Jungles of Ka
On the border of the Elven and Human Lands, the Jungles of Ka lie vastly dormant. Few villages spot the outskirts of this land, and the coast, and the center of the land lie in mystery and ruin. The ruins themselves are the remnants of a large, technologically proficient civilization, which meddled with different power sources and scientific experiments to power their machinery. Once a catastrophe sent the civilization beyond any recall, the few mages that were left banded together to contain and protect the land from total annihilation by tapping into the few radioactive and other power sourced relics, and transforming the energy to magical bonds and temple landscapes. A magical land grew over the ruins, and all traces, except to the most ardent of observer, well-versed in the mystic religion, have been buried under centuries of jungle.
The animals within it have grown to enormous proportion due to the life magic, and radioactive pulse funneled through the Temple in its center, and through other spots where the locals refuse to go. Animals are said to be guardians of great strengths, but years and skirmishes have blotted out what, exactly, they had been guarding. For ages, the monks of the Temple helped the wild things grow, living in a harmonious servitude to the Jungle and its inhabitants, until skirmishes broke out, and a group of unruly Saiyans began preying on the area for sport(see below). As the Monks surveyed the damage, they huddled in their magic fortress, the Temple Khar, and practiced their magics until the day would come when they could once again remember their truer power. The Temple now lies in ruins, waiting for the one who could resurrect the statues and walls. The few Monks that are left are scattered around the intricate series of caves and villages that are still erect.
Several years previous, Saiyan hunters came with the promise of large, challenging game. The people of Ka had always been more than a little skeptical of outsiders, and this clinched the deal. A war was waged, in which the forces of Ka were bolstered with a very small contingent of Cardinalian military spies, and eventually, the Saiyans were either killed or driven out. Ever since, the population of Ka has resisted all forms of immigration from other lands to the Jungles, and is very wary, and can act in a hostile fashion to outsiders of any kind.
The war with the Saiyan hunters almost depleted an entire generation of Kaian folk, creating a situation where the children had to pick up the slack with the elderly left alive, and the remnants of the lost generation. There is not one family that remained unaffected by this grevious, deviastating war.
In the past ten years Ka has seen a drastic decline in the Jungle's borders. What once had been thick forest is now barren desert, rivers of vast proportions have receeded into tiny streams. The past two seasons the entire Jungle has seen a drought, which has dried up crops and sent entire villages moving closer to the more dangerous parts of the Jungle to find sustainance. Kadis have been roaming closer to human life, and undead have been spotted in the Jungle for the first time in centuries. This decline is taken as an extremely ill omen.
The faithful pray for the Jungle's bounty, the Khars shift blame and attempt magical rituals, while many have begun to lose their faith and belief in the Jungle all together and prepare to move away from the lands they used to love.
Rumour has spread for ten years that the reason behind this decline had something to do with the Priestess and her escape from Ka. Now said to be in her twenties, she is the only Priestess living. The last chosen Priestess, a girl given the name Maiakhar was killed in the middle of the night by a poisonous Kaian beetle, which sat upon the young Priestess's corpse until it was found several hours later. The beetle then turned into a white flower. Maiakhar was seven. Three more potentials died in similar Ka-led events, over the course of ten years leading the Khars to believe that the Priestess Chadisekhar is more than the heretic she claims.
The Kaian philosophy is one of Jungle worship. The Jungle is a magical force, which the Kaians believe has turned into one mass consciousness ruled by the Goddess, the Spirit or Essense of the Jungle. Powered by intense Life Magic, flora and fauna have increased in size (ie. A Squirrel's big enough to stand up to a man's knee, etc.). This has also made undead activity difficult until recently.
Since the Jungle is the center of Kaian life and society, it is treated with respect and always called by a female pronoun. Venturing in the Jungle is a form of worship or prayer, Kaians trust that the Jungle will give them what they require to feed their families and tend to their needs. Going into the Deep Jungle (aka. the middle of the Jungle) where the forest is thicker and magic penetrates all senses is strictly forbidden, except for the Khar and the Champions of Ka.
The Jungle is said to always portray the emotions of the Goddess. When she is angry, a storm besets the land. When she is sad the land dries up, when she is happy the Jungle thrives, so on and so forth. Respect of her ever changing moods is of utmost import to the Kaians, and in so being they rarely cut down a tree or kill an animal without praying to the Goddess for permission first.
The architecture of the Kaian villages changes with the Tribe, but rarely would one see an entire structure made of wood. The wood used for construction is usually fallen trees, or taken carefully from those trees which look ready to fall.
The Khars are meant to be the keepers of the magic in which the Jungle thrives. Through a magical ceremony once per generation, a chosen woman becomes the Priestess and must recast the original spells in which the Jungle was formed. After which, the Priestess is deemed too holy to continue on in the world and is given to the Bower of the Goddess, a very sacred valley in which only the Priestesses have entered. None have ever returned, except for one.
