Kyadii are cat-like humanoids, covered in fur from ears to paws (or 'hand-paws' and 'feet-paws'). A single person of this race is called a Kyadd in Foyiitùn. As one would expect from a feline race, they are remarkably agile and near-silent on their feet - whether on two or four paws.
What Do Kyadii Call Themselves?The name Kyadii is from Foyiitùn and was also accepted in Qalathian culture (and indeed Common Tongue/Parànti). It literally means ‘Sneaky Cat-People’ or ‘Silent Cat-People’. A term which some Kyadii agree on is Rarshk, though it should be noted that this refers to their language and not really designed to apply to the race as a whole. This is because a Kyadd's identity was found within their immediate clan. The primary three groupings were:
- Parrtrof Teeg (Clan)
- Deenfeiss Leen (Clan)
- Ferrarrn Ghyt (Colony)
Where Do the Kyadii Come From?Any individual Kyadd could hail from a number of clans, whether long-established one, or breakaway camps. The primary known clans are based in Frostplain far in the North, and Sablesand Dunes, South of Shevezz in the South. Each clan has different markings on their fur - the former being grey and blue, with the latter being orange and black, each clan having adapted over the [I]Ana to their surroundings to avoid a measure of camouflage.
Playing To Their StrengthsTheir long claws made them vicious fighters but poor crafts-people. Even those who had forsaken their claws when subjected to slavery found their hand-paws were still not nimble enough for those tasks. But what they lacked in dexterity they made up for in mind. They were quick to learn, especially by observing those around them. And they kept their knowledge secret until it was needed. Of course such knowledge depended on the Master or Mistress (note that females in the Realm could kept the 'Master' title, it was not reserved for males only).
Key Kyadii within Book 1 of The Chronicles of Qal'athIn Alphabetical Order:
While each clan may have thought their society was unique to them, it usually followed this pattern.
- Chief, or in the event of an even match, Chiefs
- Family Head
- Everyone else.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Pride Brought LowTheir role as servants or slaves within Qal'ath unfortunately means most of their species is judged on their servitude and performance, leading to a complete disinterest in where they came from. Slavery equally caused the population to dramatically decrease over the past century. No full clans were found within the borders of Qal'ath. However, a small camp of Kyadii exists at the farthest Western edge of the Realm, mostly hidden by the natural coastline. And a little out to sea is the Isle of Ghrrysz, where a "colony" (not "clan") of Kyadii is rumoured to be based.
A Marginalised PeopleHistorically the Kyadii had become slaves to higher-ranking officials of the Realm. Although seen as a status symbol, the sad reality is that many Kyadii lead poor lives, mistreated by their masters. A few rose to become personal assassins due their aforementioned stealth, though this was rare. Those that did not please their masters were cast out onto the streets, where they were either relocated to Uranbé-Kur in Bezélan or Bezélan, or they simply fled into the lands to roam and hunt to survive.
The ExceptionsFor the sake of balance as Chronicler, I should raise the point that not all masters mistreated their Kyadii. Not a few refered to them as their helpers or servants, and treated them better as a result. This was certainly the case of the two Kyadii in the care of two mages of the Crystal Circle at 553AFD.
As one would expect from a Feline race, the Kyadii had evolved while still maintaining all features one would expect of a cat: from the vertical lines of their eyes, to their nose and maw, along with their accentuated ears - they were named "cat people" by others for a reason. Many, though not all, still had whiskers. The main evolution of the head and face, aside from a larger forehead as the brain had developed, was the maw or mouth, which meant that for many centuries, Kyadii were able to learn and speak in multiple languages as well as their own.
