User:Oznogon/Draft:Katapeshi kholo

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The kholo of Katapesh have a distinct society from other kholo, such as those of the Mwangi Expanse. Renowned as slavers, Katapeshi kholo live a more brutal lifestyle with a greater devotion to Lamashtu.12

Society

For Katapeshi kholo the prospect of acquiring more slaves is enough to rouse them to action. Kholo apply this scavenging to looting and stealing clothes, armour, weapons, and even homes from others. Katapeshi kholo in particular are prolific slavers in part because they have no interest in doing anything labour intensive themselves.2

A Katapeshi kholo's life is short and violent compared to other humanoid ancestries. They typically start life born not naturally but instead through crude, brutal caesarians as they are ripped from the womb in their first tribute to Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters. In rare instances, a Katapeshi kholo pup chews its way free from its mother's womb, and such a vicious kholo is considered destined for greatness. Powerful leaders of many tribes in Katapesh were born of such violence.1

The average lifespan of a Katapeshi kholo is approximately 28 years, and while most make it into their thirties, many die young from violence. In such societies, only the most canny and lucky kholo ever see their 40th birthday.1

A kholo slaver.

Katapeshi kholo always travel in packs, normally with a single male leader who takes on a lofty, often pretentious title like "Emperor", "Consort of Lamashtu" or "King of all Kholo". The leader maintains their position through violence, and their authority extends only as far as their claws can reach.1

Katapeshi kholo normally rove in small packs of a few hunters, though their definition of hunting is more like scavenging.1 Typically these tribes only grow as large as two hundred3 but can grow to be much larger when led by a truly exceptional leader like the Carrion King. Every region of Katapesh infested with kholo has one larger, more successful band led by the strongest kholo whose influence can be felt throughout the region.1

Despite their often vicious behavior, Katapeshi kholo see little to be gained from warring between themselves since they never enslave other kholo.2 Despite their chaotic nature, kholo society has a strict set of laws that revolve around the group. From birth, kholo are taught that the good of the pack outweighs that of the individual. These laws are deeply skewed as there is no punishment for killing a non-kholo (unless he was a pack mate's slave) while forcing another kholo to work incurs the harshest penalty.4

In Katapeshi kholo society, one punishment is feared above all: exile. It is considered worse than death to be condemned to endless loneliness. Those exiled either seek new companions amongst non-kholo like orcs or trolls, or seek a swift and final death. When exiled, the kholo is shaved and then scarred to forever mark them as banished. Only the most heinous crimes in Katapeshi kholo culture, such as forcing a kholo to work, betraying kholo to their racial enemies, worshipping a deity not associated with Lamashtu, or freeing a slave, are punished by exile.4

Religion and mythology

An unchosen kholo known as the Carrion King.

Many kholo of Katapesh are devout followers of Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, and reverence for her suffuses nearly all aspects of such kholo's lives. This worship somewhat conflicts with these kholo societies' misogynistic tendencies but also strictly defines the female's role: they are either holy priestess or sacred mother, and if they are neither then they are sacrificed to appease Lamashtu.2

In these societies, kholo priesthood can be split into the female clerics and the male shamans, where females generally perform the more ritualistic aspects of worship like preparing sacrifices, overseeing births, and hunting down heretics, and males tend to more common activities like giving unholy sermons and casting healing spells. Kholo priestesses regard themselves as mothers of their flock serving as teachers and caretakers of their pack; this is not always figurative as they view giving birth to monstrous offspring as a sacred duty and are notoriously fecund. Most priestesses spend much of their life pregnant with their distended bellies bearing the scars of violent births.2 Females who have not given birth or been favoured by the goddess by age 15 are sacrificed to appease her.1

In an attempt to mimic their goddess's form, male shamans go through a ritual trepanation to open up a hole, supposedly a mystical third eye, in the middle of their forehead; they sometimes even fill this new orifice with eyes stolen from sacrificial victims.4

Tribes

Pale Mountain Kholo

The Pale Mountain is located near the junction of the Brazen Peaks and the Barrier Wall of northwest Katapesh. It is avoided by travellers as it is known to be the haunt of numerous tribes of kholo, ruled by the Carrion King.5 From his throne upon Pale Mountain's slopes, the Carrion King commands hundreds of kholo. Among the ramshackle hordes, bands of raiders and slavers, and lone murderers, four noteworthy tribes serve the warlord: Al'Chorhaiv, The Circle, Three Jaws and Wormhollow.6

Lesser tribes of Pale Mountain are the Al'Vohr's Hunters, The Ghulveis, The Sordaiv and the Wyrmslaves.6

References

Category:Katapesh Category:Lamashtu/Followers Category:Slavery