|See Language section
|A Race hellbent on unlocking the next stage of evolution by any means necessary, with any ally gained or any enemy crushed.
The Kathar are a relative new Race, having only existed for roughly 300 years since the fall of the Allorn Empire and the last Void Invasion. What once was a cult of magical debauchery, eventually converted into a full-blown Race that would found Rokhaval (also called the Dread Empire) which many nations continue to see as the main "evil-state" in the world (though as per usual, morality is never that black and white). Kathar society is a group of loosely affiliated cults that all seek a higher stage of evolution for themselves and their Race, each developing their own distinct culture and appearance that is now far removed from the once common Fin'ullen, Teledden, and Suvial ancestors. With their homeland secured, many Kathar have spread into the world, seeking to establish their own cults in the far realms not yet touched by the corrupting evolution of the Void, or to seek the ancient mysteries of the world to be the first to reach Godhood.
To be a Kathar, is to be the classical "Dark Elf", though without such a clear black and white morality. Kathar are not by default evil, rather they are freed from the constraints of conscientious living and minding one's fellow kin. The Kather seek enrichment, pleasure, power, and above all evolution, often at the cost of others, but rarely in spite of others. The Kathar do not seek to inflict loss and tragedy on others, but cause it indirectly as their bargains with Spirits always come at a price. Kathar seek to achieve godhood, or something close to it, and are willing to take anyone on their journey with them, or annihilate anyone who stands in their way. Kathar are mistrusted around the world as evil Elves, and while that is not strictly true, playing a Kathar in Regalia should come with the expectation of racism and discrimination. To understand Kathar, one must know all the Cults that exist among them, of which one must be chosen when playing a Kathar. It is possible to change Cults later, though it is recommended to only do this for major events in your Character's life.
Kathar when looking at their bodily proportions, are no different from the other Elven Races like the Fin'ullen or Teledden. Their most noticeable difference however, is their gray skin tone, ranging from dark gray to light gray. Their hair is frequently black, though many also have bone-white hair. While black and white are the norm, blonde, brown, auburn, ginger, gray, are less commonly seen but also possible. Kathar sclera can be white, gray, or black, while their irises have a wide range of colors from blue, green, gray, brown, black, red (even while not Vampire), gold (even while not Arkenborn), and white. They frequently have tattoos, ranging from tribal designs to more ornate and even geometric full shapes. Kathar can have horns, prehensile tails, snake-hair, long black claw-like nails, and even Eronidas-like tusks. Finally, Kathar are Ageless, meaning they can look forever young, or manually change their age appearance at will.
The Kathar, for the most part, are egotistical, self-absorbed, prideful, envious, dramatic and expressive. This does not mean that all Kathar are intolerable. Rather, it just means that the Kathar are a lot to deal with at times, and have a very in-your-face presence that demands they be seen and heard. Quiet Kathar certainly exist, but even then, their quietness is usually through the lens of using timidness as a tactic. Kathar know one single truth to be universal, and that is that they themselves are a piece of art, and something everyone should want to be, or want to be in love with. As such, Kathar try to be seen and make noise, but are also very reverent of those who have already established such a position in society (power, adoration, wealth, etc). Kathar love a power structure that ought to be respected (like strong Emperors and Empresses) but detest pretentious middle-man rulers like Nobles and wealthy aristocrats that put on airs without the competency to back up such bravado.
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons).
- Kathar can choose one Chem or Magic Point Buy Pack for free, either as Mundane, Void/Exist/Ordial Magic, or Dragon Magic Alignment.
- Kathar can choose another Chem or Magic Point Buy Pack for free, either as Mundane, Void/Exist/Ordial Magic, or Dragon Magic Alignment.
- Kathar power cannot be denied to them. If anyone uses an Ability/Mechanic that would force them to use Radiant instead of Sinistral Magic, they still use Sinistral anyway.
- Kathar can change the alignment of any Spirit to that of Void, so long as the possess/own/control the Spirit. Void Spirits are always symbiotic for them also.
- Kathar are not affected by the mental characteristics or changes of any Affliction or Affinity and are always in control of their own mind from them.
- Kathar are able to look at a person and intuit their Corruption Desire, with OOC Consent (see below). Then, the Kathar can act towards this goal.
