Khamen Ethnicity in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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Khamen (CAW-men)

What they lack in strength they make up for in dexterity...   The awkward middle child of the three races of Thunthen, the little Khamen serve their superior Nobeyl brethren as technical operators, able to freely use delicate electronics with their smaller fingers where long Noble claws would have trouble. In a perverse manner, Pesak are almost treated more cordially by the Nobeyls than the Khamens. For all of the friction between the dragon-men and the war-folk of Planet Thanged, it was the Thangien Deres who first coined the naming convention of Noble (Nobeyl), Common (Khamen), and Peasant (Pesak) and the terms have stuck ever since, in some cases superseding the original names. As much as they get picked on and bullied-and on rare occasions shelled-, the sad truth is without this crucial cog in the Thunthen war machine, the Nobeyls would be utterly lost.

Naming Traditions

Family names

Khamen share the same three-letter naming convention with their larger bretheren, with clan names traced through the father. There are no legendary clans of old among Commons: they have no Das Anazhars or Sur Daggurs to speak of.


Major language groups and dialects

Commons use the same language as their Noble brethren and in recent years have become fluent in Oldworlder languages and even Thangien.

Culture and cultural heritage

Das Anazhar envisioned a unified Thunthen empire in his heyday and treated Commons respectfully. Conditions have deteriorated under the Daggur Clan, however. If Mal Daggur and his followers were ever to be toppled, perhaps the little Khamen could find their own footing out from the shadow of their Nobeyl brethren.

Shared customary codes and values

Khamen share similar work ethics with their little Pesak cousins, absorbing themselves in their work and keeping their heads down. As long as they do their jobs and do them well they avoid the ire of the stronger Nobeyls. In more recent years they have become more bold, in some cases speaking frankly with mixed effects...  
“Perhaps we were too hasty in dismissing the Empress of Night?” Mal Daggur glanced out between his claws when he heard the voice pipe up from a nearby station. His gaze roved about until he came upon an impertinent Khamen with a slight overbite. “If we repent of our pride, she may yet show mercy and grace us with her presence once more. It is not too late to beg for forgiveness.”   Mal Daggur rose from his command chair and strode over to the young Common, grabbing him by the edge of his shell and yanking him out of his seat with a muffled yelp. *SPLUCH!!* Nearby Thunthen recoiled in their seats when a disembodied shell flew through the air and embedded into the console between them. “ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY BRILLIANT SUGGESTIONS!?” Mal Daggur bellowed.
— Spacequake Ch. 2

Average technological level

For all of the disdain expressed by Nobles, only the Commons had the technological skill to decode data tomes recovered from the shattered Traghdoashin system. Without them, the Thunthen would not have made as many advancements as they have. Commons created the coding system derived from ancient Highscript which operates systems aboard many ships such as Mal Daggur's fleet and Sky Platform Argonauth.

Common Etiquette rules

Commons typically keep quiet in the presence of their superiors. They have no tail clubs and do not coil their tails around their ankles as Nobles do. Bak Thraplek tends to be more relaxed with his subordinates and treats Miz Paufan almost like a son.

Common Dress code

Commons affix padded armor to their chests, shoulders, waists, forearms, and shins, using elastic straps to circumvent their shells. A Common would actually wear two halves of an outfit on either side of their chests, giving the appearance of wearing a jacket, robe, or chestplate underneath their shells.

Art & Architecture

On the homeworld, Peasants and Nobles do most of the heavy excavation work involving stoneshaping and metalworking. Thunthen parolees on Thanged are able to work the forges of Peirolyth and freely exercise their skill at the workstations found there.  
Burning sparks flew high into the air like the spray from ocean waves. Steam and smoke wafted towards the gleaming vaulted ceiling. Thunderous beats pressed against the eardrums as hundreds of hammers struck hundreds of anvils. Deep crooning bellows mixed with melodious rising cries. Fire belched out of live forges from air being pumped out of the massive bellows.   The mightiest of the Nobeyls manned the bellows, heaving up and down without straining themselves. Colorful-haired Thangien males labored alongside smaller Nobeyls to hammer burning metal into just the right thickness. Thangien females worked opposite Khamens to add finer detailing to pieces of armor and weapons. The Nobles belted out deep moaning roars, accompanied by wailing hums from the Thangien males. The Commons contributed chants in the Thunthen language while the Thangien females finished with a shrill cry.   Chi Chi Lina, Australa glanced up from where she worked on finishing a sword hilt. Her partner sitting opposite of her seemed utterly absorbed in his work. He didn’t wear protective eyewear like Australa did, since Thunthen had a high tolerance to heat. The little Common blinked, noticing her attention. Australa smiled brightly, never imagining in her lifetime she’d work side-by-side with Thunthen. The Common’s cheeks brightened as he blushed enough to stand out amid the glow of the furnaces. He ducked his head close to his shell and refocused on his etching. Australa giggled and resumed her own task energetically.
— Neo Ronin Ch. 10

