Khell

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Khell
Plural: khellin
Scientific Name: draco sapiens terragelatum
Homeworld: Ramath-lehi
Characteristics
Height: 1.8 – 2.4 m (5.9 – 7.9 ft)
Weight: 150 – 250 kg (33 0– 550 lb)
Colouration: Khell are most commonly found in earth tones (resembling dirt, moss, trees and rocks), but may be any colour.

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Creation Notes

Description

Khellin are the oldest subspecies of Pendragon. This ancient and mystical race, known for their exemplary prowess in Machina Technology, Enchanting, Dream Weaving, Jewellery, Smithing, Technical Engineering, Sculpting, Architecture, and Alchemy, are native to the frigid Trilok continent. Originally Khellin were thought to have been born from the frozen mountain earth, as they would often spring forth from their subterranean labyrinthine mega-cities to surprise foes.

Unlike their lithe northern Yki cousins, Khellin have very stocky and muscular builds with small ears and short tails. They are generally larger and weigh more than the average Pendragon due to their bone structure. Khellin have evolved to fit a very specific ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for extremely cold temperatures. They are insulated by several inches of blubber and have superbly dense underfur. Longer guard-hairs (up to 15 cm long for females and 40 cm for males) adorn their arms, legs, and ears, for extra warmth. It is not uncommon for Khellin to shave their fur when visiting or living in warmer climates, as they are prone to overheating in temperatures above 15 °C (59 °F). When exposed to extremely cold temperatures, Khellin secrete special oils which makes their fur even less susceptible to frost. It is these oils that make their fur very soft and luxurious to the touch.

Khellin are highly carnivorous and are unable to survive on a vegetarian diet. They possess large scooped claws which are amazing for digging through earth and ice, and have special molars that allow them to rip apart meat or carrion that has been frozen solid.

Reproduction and Social Life

  • For reproduction specifics, please refer to Pendragons.

Social Structure

Traditionally, Khellin had a caste-based society which consisted of rulers, priests, soldiers, workers, and slaves. The Khellin, unlike the Anubi, completely abolished slavery and sacrificed many of their traditions in order to conform to the more contemporary Ramathian world-view where everyone is entitled to basic rights.

Alpaj: The Alpaj are masters in the trades that they function in and are patient enough to pass their information to younger generations.

Oldho/a: Reference of a Khell to their parents. Oldho to fathers, Oldha to mothers.

Languages

Khellakh, or låkhsprek ("speech of the Lokh"), is one of the official languages of Trilok (alongside Common and Ramathian) and the most widely-spoken on the continent. Khellakh is a relatively new language, having only evolved after Trilok became a unified country; its ancestral languages are a combination of multiple Lockist languages from before that time.

Khellakh's most distinctive features, linguistically, are a wide variety of sounds for vowels (represented with varying accents in the transliterations here), and compound words. Because of the latter, literal translations of Khellakh can at times be inelegant. (e.g. The official name of the country, "Einvölkhenköyrnigir Drelåkh", literally translates to "One Peoples' Kingdom Trilok", but the official translation is "United Empire of Trilok".)

Both Khellakh and Common are taught as part of a typical Lockist school cirriculum; Khellakh is primarily used locally, while Common is primarily used when speaking to Ramathians from other parts of the world. Thus, Khell who only know one language are rare.

Noble Khell Families

  • Adamaint: Perhaps the most politically and technologically influential of all the noble Khell families, and one of the members of the Council of Twelve. Based in the Adamaint Empire, located near Adamann.
  • Craxela: Formerly the ruling family of what is now the territory around Cronvint. The Craxelas are particularly infamous, as the actions of one of their young princes were the lynchpin that started Great Lockist War, which almost wiped out the Khell and crippled the entire continent for several thousand years. Today the surviving Craxelas usually keep their heritage a secret, due to the stigma associated with the name; as such, exactly how many there are is unknown, even to them.
  • Dulaphar
  • Goerduan: While they are nowhere near as influential as the Adamaints, the Goerduans have long played an active role in technological development... particularly the development of military technology. They are both well-known and respected for this, and infamous for some of the results of their technology - a popular rumour holds that they were partially and indirectly responsible for the partial destruction of Lelres. Currently based in Mawerlok.
  • Jarkorli: Not technically a full-blooded Khell family, but a hybrid bloodline of Khell and normal pendragon, having been descended from political marriages to secure off-shore alliances. Regardless, they are the current ruling family of Trilok, having taken control through political maneuvering and carefully-chosen marriages. Based in Cronvint.
  • Koldrak
  • Nithoros
  • Sulramn
  • Volithin: Once one of the mightiest of noble Khell families, in their prime the Volithins rivaled the Adamaints in terms of political power. However, they were crippled in the Great Lockist War and never fully recovered. Despite this, they still take an active role in Lockist affairs. The majority of their members today also have prominent Lukuo mutations, most often unusually large bodies and horns on their heads. Based in Volithin.

Habitat

The vast majority of Khellin are found within the Trilok continent. However, many have migrated to southern continents such as Bhim, or Notios Sudesha.

While the Khell can easily spend much of their lives above ground, they are known for digging and building vast underground cities. It is speculated that these began as little better than warrens, but over time began to grow larger, more complex and less burrow-like - the largest of Khell cities easily rival the largest of above-ground cities seen on other continents. Even cities with a more above-ground presence, such as Cronvint, still have complex series of subways and tunnels in the earth below.

Religion

The most commonly-seen traditional Khell religion can best be described as a form of anamism - to followers, everything has a soul and a connection to the spirit world. It was traditionally the role of the priest caste to communicate with these spirits, to bless anything newly-made (from weapons to machina) so as to learn its name and respect it, to help carry out weddings, funerals and other ceremonies, and so on.

Although considered barbaric by many Ramathians, when a Khell dies, it is traditional for the family of that individual to skin them and use their pelt. It is not uncommon for a Khell to be found wearing the pelt that once kept their ancestors warm, or to be using a pelt of a family member as a bed spread or rug. The remaining body and bones are then given funeral pyres and cremated. The cremated remains are brought to one of the many underground tombs and laid to rest with the rest of the family. Many Khell tombs have elaborate sculptures and are filled with enchanted treasures, which make them highly sought after by thieves (if they can manage to get past the incredible security).

Bizarrely to most Ramathians, a popular cult amongst the Khell places one spirit in higher regard than most: Orxarln, the Soul of the South Pole. Exactly when worship of Orxarln came to prominence is unclear, but why can be understood better - to its followers, the Soul of the South Pole is the centre of the world, and those who pay it respect would never be lost. This has been interpreted literally (Khell-made compasses always point south) and metaphorically (always knowing the right way to go in life).

History

Evolution and Early History

Prehistory to c. 8000

First Contact

c. 8000 to c. 10,000

The Rise of the Nobles

c. 10,000 to c. 41,000

The Ten Millennia of Wars

c. 41,000 to c. 51,000

Rebuilding into the "Golden Age"

c. 51,000 to c. 64,000

Civil War

64,597 to 64,643

Rise of the Jarkorli

64,643 to 67,203

A View to Science

67,203 to 77,136

Nobles in Decline

77,136 to 81,191

The Khell Today

81,191 to present-day