Aside from this major ceremony, the Kaians hold seasonal rituals in the Tribes to honour and ask for protection from the Jungle they so hallow.
One major custom is the Coming of Age ceremony, in which a child of thirteen will be proclaimed an adult by Kaian law and religious philosophy. Included in this ritual is a blessing from a Khar, and a few nights spent hunting with a chosen adult companion. This adult must be Kaian, and is usually either a parent or guardian. Both the females and the males participate in the Coming of Age ritual. After the alloted few days in the Jungle, the child and the adult companion reemerge from the Jungle and a day and night's worth of festivities: feasting, dancing, songs and tales take place for the entire village. The Kaians have been hit hard in their time, and a chance to truely celebrate is worthy of such cost.
Marriages in the Kaian tradition are fairly similar to handfastings and take place under the canopy of the Jungle in the presence of a Khar. Although it happens, it is a rare thing for youth to marry younger than 15 years of age. A year's betrothal must take place before the wedding, and both are celebrated with feasts and entertainment.
The Champions of Ka are a group of fighters who take it upon themselves to further the preservation of the forests and animals, as well as the people. Champions are called by the Jungle, and becoming one is a dangerous journey into the deeper parts of the Jungle. Coming victorious out of the Jungle again, the Champion is said to be forever changed and can speak to the animals, and never get lost within Ka's borders. They comprise of all power types, and specialties, usually with a more natural bent. Along with the monks they guide the people and protect the lands, keeping the tribes united, which can be quite the feat.
OOC Note: Have moved to their own wiki page.
Because of threats of the undead, and respect for the Jungle the Kaians burn their dead. Thus there are no cemeteries, and the dead are remembered solely through tales and songs created in their honour. When preparing for a funeral, the village people nearest to where the body died take scraps of wood and dead branches from the Jungle: they DO NOT cut any trees down for such things. In their beliefs, the Jungle herself will provide for the corpse, and send him or her off to the Afterlife. Included in the pyre are a few of the deceased's most precious possessions, or in the case of a wanderer, whatever was with them at the time. The only exceptions are strong weapons, magical items and things of intense beauty. Those are left to the deceased's closest companions, or to the Tribe in which the body was found.
This custom encompasses all the Kaian Tribes including the Jeati, who are water farers.
Most of the Jungle is inhabited by gigantic animals, many of them magical, or infused with ki-like powers. These animals are called Kadis in the The waters around Ka are home to a number of Leviathan-like sea monsters, Grendels on the coasts and whales almost twice the size of normal. Along the edges and in the villages, there are a large number of humans and demihumans. Aliens are almost unheard of, as any newcomers to the lands are either scared off, or asked to leave.
There are rumours of the men of the woods, a lost people with powers unimaginable coming into the borders of the Jungles in recent years, unhappy with their own territory and finding settlement in the most remote of places.
66% Kadis & sea monsters
2% Other (such as Elves)
The tribe of Khar is strictly a monk designation. A monk (or nun) that adheres to the Kaian ritualistic religion of totem worship is said to be of the tribe of Khar, replacing any affiliation with the tribe of their birth and origins. In this respect, all members of the Khar tribe have only one name, with khar at the end of it. (ie. Chadisekhar, Daurkhar or Shivekhar)
Due to their particular naming structure, monks are easily identifiable, and because of this, they carry a sort of mystical aura of respect that the other tribes give them. A monk of Khar will have fealty markings on their skin, and are usually resplendent in magical charms, and fine fabrics. The monks are known to travel all over D'Hennex both to gain knowledge and information, and to minister to the diaspora of Kaians in the other regions.
How are the Khars selected? As toddlers, a select few Kaian children will have their minds opened to magic. A special few Khars search the Tribes for such children, and upon finding them with their own special magic charms, remove them from their parents. This takes place either peacefully as a duty to the Jungle, or forcibly. The Khars have been known to hire mercenaries to end any rebellious actions in a family unwilling to give up their children. Taken from their homes too early to hold any recollection of them, these children are given a Khar name, and a new identity within their new Tribe. Thus, a Khar who regains knowledge of their true family and name is an extremely unusual occurence, and thought to be a great blasphemy as it signifies that the Jungle and their brethren were not enough for that Khar.
Any children born to Khars who are proven to have a magical tact are added to the Tribe, any others are taken as servants once they reach an appropriate age. Failure to commit a child to the Khars is rare, but such uprisings have been recorded in recent history.
Another aspect of Kharish society is their dealings with the fairer sex. Now, all little Kaians know that once in a generation a Priestess of Ka is born. What they don't know, is that the Priestess is the only full-fledged female Khar. Yes, the Kaians may or may not have seen what look to be Kharish nuns, but they are in fact, a servant class.
The Khars have the Harem Temple, where all women reside, and where the Khars take their pleasures, and create the next generation. Salvation for a female of the Kharish tribe comes from two sources: Priestesshood, or marriage.