Eye ColoursThe colour of the iris was usually what caught the attention of non-Kyadd species - and potential mates. Sablesand Kyadii especially could exhibit bright green, yellow or a dark sky blue. Frostplain Kyadii had colours in keeping with their surroundings and were usually white, pale grey or whichever shade of blue matched the flecks in their fur. You could easily tell a clanless Kyadd by the colour of their eyes - while a Kyadd with the above colours may have had a clan, those with different combinations were almost always clanless. This is down to the likely interrelations with other clans or even species, along with any adjustments down the generations due to the location they have developed in.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The two major, independent clans were found at the very South/Sùdo of Sablesand Dunes and in somewhat more scattered clans in Frostplain, far North/Nùormà of the Forest of Doon. A significant number were on the Isle of Ghyrrsz for reasons unknown at 553 AFD. However, lone Kyadii could be encountered in all the Erdàn Savànii, due to either being cast out by their clan, being born to outcasts or simply wanting to live a different life between the extremes of freezing cold and fur-burning hot.
The Kyadii were, if left to their own devices, observant and calculating. Preferring action over speech, their enhanced hearing and sight helped them to learn most things very swiftly. "Business" was never something they willingly engaged in and very few were educated in terms of structured learning or reading books. However, by absorbing knowledge and being aware of their surroundings, Kyadii could become powerful mages or deadly assassins. Many a Kyadd employed their flexibility to master at least two combat forms so as to always have the advantage of surprise.
Civilization and Culture
Names were conferred on cubs by their parents and could later be replaced by themselves or the Chief or Seer/Soothsayer. But all names had meaning, to describe either the character exhibited by the individual Kyadd or in a prophetic sense, what they were to become.
ExampleFarynna's actual Kyadii name is Grrn-Deen-Arrn which, roughly translated from Rarshk to Common Tongue/Parànti, means "Light in the Darkness". She referred to her brother affectionately as "Ghyt-Leen" or "Stalker Kitten".
Even the desert-dwelling Kyadii prided themselves on their cleanliness both for their own wellbeing and for partners, current or future. Aside from that, beauty ideals were simply reflected by the clan's general ideals - strength and physical combat proficiency for Sablesand Kyadii and intellect, litheness for those hailing from Frostplain.
A simple dual-gender society (see the Elelupii for an example that was not, necessarily).
Being mostly in extreme climates, there was no courtship. If two Kyadii committed themselves to each other for a Season, then a physical relationship could commence immediately. There was no "testing period" as both partners will have grown to know the others, seen them in combat or other confrontations and decided if they were a suitable match.
Partnerships were always one male to one female. It was preferred that every Kyadd had a partner - both for the survivability of the Clan and to reduce aggression over desired partners. That's not to say lone Kyadii had no role, but they would be nearly constantly asked when they would start... "strengthening our numbers".
Average Technological Level
- Weaponry: Melée Staves, Javelins, Spears as well as short swords and/or knives
- Alchemy: Poisons, Healing Potions
- Sorcery: Variable between clans and individuals. Magic "weapons" were frequently used in battle.
- Flight: No
- Mechanical Transportation: No
- Life Shards: Ice (Ousii ikà Aevyen)
- Crafting: Metal Forging: Occasional, Woodworking: Adept
Major Language Groups and Dialects
The Kyadii LanguageThe native language of the Kyadii is Rarshk, but that was spoken only with other Kyadii. Necessity dictated that they also learned Common Tongue/Parànti, but some also showed an interest in learning other languages also. While the language was the same, the accent between North and South was not. This was harsher within the Sablesand clans and smoother and gentler for those in Frostplain.
Common Dress Code
An undressed Kyadd was fully dressed. That said, many chose, or were forced by their surroundings, to adopt clothing, especially female Kyadii. For "clothed" ones, it was still often true that most of the arms ("top legs") and legs ("hind legs") were left bare - as in only their fur showing. A Kyadd wearing gloves or shoes/boots was unheard of. When clans either fought with each other, or in preparation for internal "trials", extra protection would often be worn on the upper body. This could take the form of blessed cloth, or treated animal hide - and occasionally either/or would feature shards of metal they had managed to forge - or loot. But aside from this, only a loose cloth or "skirt" would be worn around the waist. Any more than that, they felt, their manouverability would be hindered. After all, a Kyadd never "dressed to impress", when it was their skills being judged.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
Annual Moon FestivalAt the first High Moon of Summer, Kyadii from all over the Erdàn Savànii would gather within the less-populated parts of the Forest of Doon. This pilgrimage was not religious in nature, but a tradition that united the clans for two nights. There would be feasting (of meat hunted and wood felled outside the Forest, out of respect for the Foyii / Woodsmen), chanting and future-seeing. Mock fights/sparring sessions would take place too, as all Kyadii honoured The Fight, whatever form it took. For these two nights, all clans were permitted to intermingle in "anyway they pleased", before returning to Chief Rule on the way back to their homeland.