- Kathar can use subtle vice-heightening curses on those within Emote Range, heightening their Pride, Fury, Avarice, Corruption, Rejection, or Hedonism.
Everyone would like to someday do a little bit of an "evil corruption arc", but doesn't always know where to begin. Corruption Desire is a good starting point. Kathar can intuit the Corruption Desire of a person by looking at them. Good Corruption Desires may be something like "Is offered power by a dark god that looks appealing" or "is flirted with by a seductive Kathar". Whatever the Corruption Desire, it should be something that is both actionable for a regular player (something they can work towards), and sets a condition for a character that is normally lawfully good to be corrupted to evil and vice by the Kathar. The Corruption Desire should act like a pivotal switch at which the Character's good qualities are reduced and their more evil qualities pronounced. To prevent this from forever damning a Character, this arc can be temporary with a clear cleanse either as an exorcism or some pre-defined action such as "goes to confession" or "is saved by one of their best friends who convinces them back on the true path". The corruption can be either magical through some kind of Void God messing with their mind, or just because the Kathar encourages their bad nature. Note, Corruption Desire does not purely need to be used to Corrupt Characters. A "Good" Kathar can also use Corruption Desire to detect the things and situations they must ever prevent from taking place, to prevent the Corruption of a person.
The Kathar language is more commonly called Katharic, though the Kathar themselves call it Pannarokh. The language has no real-life equivalent, Pannarokh is a very difficult language to learn for non-Kathar because it does not follow a sensible script like other languages do, but rather uses Void-Script which has the unfortunate habit of slightly mutating text after it was written, through a barely understood Magical process, meaning it is constantly shifting. Still, some Regalian scholars have found success translating Pannarokh by first translating it into Modern Altalar, and then using that as a Rosetta Stone to understand the rest. Kathar names follow a process similar to the Altalar, in that they have a first name, middle name to honor some ancestor or event, last name for the family, social distinction, and heritage. However, in line with the theme of change and evolution, the name of a Kathar can change depending on the Cult they belong to.
Example list of Kathar First Names: All names in Kathar are non-gendered, meaning they can apply to all genders and sexes: Kethan, Kronnaste, Dinokh, Izzdar, Velyss, Zannar, Lesronn, Calghar, Relinahc, Ildan, Nathae, Nevarr, Chadryl, Menzot, Sabval, Ryld, Renloc, Tathnor.
Very common first name endings are “arr”, “dryl”, “ahc”, “loc”, “nor”, “okh”, and “onn”. Common consonants to start Kathar names are R, K, Z, V, M, C and N. Generally speaking Kathar names sound guttural upon reading, but have a deceptive flow to them despite their harsh sounding consonants. Surnames follow similar customs, though surnames must always end with “iirn”, for example “Mourdiirn”, “Lozhiirn”, or “Anvaliirn”. Middle names are much the same, often naming after ancestors, but sometimes also events.
Most Kathar Cults almost universally follow Void Worship, while Drakon Cult Kathar are split between Draconism and Void Worship. Mythic Cult Kathar can be Estelley, Ordial Cultism, or any other Religion that has God Magic in it (Unionism, Fornoss, Pagan Faiths, Baskarr). Reason Cult Kathar don't need to be religious, but can be, they can also be agnostic, or follow Allar-like principles of All-Truth that acknowledges all Gods as real, and worships a mixture of them. Even those Kathar who consider themselves atheist, still acknowledge these gods as real and worthy of respect and obedience, even if they do not outright worship or pray to them. For more information on either religions, please consult their relevant pages.
A ritual can be done to convert any (unwilling restrained, or willing) Race person visually into a Kathar and forces all dimensional alignment, whether that be magic, theurgy, or mutation, to Void alignment. This does not grant Kathar Racial Traits, instead holding onto the old Race's Racial Traits for the time being. This does not count as a Disguise, and can be undone with any Exorcism mechanic after initial 72 hours. Dread Rebirth can be made permanent with a ritual involving an offering to the Void Gods. When made permanent, the Kathar Character loses their old Race's Racial Traits, while gaining the full set of Kathar Racial Traits instead. A lesser form of Dread Rebirth can be done by any Kathar to enchant a piece of jewelry with a Curse, that when worn, predisposes a person to the Kathar Race, and the Void in general, until Exorcised.
