Kleothei Ethnicity in Pathfinder: Crusades | World Anvil

Kleothei (Clee-oh-thay)

One of the islands in the Basillian archipelago, Rashi, is inhabited by several tribes of catfolk. The southern and southeastern coast is the territory of the Kleothei, the largest of these tribes. While they're wary of outsiders, they're peaceful and are willing to trade with visitors so long as they're respectful. The Kleothei are the result of a union between the Nargosa and Imeno, two ancient tribes that roamed not only Rashi, but Sadia and the coasts of Mount Kabir long ago. Every Kleotheian can trace their origins back to a member of these tribes.   Unlike the majority of modern catfolk, the Kleothei appear much more bestial. The entirety of their bodies are covered in earth-toned furs, some of them mottled or striped. Their facial features and structure are like that of a leopard, granting them greater sight and hearing than most species. They have long tails, rounded ears, and the tips of their fingers end in sharp claws.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Ramyos, Tefiera, Sisya

Masculine names

Raigos, Ciekar, Kryus

Family names

Tormuma, Kakhum, Julhanhe


Major language groups and dialects

The Kleothei speak a dialect of the catfolk language known as "giyabi" or the "serpent's tongue". Much of their words are partnered with a click, chirp, or a hiss. Giyabi isn't spoken off of the island of Rashi, though local fishermen who operate in that region of the Basc Sea have picked up on phrases and slang that are unique to the tribe. Outsiders and tourists alike have the misconception that the "serpent's tongue" earned its name for being associated with the occult. This belief has led to prejudice against the Kleothei and have subjected them to missionary trips from overzealous outsiders from the mainland. After the rise of the Basillian Council, non-natives to the islands are forbidden to travel to Rashi without express permission. Missionary trips are denied immediately and deemed an act of discrimination.

Common Dress code

Given the tropical climate they live in, the Kleothei tend to dress in thin, loose fabrics. These fabrics are styled into loose pants, wraps, or short dresses. Bright, colorful patterns adorn much of what they wear and they pair it with wire-wrapped jewelry that features seaglass or seashells. Those with long manes decorate it with tropical flowers, beads, and braids. It's not common for Kleothei catfolk to keep their manes long though as it presents a potential risk during times of extreme weather. Most of them choose to keep their manes cut above their shoulders, leaving just enough fur to style, but not enough to become a problem.

Art & Architecture

Their architecture is built into the surrounding landscape as best they can manage. While the Kleothei do worship the deities of the Basillian pantheon, their worship is primarily focused on nature and the gifts it gives. Therefore, they try to lessen their impact on the environment as much as possible. Some homes are carved into the cliffsides of Rashi or built high up in the trees. Treehouses and abodes on the coast are built on basic, wooden frames and reinforced with a layer of limestone and sand based plaster. Tree branches are cut and carved to adorn the exterior walls and within the home, the wooden frame is left exposed. It gives their architecture a similar appearance to a countryside cottage.   Kleothei art, much like catfolk art in general, is very vibrant. Unlike their modernized counterparts though, they only have access to what's around them. While they may lack certain tools of the trade, that doesn't detract from the colorful, patterned works they create. A majority of Kleothei artists are skilled with charcoal, but all of them enjoy crafting natural dyes for their work from berries, flowers, and even fungi. This creates untouched, natural pigments that are hard to replicate in synthetic materials. These dyes are also used on fabrics and woven baskets, which they sometimes trade to secure necessities for their people. Another sought after commodity from their culture is the various forms of jewelry that feature bright pieces of seaglass.

Funerary and Memorial customs

The Kleotheians insist on burying their dead unless circumstances make it impossible to do so. The land gave them life and in turn, they wish to return to their humble beginnings once that time comes. It's a final act of appreciation for the world they were a part of and in doing so, they believe that it's their way of securing safe passage into the afterlife. Kleotheian funerals are not a huge affair. Only people that were closest to the departed may be among the funeral party, as well as a village priestess to see the spirit off onto their next journey.   The dead are not given markers or headstones. Instead, those that knew them leave a piece of them throughout the village until the next sun rise. It's a way of showing how many lives the deceased touched and assures their spirit that they'll never be forgotten. These items, whatever they may be, are then placed upon or near the main altar of a family's home to aid in ancestor worship.

Historical figures

Feigon Prakhis was a Kleotheian artist that achieved mainstream fame all over the archipelago for his charcoal works. His art was always splashed with dyes to add a pop of color that one would have difficulty finding elsewhere. He created many beautiful pieces in his lifetime, though the quality of his work visibly declined in the last years of his life. Feigon succumbed to an infection that was found in the Kleotheian wells at the time.   Talri Dratha is a Kleotheian born actress. As a teenager, she left for Avedra on Basilla by stowing away on a passing merchant ship. She dreamed of finer things in life and is vocal about her disdain for village life. Talri found fame after starring in the popular Basillian mystery, "Secrets Among Strangers". She had a leading role, playing the part of the noble runaway, Sionia Nyana Pepeiros.


Gender Ideals

The Kleotheians have a very relaxed stance on gender. Some studies on their culture present them as a tribe of androgynous catfolk, where male and female have no real meaning or value to their people.
Parent ethnicities
Related Locations

Cover image: by Kal V, derivative work created with the Canva Content License


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