Legends of Belariath

The K`Sir

Appearance

The K’sir is a tall lanky creature of a humanoid build, the males taking on the main traits of the race. Their skin is a dark tan to a deep black, varying often, with a thick hide like skin that covers the front of their forearms, the back of thighs to ankles, and the back of shoulders to waist. This skin is very thick, often protecting the K'sir from close ranged attacks to these vital area's. Their ears are small and pointed, their teeth sharp from a diet primarily of meat and eyes are primarily red or black..

The K’sir male practices ritualistic tattoo’s, so from puberty upwards, each failure, each achievement, is marked by thick tribal bans upon their bodies. They bare the resemblance of a human otherwise from the waist up. More than three fourths of the K’sir are born with human legs as well, these K’sir can often be seen on the backs of their Dvik familiars or rousing the storms of the southern desert.

Every generation however, there is a number of K’sir who are born with the mark of the Trickster. These are born with the bottom torso of the scorpion, eight spindle like legs, a thick carpeting of black fur between the armored carapace, and a long sinuous tail ending in poisonous barb. No one can pin point in what line the K’sir will breed this way, as it is the way of the cunning one to pick and choose who is blessed in this fashion.

Culture, Customs, and Other things.

The culture of the K’sir is a strange one, shrouded in the lies and violence of their birth, hidden away from the rest of civilization by the curse of the old one’s. They are however, feared and made creatures of myth to the settlements beyond the black sands,

Nomadic by nature, the K’sir have chosen to use the myth and fear the black sands create to extend their clan’s power and the effectiveness of their raids. These raids are primarily used to supply the Clan with fertile woman, fresh water, and supplies – but they were born of violence, and do not hesitate to stamp out a neighboring village or settlement to slack the thirst of bloodshed.

At birth, male K’sir are separated from their mother’s and set out into the black desert, once there, the babe is then remanded to the hold of the God of Darkness or Trickster. If the child cries out, then the God of Darkness will swallow the babe into the black sands; if the babe does not cry out, it said the Trickster has blessed the child, and when the night ends, the child is brought back into its fold and raised as others.

Only a male K’sir is born full blooded to the Clan, as it is very rare to have a girl born of a K’sir who is later fertile or who survives the Birth ritual. Those who do, and are able to carry on the K’sir line are held in high esteem and hidden away from the rest of the group, often reserved for the Clan King or his sons so that the line may carry on. Otherwise, most K’sir rely on the capturing of slaves and other races, not discriminatory in the least, for as said, male K’sir breed true, any trait of the mother suppressed in the offspring.

The K’sir woman are subdivided into several sections, those who have been brought in from foreign settlements are considered slaves or breeding stock. They are at the bottom wrung and expendable beyond their services to men and children. Those who are absorbed seamlessly are allowed to take mates from the K’sir men, allowed a certain freedom among the tents and can join the periodic meetings held in the King’s tents. The natural born woman, the ones who can not breed, are allowed to join the different castes, but they are restricted from taking a mate.

The Clan moves every eight months, usually depending on the resources afforded to them during raids or animal farming. They depend on the meat of the C’fir and the Juggernaut Worm, harvest milk from Camels and Goats, and know how to use the desert’s minimal plant life to augment their diet. The chemistry of the K’sir makes them great at going a length of time without water, and are born with an additional set of eyelids to keep the bluster of the sands from obscuring or blinding their eyesight.

Ascension

Every ten years, the children who have come of age are gathered from the woman’s tents and taken into the deep desert, where ruins lay and ancient dead still roam. Here, the child will learn of their place within the hierarchy of the clan, to be marked as Warrior, Mage or Thief – to be claimed by fire, sand or shadow, as the saying goes. From here, they will learn their special trade.

The hierarchy of the Clan is predominately determined by skill and longevity. They are born with a lifespan of roughly twice that of humans, but circumstance and the harsh desert climate can cut that nearly in half. The clan is headed by a ‘king’, a K’sir who has proven himself as a grand warrior and is as cunning as the Trickster himself. His closest advisors are those Seers who he most trusts – they can determine the movement of the Clan, that of his enemies and decide when next the Clan would strike.

Not solely a Clan of raiders and heathens, the clan enjoys its entertainments as much as anyone else. Music makers and story tellers take up much of the span of free time that is held in daily life of the K’sir, weaving great tales of life beyond the walls, often a great means of understanding what is going on beyond the borders of their violent homeland. Story tellers will often go the extra mile, practicing the magical art of disguise and shape shifting, to bring characters to life and to fully immerse themselves into the telling.

At death, a K’sir is remanded to the desert as he had been at birth, only here does the God of Darkness rule over all, swallowing the dead in a fiery display, no trace left behind. To best keep their secret, and allow the rest of the Clan peace from wandering spirits.

Though the K’sir mainly keep to the boundaries of the black and southern deserts, they are not above traveling beyond their ‘borders’ once a year to the plains of the north. Here the K’sir can harvest the plants and resources they need for the rest of the year.