The White Owls
Culture of the White Owls
Inspired by the Kharajyr Culture Rewrite
1 - Prefixes of Kha’ Social Statuses
1.1 - High Aelkos
1.2 - Aelkos
1.3 - Priest/Temple Guards
1.4 - Warriors
1.5 - Artist/Writer/Creatives
1.6 - Doctors/Healers/Surgeons
1.7 - Merchants
1.8 - Adults
1.9 - Kittens/Cubs
1.10 - Wizards/Mages
1.11 - Elders
2 - Annual Events
2.1 - Yancuic Xihuitl (New Years Celebration)
2.2 - Phase Ritual
3 - The Kharajyr Appearance
3.1 - Clothing
3.2 - Dyes
3.3 - Jewelry
3.4 - Body Armor
4 - Kharajyr Courtship
4.1 - Courtship Initiation
4.2 - Proposal
4.3 - Wedding Ceremony
5 - Lunar Phases
5.1 - Kha Birth Phases
5.1.1 - Phase Anomalies
188.8.131.52 - Lunar Eclipse
184.108.40.206 - Solar Eclipse
220.127.116.11 - Blue Moon
18.104.22.168 - Harvest Moon
22.214.171.124 - Blood Moon
6 - Arts & Music
6.1 - Paintings & Statues
6.2 - Pottery & Glass Blowing
6.3 - Music
6.3.1 - Woodwinds
6.3.2 - Strings
6.3.3 - Percussion
6.3.4 - The Death Whistle
6.4 - Dance
6.4.1 - The Haka
126.96.36.199 - Waewae
188.8.131.52 - Ngeri
184.108.40.206 - Manawa
6.5 - Weapon Decorations
7 - Food & Agriculture
7.1 - Cuisine - Food & Drinks
7.2 - Agriculture
8 - Sports
8.1 - Kharajyr Ball
8.2 - Game of Ur
9 - References
1 - Prefixes of Kha’ Social Statuses:
A Kha’s social status in the White Owls is expressed with a short prefix prior to their name. These are considered a form of title, earned honorably and granted by individuals of higher power. Upon any formal meetings, they are required to be used. For example, an Aelkos would be prefixed with Ri’ before their name. So, an Aelkos Kha’ named Rajir would be referred to as Ri’Rajir when respecting their authority.
Kharajyr who carry the incorrect prefixes or pretend to maintain one when not meeting criteria are highly frowned upon, and in extreme circumstances may be identified for imprisonment or worse per White Owls law. Prefixes also determine a Kha’s position in society, identifying how much authority they hold.
1.1 High Aelkos = Ri’[Name]
The individual that carries this prefix is the sole leader of the White Owls. They have authority above the Aelkos to make political decisions, although are checked by vote between the three. If two Aelkos of the three agree with the High Aelkos decision, it may be completed; but otherwise, it is denied. The High Aelkos has authority to strip Aelkos of their respective title, although may only strip one Aelkos per Elven Year to maintain balance. It is the High Aelkos who maintains the pride and ensures their safety in the world.
1.2 Aelkos = Tultelkos (Tul’), Varkolu (Var’), or Aluhuso (Alu’) [Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are one of the three Aelkos of a pride. Responsible for maintaining sections of the pride’s society, an Aelkos has one of the more difficult positions of power. The varying prefixes refer to any particular Aelkos of the trio with the Tultelkos as the military leader, Varkolu as religious, and Aluhuso as the economic Aelkos. Each Aelkos holds authority over their assigned section of society, a hard but necessary task.
1.3 Priest/Temple Guards = Ja’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those who maintain temples as a priest or as a temple guard. Assigned by the religious Aelkos or the High Aelkos, a priest is one who leads all rituals, sacrifices, annual events and maintains the spiritual health of the pride’s population. Their wealth is a good indicator of their greed, causing many good priests to be poorer than other Kha’ if they have not offered their wealth to Metztli. Regardless, they maintain the highest authority beneath an Aelkos given their connection to The Creator.