Foods & Cuisine

Commons will eat just about anything with sufficient nutritional value, but have acquired a taste for sweet and salty junk foods.  
Miz reached into his shell and pulled out a pouch of popcorn. He tore it open and began eating, as any exchange between a Ronin and Thunthen regarding magic often proved amusing. Naz scowled and confiscated the pouch from Miz, but after a few moments he began eating from it himself. Miz pulled a spare pouch out of his shell.
— Fight Alone Ch. 13

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Tail Dance
There is the memory of an ancient rite dating back to the previous Solar Swap where a Common would clothe itself in ornamental garb and imbibe a cocktail of psychotropic drugs and perform what was called a "Tail Dance" by lashing their tails at the ground in a tight circle until the drugs wore off. The markings left by the tip would be interpreted by an elder to portend the future. This custom fell out of use with the Dasphat Revolution but perhaps might be revived one day.  
Ride the Mountain
  Younger Khamens engage in this as a recreational effort on the homeworld, running along trails along the Writhing Spine in a giddy rush. Although it was a Nobeyl who challenged the pegacorn rider in the old story, it is still a fun way to break up the tedium.   Discontinued Content
There is a scene from the decanonized Great Sundering series where Miz challenges a transformed Kento to Ride the Mountain, jumping from crag to crag until he lands in the snow and gets wrapped up in an enormous snowball.

Common Taboos

Since Commons aren't held in as high esteem as a Noble, touching their tails isn't considered an insult. They do not view being called "young dragons" or "little dragons" as a pejorative. Quite the opposite, they consider it a term of endearment for being compared to the mighty titanodracoasaur-class.   Commons pride themselves on their smooth shells and dislike suffering damage even if abrasions can be patched with molecular enamel paste.

Common Myths and Legends

Due to their meek nature, there are no standout figures in the past. Perhaps in the future, Commons can forge legends of their own.

Historical figures

There are no Das Anazhars or Sur Daggurs to be found among Commons, but in recent years some have stepped up to secure places of prominence beyond the homeworld.  

Notable Khamens

Miz Paufan
He has the distinction of being both the youngest among Bak Thraplek's crew as well as the only Common. His size and personality have put him in the unique position of being a liaison between the Thunthen dissidents and the Ronin Warriors. He tends to stick to manning the console in the comm. room alongside Ita Tarmvun and coordinate operations from the comfort of the Roost. He managed to prove his worth during the Cataclysm War, risking damage to his shell while fighting the Menagerie. Although he has some skill with pistols, he prefers melee fighting. He participated in the defense of the Argonauth during the Assault on the Pit and helped track down the scattered Ronin following the spacequake.
Miz Paufan, Thunthen Common by Mardrena
Made in Realistic Paint Studio
While the others tossed theories back and forth, Ryo leaned against the wall brooding.   He did a double-take when he spotted something out the corner of his eye and saw a long, rounded muzzle poking into the room. Miz Paufan looked quite sheepish but also urgent. Ryo excused himself from the group and headed for the door. He shut it behind him and met the youngest and smallest member of Bak Thraplek’s Thunthen crew in the hall.   While Mia hadn’t expressly forbidden the Thunthen from entering the estate, she’d made her displeasure quite apparent when the lumbering Nobles had nearly broken her doorframes with their shell spikes on their way to and from building the entry hall and cable lifts of the Roost. The Common fidgeted slightly as if the carpet made his feet itch.
— Neo Ronin Ch. 1
Ker Barzduk, Blue Isis Quartermaster by Mardrena
Made in Realistic Paint Studio
Ker Barzduk
If Miz acts like a giddy teenager, Ker would come off as an old codger, being somewhere in his early-to-mid fifties. He was the first alien Gage Wendell made contact with in the Redali System and immediately signed on when Gage proposed a privateer crew. He helped him purchase the Blue Isis and recruit members from Thuruk, Rigel, Cygnus, and Sirius Systems. Gage offered him the position of First Mate, but Ker declined out of respect, preferring to put his aptitude for organization to use as ship's Quartermaster. After Gage's death, Ker stayed on under the command of his widow, Caroline Wendell. He is very skilled with firearms, preferring to dual-wield phergon pistols. He cares for Caroline's well-being and the safety of her biological son. When not keeping stores neat and tidy, he is at Caroline's side. He boasts often about the Sons-in-Exile and dreams of a day when Thunthen finally enter a proper golden age, fulfilling the dream of Das Anazhar of old. He remained aboard the Blue Isis during the expedition into the Nether Realm and is currently enjoying shore leave on Thanged.
Dais looked over his shoulder when he heard the bridge door hiss open. “Did I hear that right? We just dodged a Curator?!” Ker Barzduk demanded as he walked up alongside the Captain’s chair.   “Yes. We left it in the dust thanks to Dais here,” Caroline nodded at her son. Ker Barzduk looked at him and much to Dais’ surprise grabbed him by his shoulders and shook him vigorously.   “Ritho Bless you m’boy!” Dais grimaced when Ker Barzduk darted forward and kissed him on each cheek before slapping him on the back heartily and walking over to his station. Dais blinked several times and had to tug his jacket back into place. Even his eyepatch had slipped loose slightly.
— Cataclysm War Ch. 7