Kathar childhood is, at best, complicated. The Kathar do not have any concept of “Family”. There is no such thing as marriage or matrimony. Even more incomprehensible is the fact that many Kathar simply don’t want children, or reject children the moment they are born. Within Kathar society, the concept of parentage has nothing to do with biological parents, but rather who taught a Kathar how to best be a Kathar. Kathar who still raise their own biological children are not uncommon, but they are not the majority. Six out of ten Kathar children are rejected by their parents as a burden, and sent to so-called “Future Houses”. Future Houses are essentially orphanages (a Kathar invention) where children are given very basic education until they are picked up by new guardians. The act of adopting a child (which the Kathar call Wardenship) is actually very widespread. Numerous Kathar are single, and adopt a whole slew of children, sometimes for nefarious purposes, such as building a child-raised bodyguard, or adopting future gladiators. It is however not impossible to find caring and loving parents. Especially old female-oriented Kathar adopt a lot of children to raise the next generation, and are dotingly called “Sweet-Matrons” (though they can also be brutal with tough love). Blood connections therefore don’t really matter to Kathar, what matters is who raised you, and who you were raised with.
Kathar adulthood can best be described as wild. Kathar society is one massive group of self-serving people who all strive to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences (except for the Cult of Reason). As such, Kathar in the homeland steal, destroy, and give in to their desires in whatever measure they like. Kathar live as long as Altalar, but often die much faster because of violence inflicted on them by other Kathar, or because they were drunk and challenged the wrong bar fighter, or jumped off a building while high on opiates. Rokhaval would barely function if it wasn’t for the Kathar offloading their menial labor onto slaves, and using Demons and Magic for everything else. Also helpful is their love for war and carnage, driving them to join the military for no pay at all besides the blood of their foes. Kathar society is largely polyamorous and polygamous, with a high degree of experimenting, but monogamy is not out of this world, as especially envious or jealous Kathar may even resort to killing an unfaithful husband and sacrificing his soul to the Void. Kathar don't have a concept of gender in their society, generally speaking they consider themselves genderfluid even if they present as one gender more often. When asked, they just reply "I would like to be all Genders".
Kathar politics can be quite brutal, especially in Rokhaval (the Dread Empire), with political espionage and assassination which puts even the Ithanians to shame. At the very top of Rokhaval rules the Empress, who is always a daughter of the Renaxiirn family line, dating back to when the Renaxiirn family submitted the 13 other Kaahls. Renaxiirn is one of the 14 so called Great Kaahls, the Kathar term for Family. The boundaries of a Kaahl are often fluid, as non-Kathar can also be adopted into Kaahls. This practice is not too uncommon for non-Kathar slaves that a Kathar just happened to have fallen in love with. These 14 families effectively run Rokhaval for the Empress, each of them controlling some part of Kathar society and large swathes of land. Beneath the Great Kaahls are the Lesser Kaahls, which are just the normal families of the Empire. These usually pledge allegiance to the Great Kaahl in whose land they live, though for Kathar living in Regalia, this is redundant as there are no Great Kaahls in Regalia. A branch of the Kaahl of Virraniirn exists among the Cult of Reason Kathar who reside on the northern part of Solleria, but it does not influence Regalian Kathar in any way.
In Kathar fashion, the art of less is more is the go-to method. Kathar dress in as little as they can get away with, to be as enticing as possible. Usually, Kathar will have made necessary sacrifices or deals with Demons and Arken, having worked hard to show off what they have, and nothing will stop them from doing just that. That being said, those of the Cult of Reason and Cult of Pride have found that dressing by local sensibilities gets one much further in life than being contrarian, and as such, know well how to style themselves in the local fashions. Regal fashion is very common among the Cult of Reason and Pride in Regalia, and even the Cult of Power has taken a liking to it. Though, the Cult of Power and the Cult of the Wyld are just as likely to have some leather outfit with the necessary enticing body parts on display like an advertisement. Black, red, purple and white are commonly used colors, and darkened leather, white and black fur, and bird feathers are frequently used materials.
