for the High Aelkos above them, they inform them of happenings in the world and the standing status of the people in their tribe. Only the High Aelkos may grant or strip an individual of the title of Aelkos, and only the High Aelkos maintains higher authority.
Priest/Temple Guards = Ja’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those who maintain temples as the head figure or as a temple guard. Assigned by an Aelkos or High Aelkos, a priest is one who leads all rituals, sacrifices, annual events and maintains the spiritual health of a pride’s population. Their wealth is a good indicator of their greed, causing many good priests to be poorer than other Kha’. Regardless, they maintain the highest authority beneath an Aelkos.
Warriors = Do’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are identified as skilled warriors which should be treated with great respect. Akin to a knight, these individuals are noble Kharajyr who have behaved honorably in battle, have acquired and expressed finesse in warfare or are considered skilled battlefield commanders. Any High Aelkos or Aelkos are permitted to grant this title to a Kha’.
Artist/Writer/Creatives = Ji’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those of a creative mind. Typically obtained by artists, writers, chefs, dancers, tailors or skilled craftsman including art in their work, this title identifies an individual of great cosmetic talent. A Kha’ may only obtain this title by creating and gifting their work to an Aelkos or the High Aelkos. If they enjoy the work, the title will be granted. If it is not, their work will be returned and they may attempt again after the annual new year.
Doctors/Healers/Surgeons = Dra’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those who are skilled in the art of aiding the weak & ill. They are gifted in their craft and maintain a wealth of knowledge of anatomy, ailments and their cures. Often, doctors will clothe themselves in white linen to represent their role and purity in regards to filth. A Kha’ will receive this title by a peer when they are decided proficient.
Merchants = Ka'/Ki'/Ko’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those with a silver tongue. Capable of bartering for great amounts of wealth or maintaining large companies that power the industries of Kha’ society are granted this title by an Aelkos or High Aelkos.
Adults = Si’/Sa’/So’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are your typical adults, and will be encouraged to obtain a job. 1.9 Kittens/Cubs = S’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this title are children. All Kharajyr will maintain this title at their early stages of life and may not obtain another until they are an adult.
Wizards/Mages = Jo’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are considered magic users. Any Kharajyr may carry this title, so long they maintain the ability to connect with the Void and cast magic.
Elders = Yhl’[Name] The Kharajyr that carry this prefix is your common elder. It is an optional title, and typically is only held if a Kharajyr has no greater position in the society. Considered a “retirement” title, it is often held by those who no longer seek work or (more importantly) are unable to work. A Kha’ aged 450+ will commonly hold this title. An Elder holds great respect, and are required to be respected for their commitment to the society.
Yancuic Xihuitl: Loosely translated to “New Years”, this festival is exactly what it sounds like – a celebration of the passage of a year, and the start of a new. It is observed by the entire Kharajyr culture nine days before the Spring equinox and occurs always at night, concluding at moon-high or midnight. Celebrations consist of ceremonial dances to the beat of drums, visually fascinating not only for their antiquity but also their colorful folk costumes. During which, seeds are presented as offerings to an altar or moon pool for blessings of bountiful harvests. Ocotes (pitch-pine candles) are lit in the surrounding area and they produce a highly flammable and aromatic resin which is collected for a flag burning. At the close of the celebrations, the flag burning will occur alongside a fireworks show; the flag, designed to represent the previous year and the accomplishments of a tribe in that time will be soaked in the ocote resin and burned within the moon pool or over the altar. During this, the Kharajyr will strike seashells or obsidian glass chunks together for noise and cheer for the opening of a new year – a clean slate.
Phase Ritual: This ritual occurs annually in various tribes on any date deemed necessary. The purpose is to determine the acquired phase by an individual -- explaining what exactly their alignment is based upon their birth.
The ritual always occurs at a moon pool or altar at midnight, although only on an overcast night of a full moon. It is determined by the priest when to initiate the ritual, typically when cloud cover is thick and moonlight is not visible. The Kharajyr in question will sit within a rock salt drawn crescent, facing away from the crest and towards the basin of the crescent shape, which will look towards the altar or moon pool. The priest will then light candles at the crescent’s two vertices.