Beauty Ideals

Commons care little for appearances, being human-sized and somewhat gawky. Most wear the usual heavy padded armor of Thunthen make, though in rare occasions can wear looser garb for special events. As diminutive as they are they do carry themselves with dignity and keep their beards and eyebrows clean. Older Commons are often mistaken for young Nobeyls, and are so similar in stature to Nobeyl dames they are mistakenly assumed to be the same race.  
Miz and Ita side by side by Mardrena
Made in Realistic Paint Studio

Gender Ideals

To date, no Khamen dames have been named or seen in Age of Defiance. They tend to stay on the homeworld running day to day operations and caring for young. The Nsenagvvik does not have any Common dames on staff.

Courtship Ideals

Love is a new concept for Thunthen as a whole, and in the past Khamen only reproduced out of necessity. Outside of clutching, Khamen seem more "married to their jobs".

Relationship Ideals

Their size and bubbly personality makes them ideal diplomats for non-Thunthen species such as Human and Thangien. When not under the immediate supervision of a Nobeyl they are quite relaxed and outgoing, freely exchanging cheesy jokes and idle chatter. They have a curious nature and are quick to adopt new customs and ideas such as food and entertainment.  
“I can’t say I ever heard Ander use that particular expletive before…” Naz Dassyr muttered as he stood close to the console and listened to the exchange relayed over the open channel. He arched an eyebrow and looked down at Miz Paufan, who sat in the chair. “Ugh! How much of that stuff must you insist on consuming!” he sneered as Miz snacked from a large bucket.   “Would you like to try some? It’s quite tasty,” the Common mumbled though a mouthful of buttered popcorn and held the bucket up towards Naz. Naz snorted and turned away, folding his arms over his chest. Unfortunately, the Captain had forbidden him from ‘disciplining’ Miz anymore, likely at the insistence of one of the Ronin; particularly Cye.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 25

Major organizations

Mal Daggur's Forces
-The Dragon Tyrant keeps Commons on staff among his fleet. Nobeyls do the heavy lifting and fighting while Commons run logistics and communications. In rare incidents such as the Assault on the Ramahatesguad, Commons will put their firearms expertise to use.  
Bak Thraplek's Dissidents
- The fledgling resistance network comprises more than just his immediate crew, but Khamens have an important role gathering information and assisting sabotage operations.  
The Sons-in-Exile
- A number of disaffected Khamens followed Highlord Takshi Anazhar when he fled to the Redali System. They are treated much better than on the homeworld and have assisted settlement and expansion efforts abroad.
Scene from FFAW Ch. 24
Miz Paufan, Thunthen Common by Mardrena
Oddly enough, he didn’t look like any of the other Nobles at all. He looked much smaller, almost human-sized, and lacked any form of spikes on the shell and tail tip. In fact, he lacked a tail club altogether. The Thunthen looked over his shoulder and noticed Cye then sprang to his feet and cringed timidly. “Sorry! I shouldn’t have let it stick out,” he sputtered and brought his tail close to his legs, but didn’t wrap it around his ankle. The Thunthen’s muzzle looked considerably less blocky than the others, and he had smaller head crests and beard.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 24
Related Locations
An older, distinguished example of a Khamen
Ker Barzduk, Blue Isis Quartermaster by Mardrena
“Ker Barzduk from Planet Thunthen, ship’s quartermaster and one of our oldest crewmembers. He also leads away teams on planets and keeps day-to-day operations running smoothly on the ship.” Dais studied the Thunthen Common. Unlike Miz, Ker Barzduk looked a great deal older with a thicker beard and yellowed horns almost giving him the appearance of a Nobeyl. Probably middle-aged by Thunthen standards. Dark blue seemed to be the color of choice for clothing.
— Cataclysm War Ch. 7

Articles under Khamen

Cover image: Common Header by Mardrena


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