1.4 Warriors = Do’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are identified as skilled warriors which should be treated with great respect. Akin to a knight, these individuals are noble Kharajyr who have behaved honorably in battle, have acquired and expressed finesse in warfare or are considered skilled battlefield commanders. Any High Aelkos or Aelkos are permitted to grant this title to a Kha’.
1.5 Artist/Writer/Creatives = Ji’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those of a creative mind. Typically obtained by artists, writers, chefs, dancers, tailors or skilled craftsman including art in their work, this title identifies an individual of great cosmetic talent. A Kha’ may only obtain this title by creating and gifting their work to an Aelkos or the High Aelkos. If they enjoy the work, the title will be granted. If it is not, their work will be returned and they may attempt again after the annual new Elven year celebration.
1.6 Doctors/Healers/Surgeons = Dra’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those who are skilled in the art of aiding the weak & ill. They are gifted in their craft and maintain a wealthy knowledge of anatomy, ailments and their cures. Often, doctors will clothe themselves in white linen to represent their role and purity from the filth of the world. A Kha’ will receive this title by a peer (not always an Aelkos or the High Aelkos) when they are decided proficient.
1.7 Merchants = Ka'/Ki'/Ko’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are those with a silver tongue. Capable of bartering for great amounts of wealth or maintaining large companies that power the industries of Kha’ society are granted this title by an Aelkos or High Aelkos.
1.8 Adults = Si’/Sa’/So’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are your typical adults, and will be encouraged to obtain a job. This title is gained automatically.
1.9 Kittens/Cubs = S’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this title are children. All Kharajyr will maintain this title at their early stages of life and may not obtain another until they are an adult.
1.10 Wizards/Mages = Jo’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix are considered magic users. Any Kharajyr may carry this title, so long they maintain the ability to connect with the Void and cast magic.
1.11 Elders = Yhl’[Name]
The Kharajyr that carry this prefix is your common elder. It is an optional title, and typically is only held if a Kharajyr has no greater position in the society. Considered a “retirement” title, it is often held by those who no longer seek work or (more importantly) are unable to work. An Elder holds great respect, and are required to be respected for their commitment to the society. Often-times, the Elders will be capable of residing on an Elder Council if the White Owls hold a large enough population. They may vote on actions the pride takes, and their votes will greatly influence the actions of the Aelkos and High Aelkos above them.
2 - Annual Events:
2.1 Yancuic Xihuitl: Loosely translated to “New Years”, this festival is exactly what it sounds like – a celebration of the passage of a year, and the start of a new. It is observed by the White Owls nine days before the Spring equinox and occurs always at night, concluding at moon-high or midnight.
Celebrations consist of ceremonial dances to the beat of drums, visually fascinating not only for their antiquity but also for their colorful folk costumes. During which, seeds are presented as offerings to an altar or moon pool for blessings of bountiful harvests. Ocotes (pitch-pine candles) are lit in the surrounding area and they produce a highly flammable and aromatic resin which is collected for a flag burning.
At the close of the celebrations, the flag burning will occur alongside a fireworks show; the flag, designed to represent the previous year and the accomplishments of a tribe in that time will be soaked in the ocote resin and burned within the moon pool or over its respective altar. During this, the Kharajyr will strike seashells or obsidian glass chunks together for noise and cheer for the opening of a new year – a clean slate.
2.2 Phase Ritual: This ritual occurs annually in various tribes on any date deemed necessary. The purpose is to determine the acquired phase by an individual -- explaining what exactly their alignment is based upon during their birth.
The ritual always occurs at a moon pool or altar at midnight, although only on the overcast night of a full moon. It is determined by the priest when to initiate the ritual, typically when cloud cover is thick and moonlight is not visible. The Kharajyr in question will sit within a rock salt drawn crescent, facing away from the crest and towards the basin of the crescent shape, which will look towards the altar or moon pool. The priest will then light candles at the crescent’s two vertices.