Thereafter, the Kha’ in question sitting cross-legged in the crescent will attempt to enter a state of meditation, focusing their mind on the hidden moon above them. This will most often be an attempt to connect themselves -- psychically -- with the phase they are attached to. Not always will this result in the proper phase, as it is only believed by the priests to be a tried and true method.
Once the Kha’ has entered this state, they must remain so until the clouds part and moonlight shines down upon them. Then, the priest will blow out the candles and pull the individual from their meditation. Granted their new phase, this Kharajyr will then be blessed by submerging in the waters of the moon pool or by an offering of silver to the altar. They are then sent to their new mentors to learn the ways of what they shall become.
Although this form of courtship and marriage is typically only followed in the wealthier class, that does not prevent lower class Kharajyr from using it, nor does it force upper class Kha to follow it. No Kharajyr is forced to take an oath of solitude, not even the priests and priestesses of the Temple. In fact, all Kharajyr are encouraged to love. Kha are not feral creatures, they have risen above the basic "grow, reproduce, die" instincts. In fact, they have developed intricate tasks to follow these instincts. When a male Kharajyr falls in love, he will court the female with gifts and hunting trophies to show his prowess as a male. If the female shares a smile with him, he will speak to her. After years of conversation and courting, when the two have become intimate friends and have grown into proper adulthood, the male Kharajyr must give a ring to the female's father in order to show that he is suitable to marry her.
If the father likes the work of the male Kharajyr, he will grant them permission to marry, and a wedding will occur similar to that of many other races, containing the oaths and other such rituals. However, it will often also contain a sacrifice captured by the male to show the meaningfulness of the ceremony. To consummate their marriage, it is customary for the newly wed pair to bathe in the waters of the Temple, the sacred pool of Metztli.
There is an aspect of the Kharajyr romance system known as the metz’al. A rough translation of the word would mean "life mate", and that is exactly what it is. Kharajyr are quick to call their mate metz’al, and, if they spot someone destined to be their metz’al, they often identify one another upon first glance.
Kharajyr CAN NOT REPRODUCE WITH DESCENDANTS. .
Kha Birth Phases
Kharajyr believe that the phase of the moon a kitten is born under tells what they are destined for in life. To them, there are ten moon phases which assign ten individual traits. The trait the cub is born under is typically what they will excel in, and therefore should be encouraged to pursue in life. However, for a cub to be born on a new or full moon is typically much more rare. Kittens born to a new moon is equally rare, and are almost always the destined leadership within the Kharajyr. Be they destined as an Aelkos, pride leader or a simple military unit commander, the kittens of a new moon are provided great care and mentorship by any leadership raising them. Most young Kha’ will have some kind of mentor who teaches them how to live up to their full potential under their moon sign.
New Moon: The Leaders (Born to lead or trained for positions high in the Kha ranks)
Young Moon: The Creatives/Passionate (Artists, Poets, Storytellers ect.)
Waxing Crescent: The Brave (Soldiers, Mercenaries, Guards, ect.)
Waxing Quarter: The Creator/Crafters (Craftsmen, Smiths, Farmers ect.)
Waxing Gibbous: The Coin (Traders, Merchants)
Full: The Holy (Priests, High Priests, Temple Guards, ect.)
Waning Gibbous: The Merciful (Healers, doctors, medics)
Waning Quarter: The Spoken (Diplomats, ambassadors, entertainers, ect.)
Waning Crescent: The Renegade (Scouts, Assassins, Adventurers, Hunters, ect.)
Old Moon: The Wise (Mages, Scholars, Teachers, ect.)
Phase Anomalies: Unique occurrences with the moon may occur, however. Lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, harvest moons, blue moons and blood moons are many of which that may heavily affect the life of a Kharajyr if born to these phases. While extremely rare, if a Kharajyr happens to be born during these incredible events, their life may be difficult in Kha’ society -- or it may not even begin.
Lunar Eclipse If born during a lunar eclipse, a Kharajyr may be viewed as a curse to the society. Often times, these kittens are quickly sacrificed by priests to appease whatever has become angry with them.
