A species of reptilian humanoids closely resembling alligators and crocodiles that stands on average at five-foot-six often with a lean muscular build and a scaled skin showing their ancestry. Elongated legs and arms make them capable of running on land and carrying weapons such as tridents and spears, while their ancestral tale and webbed digits make them agile swimmers. With the exception of a tail and anthropomorphic head with features of either an alligator or crocodile, such as a long snout with raised eyes and a lack of externalized ears, they are humanoid in form.
Reptilian scales cover most of their body, though it does gradually fade into softer scales and eventually skin near the body’s center or the belly of the creature. This vital area is oft one of the few things covered with armor by most Kultharr, even in social settings; it is considered dangerous to reveal one’s softer skin except to those an individual might trust. In wedding ceremonies, for instance, both male and female Kultharr will exposure their soft skin to one another when they embrace at the altar. It is an act to show one’s vulnerability to each other.
Variety and Ecology
The Kultharr are divided into two major camp structures, though their nature allows for further localized diversity, the Ekalion and the Tukor, whom are almost constantly at war with one another. The Ekalion believe-in and often serve the forces of light, believing in the unity of man and all of The Creator’s children, while the Tukor believe in ancient pagan rites and the temple gods of old.
The Tukor often take on the resemblance to crocodiles, with a further elongated snout though thinner at the bridge, while the Ekalion often resemble alligators with a shorter but thicker snout. There are few exceptions, oft leading to racism based on appearance by other races.
Both the Tukor and Ekalion are capable of speaking common trade languages and also of learning other languages, though they will always start with their own language Crol’al. It is a language of harsh consonants, hushed whispers and hisses.
Life and Longevity
The Kultharr female will birth hard shelled eggs which must then be incubated to produce viable offspring. Being cold blooded, this often requires external sources of heat such as a carefully controlled campfire. Most lay between two and four eggs at a time.
The Ekalion are often monogamous, sharing life with one partner, and have even adopted the sacrament of marriage and many parts of a traditional human wedding ceremony. The Tukor however are often polygamous, utilizing harems bred by the leader, shaman or clan warriors. The Tukor do not often recognize marriage and certainly do not respect it. While it is possible for the Tukor and Ekalion to interbreed, it is generally frowned-upon and most offspring of this type do not reach adulthood.
To a Kultharr a long life would be around fifty or so standard years, though violence and sickness keeps many from seeing thirty. They are considered fully mature at little more than twelve years of age.
Religion and Philosophy
The Tukor worship a variety of gods, goddesses and even their shaman or clan leader themselves. This varies from tribe to tribe and is often the direct result of the current shaman’s convictions or the ruin or temple they presently inhabit. The Ekalion on the other hand worship The Creator, espousing the virtue of the path of light and longing for the reunification of all tribes of man and indeed all of The Creator’s creations.
A Divided People
The Kultharr divided themselves along the line of appearance and faith, with the Tukor wishing to remain loyal to their traditional tribal structure and a shaman, while the Ekalion are receptive to learning the ways of others.
Base 8, Vigor +2, Infravision
The Tukor often dwell in old temples and ruins, surrounded by swamplands or in caves near water, preferring a wet environment to those more arid. They are ruled over by a shaman or war chief, who may or may not be friendly to neighboring clans. Often power-hungry and materialistic, Tukor will often look for any excuse to fight and many are known to be sloppy but effective thieves and even sloppier assassins. Inter-clan warfare is just as common as warfare with outsiders, and the winning clan often absorbs the remainder of the decimated clan into its own. Clan alliances are rare but not unheard of, often being formed only out of convenience, such as to expel outside invaders, and never out of weakness.
Each clan will typically have their own set of beliefs, rituals and rites created by or handed-down to the current shaman of the clan. Many are centered upon a caste system: Shaman, Warriors, Gatherers and Laborers. A smaller clan might forgo such formality. Tukor are a largely patriarchal culture, in which most of their beliefs and society are very male-centric. Females are honored though often viewed as important assets, far too important to the survival of a clan to be allowed into the warrior caste.
They will often hunt in parties of between two and six warriors and it is not often you will find a Tukor alone, unless it is a trap. Tukor are often brutal to the point of being animalistic and care little for the pageantry of finer society or the other races; they are often little more than materialistic warriors stuck in a constant struggle for more land and more resources. The Tukor have little use for clothing, often wearing leather or hide armors directly atop of their scaled skin.
Base 8, Virtue +2, Infravision
The Ekalion are opposite their Tukor brethren in many ways, appearing much more civilized and progressive in their adoption of and to outsider culture. Rather than occupy rundown temples or the ruins of civilizations long forgot, Ekalion have adopted the practice of building structures all their own, and often dwell in small villages near a water source such as a swamp, river or natural spring. They have also been known to travel, though never far from water. Often mistaken for their far more aggressive cousins, Ekalion are not welcome in many cities and have been mistreated or even killed because of their close resemblance.
Ekalion social structure is much the same as their nearest neighbors, meaning that regional clans or tribes will often mimic the behaviors of those found around them. It is not uncommon to find a ‘mayor’ of a local tribe or a ‘governor’ of a region. Unity and alliances between tribes is also often common, forming regional networks that allow for safe transit and trade with others.
Clothing is also adopted from nearby allies, with Ekalion sporting much the same palette of clothing and colors than the next village over. Bright colors however are only used for special occasions. Ever the adaptable, Ekalion prefer no specific weaponry and will adapt to what is common to the other races in the region they inhabit. Swords and shields are common, as are spears.