World View is optional content that helps give Kathar flavor and depth.
- The Kathar are extremely pro-Occult, but hate anything to do with the Exist and think it’s all pretentious, clean, and overly sanitized nonsense. The Kathar acknowledge Exist forces as real, but consider them more dangerous than useful, because anything Exist inherently wants to destroy them. Most Kathar would like to have some powers or some sort of Magical enhancement, and one will never find a Kathar who speaks out against anything Magical.
- The Kathar love blood. Even the Cult of Reason has a cultural fascination with blood, whether it is in art or in the flesh. Because actual blood consumption and glorification has issues, the Cult of Reason Kathar have developed a type of synthetic blood from the nectar of the Rozzoth Flower from Rokhaval. This synthetic blood is not blood at all, that is to say it has none of the properties of blood and is deadly when injected into a person, but it looks and behaves exactly like real blood, and on top of that tastes deliciously sweet.
- A popular past time among the Kathar is Time-Poetry. The act of taking poems and writings of centuries past, seeing how badly Void Script has mutated the writing, and then trying as best as they can to decipher the original meaning as random words were replaced with other random words. Another form of this is Cackle-Poetry, which is the same, but attempting to distill a funny interpretation instead of the correct one.
- The game of truth or dare called Volay Circuit is insanely popular among the Kathar.
- Gift giving is important in Kathar culture, but also a dangerous one for those who do not fully understand it. Gifts can be given with the head bowed, in which case it is a normal gift, but a gift given with eye contact becomes a romantic expression. If the receiver accepts the gift, this is seen as a cultural acceptance and desire to form a romantic bond, something other Races are not aware of.
- Contraception and birth control are commonly consumed by the Kathar, because being with child for several months puts a damper on pleasure and fun. As such, the Kathar have developed a wide range of Alchemical solutions and potions.
- The Kathar love the use of bows, but especially more-so the use of spears and scimitars. This is why Isldar wielding scimitars are frequently mistaken for Kathar. Kathar armor is often also forged in such a way that it mimics bone-matter, and often also incorporates bone-sung materials, also used in their furniture.
- Kathar adore colorful homes with lots and lots of cloth and carpet and pillows. Kathar homes are often sickeningly colorful and downright jungles of plush and cotton. Warm colors are especially popular such as red, orange, yellow and purple, but cold colors like green and blue can also be found in contemplative and religious rooms.
- Kathar art is quite brutal, but also physically praising. Depictions often include Kathar in brutal combat, but also putting the physical superior and perfection onto display for the viewer. As such, Kathar art is commonly called “Brutalism”; or “Brutal Perfection”, and has found a niche audience among Ailor buyers.
- Many Kathar consider having a child from a Void Arken a life-goal. Many of them also chase Arken around the world as such, and many more become disappointed after their meetings with Arken, who often consider them worth less than the dirt they stand on. Still, Arkenborn are of major importance among the Kathar.
- Kathar can use rather crude language, but don’t actually use foul words to describe others. Rather, the Kathar use snark, sarcasm, witticism or shade to insult one another. Using foul words to describe others is seen as a personal weakness and lack of intellect.
- Kathar, no matter the Cult, consider ignorance to be a grave crime. Nobody should exist in a place and not know the basic functions of the place, or the common hierarchy of politics in the area and the rules and laws. To be ignorant is to be undeserving of improvement by the Gods.
- The Kathar have a strong societal and personal element of slavery. The Kathar categorize Races in the three following categories: Current slave material, Soon to be enslaved material, and ‘I don’t care’. This remains even among the Cult of Reason, but they apply a stronger nuance to slavery by enticing others into indentured servitude, claiming that a predatory wage means all the difference in the world from ‘real’ slavery (it does not).
- Kathar love duels in all forms, whether they are based on wit, Magic, or might. Tournaments and honor duels attract a lot of Kathar spectators, and even participants, if permitted.
- The Kathar claim that they invented chess, originally named Thonq, which was imported to Regalia and became very popular among the Ailor who are often oblivious to its origins. Kathar of all ages at least know how to play chess, though skill varies.