Solar Eclipse If born during a solar eclipse, a Kharajyr may be viewed as a blessing to the society. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Brave and are trained as soon as they are able to fight. Solar Eclipse Kharajyr are viewed as powerful warriors capable of vanquishing any enemy, and almost always lead any war efforts.
Blue Moon If born during a blue moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as one with innate abilities with magic. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Wise and are trained as soon as they are able to connect with the Void. Blue Moon Kharajyr are viewed as powerful mages, and almost always become powerful and intelligent wizards.
Harvest Moon If born during a harvest moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as one with incredible luck in botany or farming. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Creators and are trained throughout their life. Harvest Moon Kharajyr are natural green thumbs and can care for the most difficult of plants in the harshest environments.
Blood Moon If born during a blood moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as incredibly holy. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Holy and are raised in worship. Blood Moon Kharajyr are natural spiritual leaders and are gifted in the art of persuasion.
Arts & Music
Kharajyr art and music are basic but beautiful and easy pieces of creativity to appreciate. Crafted from base materials, art is often beautifully created from stone, paints from crushed plant fibers or animal products such as bone, fur or skins. Artwork is key in Kharajyr society as it decorates every building and often decorates an individual in the form of jewelry or clothing.
Paintings & Statues Your typical Kharajyr painting or statue is frightening to the common man but represents life and death in the Kha’ culture. The passage of time is a facet covered often, as it comes with the transition of lunar phases. Kharajyr depicted in battle or the phases themselves are typical to Kha’ artwork and focus on the face of the Kha’ to express the emotion involved. Hieroglyphics are commonly used in artwork to textually explain the depicted work, especially on stone surfaces where statues may stand. The hieroglyphics follow no language but act as visual aids that can be easily interpreted with deductive reasoning.
Pottery & Glass Blowing Kharajyr also create beautiful pottery from clay and glass. Glass is especially important in Kharajyr artwork as it is one of their finest crafts. Perfection in the art of glassblowing has allowed Kharajyr to create beautiful, intricate pieces of art that closely resemble whatever they choose to shape in the form of glass. This glasswork is often colored to better express their design and may even have other objects situated into the glass for further accentuation.
Music Music is common in Kharajyr culture and instruments are mostly designed to the anatomy of a Kha’. Vocals are highly uncommon, and most music is a voiceless instrumental consisting of woodwind instruments, string instruments, and percussion instruments. Kha’ music is rarely recorded on paper and is highly expressive while maintaining improv as a key to all their musical pieces.
Woodwinds Woodwinds are commonly reedless aerophones (such as the flute) where a sound is produced by blowing across an opening, given Kha’s anatomy does not allow easy manipulation of their lips. These woodwinds are crafted from wood or bone.
Strings String instruments are far and wide, as the Kharajyr can easily play these graceful instruments given their retractable claws. Your more basic instruments such as the lute or banjo are common, while violins are inherited from other cultures and less incorporated in Kha’ music. These instruments are crafted from wood, horse hair or plant fibers.
Percussion Percussion instruments are the most common and are simple drums constructed from wood and animal hide. These drums complement and tie together Kharajyr music. As most Kha’ music is improvised, the aid of the drum is important in creating depth and volume to a piece.
The Death Whistle
The most notable instrument in the Kharajyr culture is a religious instrument, a woodwind flute dubbed the “Death Whistle”. This whistle is commonly blown following the death of a Kharajyr and signifies the opening of passage into time with all other Kharajyr that have passed. This whistle is skin-crawling and terrifying as it emits a howling screech similar to a collection of wailing ghosts. This instrument is incredibly important to Kharajyr war efforts as it is used prior to battles, marking the opening of the passage into time for any Kha’ that perishes in battle. The sound of this whistle is terrifying to an enemy force especially at night, and is a psychological weapon when used correctly. Its appearance is a short wooden flute with a large wooden Kha’ skull crafted onto its end, where the sound of the flute is emitted from parted jaws.