You see, the women of the Harem Temple are for sale. Even Khars need income. When the women age beyond marriageability, they receive a type of nun-like habit, which matches Khar fashion and they become teachers of the young, magic users and the artistic entertainment of the community. These are the Kharish women the other Kaian tribes see and associate with being female Khar.
OOC Note: All Khar have a MagPL. Whether they have more than one type of PL is up to the MUN's disgression.
Known for its alliance with the Cardinalian Military squad, the Akkaian tribe still bears witness to the world outside of the Jungle. Here and there, one can find a broken down piece of technology the squad left behind, some pieces have been repaired, or passed down from daughter to son, along with a knowledge in Kamism, which the troop also brought down with them. It was this tribe that ended up leading the charge against the Saiyan Hunters during the war, coming to the rescue of the tired, and depleated Kalashi. It has been rumoured that some of the men who came as part of the Cardinalian Military squad remained in the Akkaian tribe, having families, and taking on the lives of tribemates.
Akkaians are renowned for their ingenuity, and skills at tracking and battlecraft, as well as good irrigation techniques for their crops and orchards. Because of this talent in agriculture, much of the spices and herbs in the local lands, and even sent abroad, give them a certain subsistence other tribes tend to lack.
OOC Note: A character from the Akkai tribe can be seen with pieces of Cardinalian-like technology, but not an entire house or base full of technological pieces. Realistically, that would deligate things like farming equipment, solar powered things, flashlights, things that do not require a huge power input from things that the Akkai would not have around.
The defining feature of the Kalash tribe is its members talents at tracking and hunting. Being a tribe known for producing some of the best hunters and trackers in D'Hennex, the Kalashi follow the land, and have no settlements but traverse the rim of the jungle as nomads. Even the children are trained in combat, and jungle savy, a child of five or six can be as deadly a hunter as any adult.
A fair bit rougher than their Akkaian siblings, Kalashi are purely warriors and have a high percentage of demi-humans within their ranks. Steeped in tradition beyond else, the Kalashi have been trained to kill the first Saiyan they see, and are very wary of strangers from afar. Good trading relations are had between the Kalashi and the other tribes, even though they view some of the actions of their more stabley situated brethren as extravagant.
The wander lust of the Kalashi tends to see some of its tribemates going off in search of different game, or fighting back against the undead all over D'Hennex, and with the Jeati tribe, are the most common seen in other places.
The Jeati are found along the coastline of the Kaian jungles. A tribe of sailors, the Jeati are responsible for maintaining Ka's limited link with the rest of D'Hennex, by virtue of its fleet. Merchants, pirates, and de facto border patrol. Whether a roaming ship views the Jeati as merchants, pirates, or military depends on the method of greeting, the intent of the incoming ship, and whether they are willing to trade.
Because of the thin, dangerous coast, the Jeati are excellent naval warriors, and have a fantastic sense of battles on a much grander scale than their inland brethren. The animals and monsters on the coasts and in the waters are very dangerous, as such the Jeati settlements are great peninsulas built into the waters, massive docks, and old ships make up the villages dotting from coast to coast, and along the borders of the Jungles in a protected trade route.
Since all Jeati have contact with water, they are excellent swimmers, graceful as the dolphins on land and sea. It is said a Jeati without his sea legs is only found on the bottom of the oceam floor.
The politics of the region is superstition-led and tribal prevailed upon by the monks, champions and their lofty set of respectful ideals where the powered intelligent animals, called Kadis, are concerned. Most of the religion is based on animal totem worship, the Great Mother, respect for nature and a wariness of technology. A hunger for simplicity and worship of the cosmic dance of nature leaves the populace in a technological dark age, instead relying heavily on magic, and what nature itself provides.
The recovering Kaians are individually strong, but as a collective, tend towards falling back on the Champions, Kadis and the Jungles itself. The jungle acts as a barrier and buffer zone between it and the outside lands, the caves and mountains of the region making the Jungles into a protected valley. The Jungles of Ka border the area between the Elven Lands and An-Yneaith. The most predominant formations are the ruins of a lost battle in the basin, and the entrance to the Jungles being guarded by a vast valley of flowers high in the mountains.
Outside influences come slow and wary to the denizens of Ka, thusforth, they have no noticeable political presence to reach out to the other countries other than the few traders and merchants elsewhere. Anyone attempting to settle in the Jungles is severely quarantined, the Kaian's prejudice towards outsiders does not allow for much trade outside of their diaspora network in the other D'Hennexian lands.
The Jungles are bordered by the ocean, and have Kadi dolphins which act with the Jeati as a sort of border patrol.
There are a fair amount of immigrants that leave the Jungles to find work in the cities of the other D'hennexian regions, and the diaspora holds its own network, complete with a settlement of monks, a Champion, and workers to keep their distinctive culture alive.