dwarf influenced kalazotz Ethnicity in Scarterra | World Anvil

dwarf influenced kalazotz

kalazotz and West Meckelorner dwarves  have been allied to some extent for over a 1000 years. Kalazotz have been allied to Stahlheimer dwarves for over 500 years.  
Dwarf Kingdom of Meckelorn (stub) cover
by Me
  While the dwarves of Stahlheim and Meckelorn are culturally distinct are sort of rivals or frienemies, the kalazotz of these two nations get along quite well.  Kalazotz are far more likely to travel between Meckelorn and Stahlheim than dwarves are, and many in fact seek marriage partners from as far away as possible to maintain genetic divesity.  Because of this cross polination, there are no substantive cultural differences between the two enclaves of kalazotz though some argue that to Stahlheim, kalazoyz are allies and to Meckeleorn, kalazotz are friends.  
Meckelorn in the Second Age cover
by Me
  The dwarf tied kalazotz are growing both because the kalazotz are having pups and because unaligned kalazotz colonies have been immigrating to dwarven lands.  Even if they don't move into dwarven lands, kalazotz colonies within and without dwarf lands are willing to meet and even exchange marriage partners leading to trade and cultural diffusion.     Kalazotz are nearly universally family oriented, but since assimilating dwarf values they have taken to recording the deeds of their long dead ancestors and practicing active filial piety.  Many colonies have begun keeping written records of their family across generation and celebrate major family milestones with stone carvings near their nests, including artistic stelae which are often like upside totem poles carved on stalactites.  Given that most dwarf-allied kalazotz nests are hanging from cavern ceilings, a lot of their art and writing is upside down.   It is common for dwarf-allied kalazotz to recite their lineage in formal settings, though unlike dwarves, kalazotz are matrilineal rather than patrilineal.  Son or daughter of ________ daughter of (grandmother) daughter of (great grand mother) etc.  The rationale being you are never 100% who the father is.   Starting in 1313 when the Great Stone was liberated, a lot of the most celebrated kalazotz heroes took on vaguely dwarf-like clan names for their families.  Since then, more kalazotz have been adopting clan names.  In the centuries since then, more and more kalazotz colonies have chosen clan names.  There are over 120 recognized clan names in Meckelorn and over 50 in Stalheim and about 20 clans with colonies in both nations.  The numbers are growing as more kalazotz decide to adopt dwarf-style clan identities.     Some dwarf-aligned kalazotz clans, about one-in-four Meckelorn clans and about one in ten Stahlheim clans have formalized clan wide alliances with dwarf clans. Ordinary clan alliances between dwarf clans are sealed by marriage but obvious that does not work for kalazotz-dwarf alliances.  Even so, kalazotz and dwarves in allied clans consider each other honorary family.  These are the kalazotz that dwarves invite home for dinner and visa versa despite that both kalazotz and dwarves find the others' eating habits a little off putting.  Allied clans also fight side-by-side in times of war (or you know with dwarves on the ground and kalazotz flying over their heads).  
Kalazotz scouts and skirmish troops are present in both the Meckelorn Armed Forces and the Stahlheim Armed Forces, but their main contributions are in peacetime.  Kalazotz are prodigious weavers and provide their dwarf allies with a lot of their clothing and nearly all of their rope.  The dwarves provide their kalazotz allies with metal tools.  Both sides share food when able.
Commissioned kalazotz flying, grey background by Diana Rahfoth


Major language groups and dialects

Dwarf influenced kalazotz still use Zocatec as their mother tongue, but the vast majority of them learn Dwarven from an early age.   Dwarf influenced kalazotz have a tendency to switch back and forth between the two languages midparagraph or even midsentence.

Culture and cultural heritage

One thing the kalazotz picked up from the dwarves is literacy.  The kalazotz speak their own language, but they use they never had an alphabet so they use the Dwarven script to write.  More than a few kalazotz are messengers cause they can carry messages much faster than dwarves can.   Much like their bearded friends, dwarf-aligned kalazotz often make lengthy written accounts of the deeds of their ancestors and living family. Kalazotz are already naturally family oriented, so it was not much of a stretch to pick up dwarf-style filial peity.  