Weapon Decorations Decoration of a Kharajyr’s weapons is also a common, traditional practice. Most weapons are created from bone or wood with flint and glass. Many Kha’ will decorate their weapons with the items of what they kill, even if sentient in nature. For example, a common hunting bow might be decorated with feathers of a pheasant they have killed, or perhaps even the teeth of an orc they have slain. It is indecent to do so across the Kha’ culture, though many individuals adopted this concept after many humanoid races -- humans and orcs in particular -- began to wear Kharajyr pelts as clothing.
Food & Agriculture
Cuisine - Food & Drinks Kharajyr food culture is highly complex as opposed to the rest of their basic, archaic culture filled with ancient concepts. Masterminds with the usage of spices, Kha’ are well-known artisans in the craft of their cuisine and can make the most bland dish delectable.
The Kharajyr diet is dominated by fruits and vegetables, as domesticated animals are often limited to dogs, ducks, and honey bees. Game (especially rabbits, deer and wild pigs), fish, birds, salamanders, algae (used to make cakes), frogs, tadpoles and insects are also a valuable food source. The most common crops are wheat (famously used to make tortillas and tamales or gruel), amaranth, sage, beans, squash, and peppers. Red and green tomatoes are cultivated along with sweet potatoes, jícama (turnips), chayote (vegetable pear), cactus green, and peanuts. The Kharajyr also grow guavas, papayas, custard apples, mamey, zapotes, and chirimoyas.
Kharajyr dishes are almost never created with oils or fats and are either boiled, grilled or baked on a hot plate. Taste is often added using condiments such as sauces or seasoning, which is a staple of Kha’ food production. Examples include epazote, toasted avocado leaves, achiote seeds and, of course, peppers either fresh, dried or smoked. Two other popular flavors for the Kharajyr are vanilla and chocolate, sourced from vanilla beans or cocoa beans which are highly cultivated.
Vanilla or cocoa beans are fermented, cured and roasted to draw out richness in their taste. Ground into powder and mixed with hot water or milk, cocoa bean powder can create a delicious drink famous to Kha’ cuisine: hot cocoa -- a warm, frothy drink. Bitter to taste, it is often flavoured by adding vanilla, various herbs or honey. Commonly in Kha’ culture are the esteemed cocoa beans even exchanged as a form of currency in trying times when Minas are few and far between.
Other popular drinks, although consumed in great moderation, are pulque and pozolli fermented from wheat dough or acacia sap. Given alcoholic consumption is punished in Kharajyr society with the death penalty, it is rarely consumed -- especially given moderate levels of alcohol are detrimental to a Kharajyr’s health.
Agriculture To maximize yield, Kharajyr take extra measures in their agriculture. Commonly, Kha' will utilize terracing to increase the area at which farmland is used. Irrigation is also implemented, and in larger established tribes with independent settlements, large-scale projects are unveiled to create artificial basins and dams to irrigate fields.
More commonly, the Kharajyr utilize a technique known as chinampas to artificially flood a field. Crops are also fertilized using a combination of sludge dredged from sewage canals or ports used for waste disposal. Despite all measures, crop yields can be significantly reduced by unfavorable natural events such as excessive rain, snow or crop plague by pests such as rodents or insects. Accordingly, Kharajyr will stockpile grain reserves as many other races do for the destitute in these trying times.
All manners of foodstuffs are cultivated, to include non-food crops such as cotton and tobacco. Tobacco is a staple alongside cactus green which is incorporated in dishes as well as for recreational smoking. Smoked in a pipe or rolled into a cigar, tobacco and cactus green are two highly common crops Kharajyr tend to produce. Catnip is a third, although far less cultivated and heavily frowned upon to use as it induces manic episodes and incredible lethargy in a Kha’.
Kharajyr sport consists primarily of an archaic form of basketball, more commonly known in the real world as Mesoamerican Ball, although as Kharajyr ball in the LoTC universe. This game is played similarly to a combination of basketball and American football, although teams consist of 3-4 Kharajyr at most while adorned in their team colors. It is played with a round solid rubber ball, which in itself could be used as a weapon; the ball is known to cause broken bones when thrown with the intent to cause harm.