Mating and reproducing with non-Kyadd species. Openly criticising your Chief. (though if it was another clan's Chief, then naturally that was encouraged) Disobeying the Chief or the Seer/Soothsayer.
Fragments of a Lost SocietyRecords of the species are long-lost after the First Destruction, though independent chroniclers have tried to honour the past by peddling scrolls of history, much of which is hearsay or oral tradition. The Kyadii supposedly had their own land long ago, where the Cats formed into tribes, each with its own leader. Their Kingdom (for no other word has been found to describe it, as of yet) is assumed to be no more, or so far away from the Realm that it seems of little or no consequence. Generations of Kings and Queens of Qal'ath with stone fortresses and steel armour have seen themselves far superior to a tribal culture, thus sat with confidence that they could not be assailed by, as was often said ‘Cats wielding sticks’ (A phrase coined by Regus Cornae III of Qal’ath, in the year 349AFD)
Common Myths and Legends
Beyond the NrrwarrA myth of the Sablesand Kyadii relates to the mountain gap to the South of Nrrwarr. ((Chronicler's Note: no one has charted any of Savàni South of Sablesand, North of Zeloiiblàn, West of Hohiskàlmàr or East of Ousèthkièl and Erdous Fynaìm)) Nrrwarr is home to a permanent fog and thus the "Great Beyond" cannot be seen. Legend has it that strange cries and whispers can be heard from within the Fog, inviting you to step in further until you cannot be seen by those outside where a Kyadd will vanish without a trace.
Some say you are immediately slain, leaving only your voice to tempt more to their doom, while others rationalise it as other peoples from the beyond simply sounding faint. And still more say that it is a door to the other side of the world. Needless to say Nrrwarr has been redefined to mean "forbidden" in Rarshk as well as it's more normal "no way through" definition. ((Chronicler's Note: I have asked the researchers here at Shevezz to determine the outer limits of our Orb. While only the rare mage can actually use teleportation incantations, the possibility that Nrrwarr does lead to Zelohiiblàn cannot be totally disregarded. Though one would need to explain also how such intense heat could abide next to the Lifeless Cold. But that is not my task!))
Parrtrof Teeg, Deenfeiss Leen or Ferrarrn Ghyt
55 Ana (with a range of 35 - 110 Ana)
1.4m - 2.1m
Sablesand KyadiiThe black and orange furred Kyadii found in Sablesand were broad-shouldered and muscly - a testiment to their clan's unending drive to only forge the strongest warriors - and to banish the weakest. But their strength did not come at a cost to their agility on two- or four-paws. What it did hamper was the ability to move about unseen in stealth, unless robed in a dark cloak. If a Sablesand Kyadd were enslaved or employed it would be more as a body guard, rather than an assassin.
Frostplain KyadiiBy contrast, the blue and white furred Kyadii of Frostplain were lean and sinewy. While they had to be strong too, the lack of viable "meat creatures" meant "strength" was more a measure of determination and resolve.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
As mentioned already, Kyadii were "fully furred". Pure Kyadii were not Kyparànii who were lacking fur in some areas of the body. Sablesand Kyadii had orange and black markings, helping camouflage in the desert. Their arms, faces, necks and tails often had near-complete rings of black, which tapered to a point at the beginning and the end of the ring. Frostplain Kyadii were white and light blue to blend in against the snow and ice. Markings of this blue varied, from stripes to spots to "ice flecks". Inter-clan breeding happened rarely and it is rumoured other minor clans, even without considering the Isle of Ghyrrsz, had begun to grow in pockets around the Realm of Qal'ath. This meant colourings and markings would become much more widely.