The first story begins with Nagoma, as all stories begin and end with Nagoma. It was Nagome, the bright one, who cut her breast and bled out into the void. And from this blood was born the oceans that wash upon the shores. And then Nagoma took a tooth and cast it upon the ocean of blood and the land was made to rise between the waters. And then Nagome wept seven tears, letting them fall upon the new world. The blood was made pure, and the soil became rich, and the air was made clean.
Yet it was very dark and the first creeping things grew upon the face of the earth. Mosses and molds, insects that writh and crawl. All of these came forth in great numbers and plagued the partially shapened world. Nagoma saw this and was not pleased. It was then that Nagome created the 10,000 things of creation, the sun and the trees, the ants and fire and the cooling rains.
And it came to be that the Gorund Tree became very arrogant for it was very large and was too tall for any of the animals to eat of its leaves. And Gorund became filled with hubris and raised his branches even higher, to swallow Nagoma in his leafy arms. Yet Nagoma could not allow him to do this, nor could she strike him, for the power of Nagoma is so great that her touch could split the world like a ripe frungy-pod
So it was that Nagoma took a handful of twigs and clay and blew her breath into them, and a drop of her blood, and a single tear. From this the Kada, the Tear Born, were created. We were the tallest of the Obi, the animal creatures, and Gorund's leaves were not out of our reach. And it was by this that Gorund was humbled and made into the many Gorundi trees that make up the forests now.
Remember this young one, that we were born of the goddess and it is our duty to keep the saplings of Gorund and his leafy brothers from choking the sun.
Creation story of the Kada as told by lorekeeper Thorncroft.
The average Kada stands an impressive 12 feet tall, though only weighs about 400 to 600 pounds. Much of their height comes from having long legs, and a neck that is nearly 4 feet long by itself. This gives them a wide view of the surrounding plains and allows for them the graze on the leaves of high branching trees like the Gorundi. The Kada consider neck length to be an important feature of appearance, with long necks superior to short.
While basically humanoid, having two arms, two legs and a head, they are very inhuman in appearance. Their giraffe-like physiology is complimented by the dusky color of their skin as well as a short but dense layer of protective fur that coveres the larger part of their bodies. While most have a uniform buff color, some have darker dorsal stripes down their back. These Kada will also tend to have horizontal barring on their lower legs and lower arms. The nobles of the kind are known for having angular and almost geometric patterns of liver or chestnut colored spots on their fun. These tend to be hand sized or larger. Finally, the Kada have a pair of bulbous ossicorns on their heads. These are more prominent on the males, though femals do have them.
The Kada are an enlightened and advanced culture with a written language as well as large archives of scrolls of history, ledgers of accounting, and records of birthing months and star charts. Contrary to this advancement is that lack of metal in their culture. Lacking a need for fire, either to keep warm or cook food, they never explored its use. Their tools are made of polished stone or wood, and are of exceptional quality.
The visual arts play a large role in their society. The preeminent artists are the sculptors of stone. These artisans shape native stone into beautiful figures from their mythologies and histories. The main city of the Kada is filled with wonderous pieces depicting Nagoma as a Kada doing various things. The largest piece stands over 100 feet high and is a work of wonders as the stones were stacked and meticuluously carved for two generations. Eventually, the giant stone Nagoma towered above the city, her arms upraised. On the solstices, the sun passes through her hands, symbolizing her releasing the sun from her hands so she could continue with the making of the world.
Other artisans make grand painted murals along the walls and stones around Kada cities, some evne paint the bark of trees as works of art. Beadworking is also popular, with shell being very prized, along with amber, turquoise, jade, and similar stones.
The Grand Festival
Once a year, the Kada have a large religious celebration that lasts for a week. During this time they create massive amounts of music through use of drums and deep pitched wooden horns. Dancing is almost non-stop and drinking becomes a sport. During this week many children are concieved, and such children are said to be blessed by Nagoma herself.
Brewers spend a good part of the year creating various wines, ales, beers, lagers, and liquors for the week long event. Foreigners often make their way down to sample this bonanza of spirits, as well as the incredibly festive mood that permeates the normally calm and docile Kada.
The Cockaigne Plant
This innocuous looking plant is a secret of the Kada. They take its leaves and render them with a mxture that includes quicklime. The resulting paste is dried into a powder and stored in a small gourd. On occassion, a kada will take a pinch of the powder and sniff it, giving them a euphoric feeling. Humans who use it become euphoric and act in strange often violent ways, often becoming addicted to the stuff. The Kada know this are do not let the stuff out of their hands, knowing it is destructive to humans and other humanoid races. Some merchants seek out the mysterious land of Cockaigne, never knowing it is a tree, and not some distant land of golden towers and naked women.
The Grand Realm of Nagoma
The Realm of Nagoma is a broad and flat land of grassy steppes and thin forests, Along the northern coast there are great rainforests where Gorund trees reach great size and there is a riot of insects and colorful flowers. The western region is a bleak and blasted land of rolling badlands and sand berms. The central, eastern, and southern areas are temperate to hot in climate with a dry climate that ranges around 30 inches of rain a year. The River Inkisi runs from the elevated central plateau east through the heart of the Kada lands. The River Dhasi runs along the border of the western desert and into the jungle morass of the northlands.
Camelopard - A Kada has voyaged away from his homeland, beomcing the stranger in a strange land. He is interested in architacture and stonework but inquires about finding reliable guides to help him in his travels. The PCs met the first Kada, as well as getting to show off their home to a newcomer.
The Trade - an unscrupulous merchant has hired the PCs to find out where the Cockaigne powder comes from so he can gain control over its trade. He plans on making himself sensationally wealthy, and has no qualms about destroying humans with his greed, or the culture and peace of the Kada.
Party Time - After facing defeat and near destruction the PCs are marooned near a Kada settlement, in time for the Grand Festival. There they encounter the cornucopia of liquors, much lewd dancing, and even fellow humans who could hire them as guards for the trip back home.
Equal Rights - The Kada place women over men as Nagoma is the creator, though not in any Amazon fashion. The PCs encounter this lack of sexism, as well as some things like new cuts of womens clothes, especially undergarments that leave parts of the bottom exposed, strapless tops and the like. What do the frumpy nobles think of the slow import of this new and ungodly style and newfangled ideas?
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? Responses (9)
Another great post.
I can see those long, proud necks adorned with torcs and rings of gold.
Nice little African vibe. Cockaigne plant is nifty too!
I love them!
I hope its not something I missed, but I REALLY can see them as musicians and lovers of music in general, with unique and unmistakable sounds and instruments, echoing through the savanah.
Linked to the minor race piece.
I need a bit more description of these folks. I keep thinking they are giraffes, but are they humanoids? I need more visual hooks.
Everything else is the write up makes sense for me. It is a little sparse, but it gives you the general idea.
I might of made The Cockaigne Plant either a scroll post (on this post) or a seperate post. That way it can be referenced in another submission easily.
The Kada are indeed anthromorphic giraffes. Added a paragraph that adds more detail on their appearance to maybe express that better.
I have an odd and lingering fascination with these giraffe-peeps. Kudos!
An interesting species that can make for a memorable encounter. With a little adaptation they would work great as an alien species in some far off corner of the galaxy in sci-fi campaigns as well.
I agree with Silveressa on this one. There is really very little required to make them an alien race.