Rules dictate that a Kharajyr must not allow the ball to touch the ground at any point. Hand-tossing is utilized, and a Kharajyr must not maintain hand contact with the ball for any longer than two full seconds or it will be determined a foul ball. Passing the ball around between teammates is key, and the team must avoid the opposing one and disallow them to capture the ball. Once in-range of the goal, a side-ways stone hop attached to a wall, the team in control of the ball must shoot and pass it through the hoop. If successful, they gain a point. A game is won by a team at 10 points.
Rewards from this game could be money, food, clothing, weapons, or even titles, and the recognition to speak before the tribe while they are gathered at the playing ground. In more extreme cases, this game might be played by a group of individuals accused of crimes. The losing team is sacrificed, while the winning team is set free and cleared of their wrongdoings. Although this is highly uncommon, it was in more ancient times a standard practice given tribes maintained higher populations.
Game of Ur Also known as the Game of Twenty Squares, the Kharajyr enjoy this two-player strategy race board game as an alternative to the more commonly played games of Chess or Checkers.
The Game of Ur is played using two sets of seven checker-like game pieces. One set of pieces are white with five black dots and the other set is black with five white dots. The game board is composed of two rectangular sets of boxes, one containing three rows of four boxes each and the other containing three rows of two boxes each, joined together by a "narrow bridge" of two boxes. The gameplay involves elements of both luck and strategy. Movements are determined by rolling a set of four-sided tetrahedron dice. Two of the four corners of each die are marked and the other two are not, giving each die an equal chance of landing with a marked or unmarked corner facing up The number of marked ends facing upwards after a roll of the dice indicates how many spaces a player may move during that turn. A single game can last up to half an hour and can be very intense!
The objective of the game is for a player to move all seven of their pieces along the course (shown above) and off the board before their opponent.
The Kharajyr are a humanoid anthropomorphic feline creature race magically shaped from cats and elves by a Daemon, Metztli. This means they are a hybrid of the two species, and retain some (but not all) features of their mixed traits. Kharajyr appear as a biped which is a trait retained from the elves, while their digitigrade legs (as opposed to plantigrade) are a trait retained from the cat, meaning that their legs are jointed differently than that of other humanoids. They also retain the feline appearance with their fur coat, appearing with the texture of a real-world cheetah, tiger, panther or leopard. Other ways they retain the feline appearance is with their tail, pointed and jointed ears, an elongated snout or maw, retractable claws in the toes and hands, and palms in the shape of paws. However, they retained the trait of opposable thumbs from the elves, allowing them the ability to manipulate objects articulately like other humanoids. The feet more closely resemble their feline counterparts, and at the ankle, the Kharajyr retain their feline predecessor’s dewclaw, which can become an issue when fitting shoes or socks.
Kharajyr are typically known to dress in supple clothing in order to keep themselves cooler from the heat. Therefore the common Kharajyr often wears thin, lightweight clothing made out of breathable fabrics. Kharajyr often decorate their clothing with colorful dyes when capable, higher-caste Kharajyr typically adorned with more colorful clothing than lower-caste. Silver or gold trimmings against deep or bright colors are common in the higher castes while lower castes are drab with a collection of natural browns or greens in color.
However, Kharajyr do not typically dye their fur unless for camouflage and war paints. It is heavily frowned upon to dye large areas of fur, especially if to mimic the coat of another subspecies of the Kharajyr. For example, a Kha’Cheetrah dying their fur black to appear as a Kha’Pantera is extremely frowned upon. Notably, Kha’Pantera may find it considerably more difficult to dye their fur, although if with browns and greens the Kha’Pantera can blend into terrain with ease.
In terms of jewelry, Kharajyr tend to decorate their clothing with an assortment of common designs in their culture. This jewelry is often made of silver, a religious symbol given the moon’s color. Other Kharajyr might adorn themselves in gold as a means to exhibit their social status and wealth, but this is in no way an excuse to flaunt with it. They wear necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets made out of these lustrous materials, many adorned with the shapes of lunar phases -- typically those phases they were born on. Glass is also a common theme in Kharajyr jewelry, typically melted to a lustrous metal and shaped into a beautiful work of art.