Shared customary codes and values

Like with more independent kalazotz, most dwarf aligned kalazotz view Mera as their primary divine provider and protector but they will usually give the rest of the Nine some token respect, though they frequently shun Greymoria and Maylar, something their dwarf allies approve of.  
Usually, they will politely give their respects to the deities that their dwarf friends value and dwarves will politely give Mera her due around their kalazotz friends. This has led to some religious cross polination between the dwarves and kalazotz but this is very slow as while their most favorite and least favorite deities are similar, their methods of worship are not very similar.
Silver Nine symbol #1 by Me adapting work from Pendrake via Nightcafe
  Regardless of whom the kalazotz are worshiping, they tend to favor relatively informal fairly free-form worship with minimal worn regalia or carried holy items. This contrasts greatly with their more materialistic dwarf friends who view holy icons and relics with great reverence.

Common Etiquette rules

Dwarves tend to be formal and kalazotz tend to be informal. In both cases, dwarf allied kalazotz and their dwarf friends are usually willing to meet each other in the middle. Typically, initial greetings are formal but then the dwarf will signal that the kalazotz can relax or be at ease once the intial formalities are out of the way.   One thing that most kalazotz and dwarves have in common is they are not afraid of asking blunt direct questions and often find other races' more indirect tendencies somewhat offputting.

Common Dress code

Comissioned Kalazotz Art (smaller version) by Diana Rahfoth
Kalazotz affiliated with dwarves dress very similarly to independent kalazotz. Minimalistically and with a vaguely Mayan style though dwarf-affiliated kalazotz tend to favor the colors of their adopted dwarf nation or allied dwarf clans.   Kalazotz that are acting in a military fashion or official fashion on behalf of a dwarf ally or lord will often wear a sash with their insignia of their rank, role, and affiliation, at least when on duty.

Art & Architecture

Apart from their memorial stelae and their elaborate weaving most dwarf-allied kalazotz do not craft much in physical mediums. They are happy to leave this work to their more skilled dwarf friends.   They do like singing, often incorporating sonar pings and other tones beyond the normal hearing range of dwarves.

Foods & Cuisine

Dwarves, especially Meckelorner dwarves are famously not picky eaters and neither are kalazotz.   Kalazotz can and do eat anything dwarves eat and are less perturbed by "little goats". They are also far less likely than dwarves to cook their food though more likely to cook their food than most other kalazotz.  
by Me using Nightcafe
  Dwarf influenced kalazotz have also helped introduce their dwarf friends to new edible fungi and plants they were unaware of before expanding their culinary options.  
by Me using Nightcafe
Another thing kalazotz have picked up from dwarves is a fondness for fermented spirits.  Sometimes kalazotz drink the same sorts of beverages dwarves do, other times they ferment their own food drinking alcoholic versions dwarves of things dwarves would not normally touch such as fermented rabbit's blood or mashed up grubs (though dwarves have drank such things on a dare).
  Flying under the influence is dangerous. Most kalazotz stay on the ground when they drink, ideally drinking with some dwarf friends to keep them grounded both figuratively and literally, but there is a controversial custom of using safety nets in designated drinking areas.   The reason this practice is controversial is because safety nets are ordinarily for very young pups to practice flying safely which effectively infantilizes an adult kalazotz.  Because of this most choose to drink in moderation or stay on the ground.   Another controversial move is a few hardliner kalazotz have instituted the bat equivalent of a temperance movement saying proper kalazotz should not drink at all.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Most kalazotz are laid back and informal, but some of dwarf formality and work ethic has rubbed off on their kalazotz allies.   Dwarf influenced kalazotz often work hard and play hard, working with a diligence any dwarf would approve of but the second the work is done, they drop their formal airs in a second.  
Dwarf aligned kalazotz that are not working are fond of drinking, singing, and full contact sports.   Assimiliation goes too ways, at least in Meckelorn. In Meckelorn parlance, cutting loose and relaxing is often referred to as "going bats."

Funerary and Memorial customs

Dwarf aligned kalazotz commonly read passages of their family's history on memorial holidays. They also often have family shrines with memorial stelae hanging from the ceiling near their nesting areas. Kalazotz will hang upside nearby to quietly reminiscence on lost loved ones and commune with their ancestors.   Not too surprisingly, spirit loas are relatively common among dwarf aligned kalazotz.

Articles under dwarf influenced kalazotz

Cover image: Comissioned Kalazotz Art (smaller version) by Diana Rahfoth


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