- Kathar silks have the same international reputation as Teledden silks and Suvial silks, though offers a more unique quality in that it is often see-through, of which the Kathar make plenty of use.
- The Kathar are omnivorous, but heavily lean towards being carnivores. Especially Shadow Bovine meat is very popular, and also the reason why the Kathar will never suffer from a famine, as Shadow Bovine love to reproduce almost as much as Kathar do.
- All Kathar possess a so called Rannoriim, which is a metal mask that is perfectly contoured to their face, and often magically attaches like a second skin. This mask can be used in combat, but conveys no actual combat benefits (as it is made of very thin metal), but contains intricate decorations and facial expressions, to present a ‘public face’, instead of the hidden true face.
- The Kathar do not consider Kathar culture something to be uniquely for them. Even the cruelest of Kathar do not consider only Kathar worthy of self-evolution. Even for their slaves, they have some twisted sense of ‘you deserve to become evolved and be better’. As a result, the Kathar engage in so-called Fenestrations of Melir, where they attempt to reach and convince others of the merits of Void-based evolution and the Kathar culture of freedom and self-glorifiying indulgence.
- The Rokhaval capital Parthanaar is a massive city, rivaling even Regalia in its sheer size. That being said, unlike Regalia, Parthanaar is a massive slum-city, where only the upper society Kaahls and the ruling classes live in excess, crushing the vast criminal underworld underneath with overbearing military might. It is said that there are only three ways out of Parthanaar, through the military, by running away like a coward, or in a coffin.
- Kathar love hallucinogenic liquor and drinks, the more exotic the effect the better. Kathar in general are avid consumers of alcoholic beverages. While one would not expect it, some Kathar have difficulty reaching their truly fully unchained mentality without the assistance of alcohol.
- Kathar, in line with sharing Kathar culture, will Dread Rebirth (A Kathar Special) anything they think they can get away with, as it always leaves a bit behind, even when removed from the subject. Dread Rebirth is not officially acknowledged by the Regalian State, who peripherally considers it Demonic corruption (and thus illegal), but this does not stop most Kathar.
- Kathar praise the beauty standard of less is more, both in terms of clothing they wear, but especially in the amount of mutations they have. Kathar in general pick anywhere between 1 to 2 mutations, and then focus their aesthetic sensibilities around this (horns are not classified as a mutation in Kathar society). Even among the Cult of the Wyld, mutations need to make sense and thematically be similar, not just random things attached to a person.
- The Kathar either pretend the Archdemon doesn’t exist, or disregard the Demon entirely because the Arken effectively usurped them. The Kathar are the only Race that believes that the Arken and the Void Gods killed the Archdemon.
- The Kathar have no preconceptions about monsters, superstitions, or Afflicted beings. Some Kathar in fact would love waking up with a monster at the foot of their bed, and would then proceed to either tame it, or make it their lover.
- Kathar rarely use Machinery. This is because they consider engineering to be weak and without the very thing they sustain themselves on: Magic. Even if engineering contains Magic, they still consider the base material crude and limited, preferring the most efficiently functioning Magical constructs which use a theoretically infinite power source.
- The Kathar currency is called Void Tablets, little squares of polished black stone with the sigils of certain Kathar Empresses or Void Gods stamped in a circle on one side. Each one possesses a minor Essence charge.
- Kathar are a bit lukewarm on Vampirism. The Kathar have a unique special in that they are not affected by the mental changes occurring from Vampirism, and so they only use Vampirism for self-enrichment and the debauched lifestyle they aspire to. That being said, they also acknowledge Vampirism as some sort of failed experiment, and generally look down with pity on Vampires as parasites that can never quite achieve their level of Void connection. Their relationship with Vampires in general is very nuanced and filled with lots of ifs and buts, so it’s often a coin toss when finding out how a Kathar feels about Vampires, or indeed other Void Afflictions.
- Despite their culture being so crude and brutal, Kathar are excellent purveyors and patrons of art. Even Dressolini operas have become common in Rokhaval, with Dressolini slaves being particularly high in demand.
- There are many Cult of Power Kathar who live in the Allorn Empire, and even are Princes there, continuing to rule under the reborn Talea.
- The Kathar use small black stones called Void Tablets as currency.