Body Armor Finally, in terms of military equipment, Kharajyr typically adorn themselves in lightweight padded armor or hard leather. It is rare to find a Kharajyr equipped in metal armor given their restrictive fur coats disallowing the ease of breathability, and heavier armor can cause a Kharajyr to overheat. Only in more Northern climates can Kha’ be found equipped in plate or chainmail armor, although many Kharajyr prefer to wear lamellar armor for its considerably higher mobility, allowing for the Kha’ to retain their agility in battle. Additionally, lamellar armor is much easier for Kharajyr society to produce given its method of production as opposed to solid metal plate pieces.
Although this form of courtship and marriage is typically only followed in the wealthier caste, that does not prevent lower-caste Kharajyr from following it, nor does it force upper-caste Kharajyr to follow it. No Kharajyr is forced to take an oath of solitude, not even the priests and priestesses. In fact, all Kharajyr are encouraged to love. Kharajyr are not feral creatures and have risen above the basic "grow, reproduce, die" instincts of animals. They have developed intricate cultural traditions to abide by.
Around the age of 50 years, a Kharajyr in their society is typically ready to receive suitors. It is customary that open, searching Kharajyr host an informal picnic at dawn following the night of any lunar ritual. If the host has decided upon a future mate, they would extend an invitation to the individual in question. The other Kharajyr is not required to accept, and only accepts should they also see the picnic host as a potential mate. The picnic should act as a “date”, and allows the pair to examine each other’s intentions more intimately.
At the end of the picnic, the host will offer the other Kharajyr a cooked and well-made meal made of (typically caught by the host) fish of any kind as an expression of approval, signifying that the host wishes to continue the courtship process. If the other Kharajyr accepts, the courtship process may proceed.
Some moon cycles following their courtship’s initiation, either Kharajyr may decide to propose to the other. To do so, the Kharajyr must seek out their partner’s closest relative or parental figure, and if none exist, their closest companion (typically a best friend). The proposer will ask for the guardian or companion’s opinion and approval, and should they approve, the proposer may ask the other Kharajyr’s hand in marriage.
Proposal occurs by the proposer offering a self-made ring, typically forged of silver and crested with white quartz shaped to match the lunar phase of the other Kharajyr’s birth. The proposal must occur at midnight on a clear night when the moon is highest and must occur outdoors exposed to the sky. This is to consecrate that the Kharajyr’s ancestors (the stars) may bear witness the initial union of two Metz’al (life mates). Should the proposal be denied, the pair may part ways or initiate again the courtship process.
Before the ceremony, the pair of Kharajyr will begin crafting each other their wedding attire. Male Kharajyr will be crafted (by the opposite partner) a supple deerskin tunic, dyed black (to consecrate a new lunar phase) and decorated with silver trimming and beads. Female Kharajyr will be crafted (by the opposite partner) a supple deerskin dress, dyed white or silver (to consecrate the full lunar phase) and decorated with beads. Wealthy Kharajyr will craft the dress of pure white deerskin, negating the need for dyes. (OOCly, pairs typically exchange persona skins to design the attire for fun) Same-sex couples will wear the same attire, typically with different colors of beads.
A Kharajyr priest is required to be present. The ceremony is conducted outside at night on a full moon and is conducted next to a pond, lake or holy Muun pool. No formal invitation is extended to anyone, and everyone is only invited by word-of-mouth. There is feasting and socialization. The feast will take place on the same blanket the initial picnic was conducted on and will include food items provided by the pair.
Before the pair’s wedding itself, both partners will submerge themselves in the nearby water sanctified by the lunar light above to bless their bodies. Then, the wedding itself may initiate with the permission of the priest. Both Kharajyr will begin facing away from each other beneath the full moon at midnight. The priest will then intertwine and tie the tail tips of the two Kharajyr together, and they will turn to face one another. It is here that the priest says a prayer:
“Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be a companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, But there is only one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into your days of togetherness, And may your days be good and long beneath Muuna.”
With the priest’s prayer and blessing, the Metz’al are then consecrated as one soul in the Kha faith. Following the official union of the Metz’al, the Kharajyr guests will typically conduct a hunt in their honor, and the kill is offered as gifts to the Metz’al. Following this, the Metz’al will honeymoon until the new moon and feast upon the spoils collected.