Thereafter, the Kha’ in question sitting cross-legged in the crescent will attempt to enter a state of meditation, focusing their mind on the hidden moon above them. This will most often be an attempt to connect themselves -- psychically -- with the phase they are attached to. Not always will this result in the proper phase, as it is only believed by the priests to be a tried and true method.
Once the Kha’ has entered this state, they must remain so until the clouds part and moonlight shines down upon them. Then, the priest will blow out the candles and pull the individual from their meditation. Granted their new phase, this Kharajyr will then be blessed by submerging in the waters of the moon pool or by an offering of silver to the altar. They are then sent to their new mentors to learn the ways of what they shall become.
3 - The Kharajyr Appearance:
The Kharajyr are a humanoid anthropomorphic feline creature race magically shaped from cats and elves by a Daemon, Metztli. This means they are a hybrid of the two species, and retain some (but not all) features of their mixed traits. Kharajyr appear as a biped which is a trait retained from the elves, while their digitigrade legs (as opposed to plantigrade) are a trait retained from the cat, meaning that their legs are jointed differently than that of other humanoids. They also retain the feline appearance with their fur coat, appearing with the texture of a real-world cheetah, tiger, panther or leopard. Other ways they retain the feline appearance is with their tail, pointed and jointed ears, an elongated snout or maw, retractable claws in the toes and hands, and palms in the shape of paws. However, they retained the trait of opposable thumbs from the elves, allowing them the ability to manipulate objects articulately like other humanoids. The feet more closely resemble their feline counterparts, and at the ankle, the Kharajyr retain their feline predecessor’s dewclaw, which can become an issue when fitting shoes or socks.
A basic design for various Kharajyr subraces in the pride, credits to Adam_Barnett.
Kharajyr in the White Owls are typically known to dress in supple clothing in order to keep themselves cooler from the heat, although the high-altitude climate sometimes allows for heavier wear. Commonly, they often wear thin, lightweight clothing made out of breathable fabrics unless during the colder months. Kharajyr often decorate their clothing with colorful dyes when capable, higher-caste Kharajyr typically adorned with more colorful clothing than lower-caste. Silver or gold trimmings against deep or bright colors are common in the higher castes while lower castes are drab with a collection of natural browns or greens in color.
Kharajyr do not typically dye their fur unless for camouflage and war paints, although when used this allows them to blend almost seamlessly with their environment. It is heavily frowned upon to dye large areas of fur outside of war, especially if to mimic the coat of another subspecies of the Kharajyr. For example, a Kha’Cheetrah dying their fur black to appear as a Kha’Pantera is extremely frowned upon. Notably, Kha’Pantera may find it considerably more difficult to dye their fur, although if with browns and greens the Kha’Pantera can blend into terrain with ease, especially at night. 3.3 Jewelry
In terms of jewelry, Kharajyr in the White Owls tend to decorate their clothing with an assortment of common designs from their main Kha’ culture. This jewelry is often made of silver, a religious symbol given the moon’s color and their relative distance from the Silver State. Other Kharajyr might adorn themselves in gold as a means to exhibit their social status and wealth, but this is in no way an excuse to flaunt with it and is typically frowned upon by their High Elf neighbors. They wear necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets made out of these lustrous materials, many adorned with the shapes of lunar phases -- typically those with phases they were born on. Glass is also a common theme in Kharajyr jewelry, typically melted to a lustrous metal and shaped into a beautiful work of art.
3.4 Body Armor
Finally, in terms of military equipment, Kharajyr in the White Owls typically adorn themselves in lightweight padded armor or hard leather. It is rare to find them equipped in metal armor given their restrictive fur coats disallowing the ease of breathability, and heavier armor can cause a Kharajyr to overheat. Only in the Northern climates around Haelun’or can Kha’ be found equipped in plate or chainmail armor, although many Kharajyr prefer to wear lamellar armor for its considerably higher mobility, allowing for the Kha’ to retain their agility in battle. Additionally, lamellar armor is much easier for the White Owls society to produce given its method of production as opposed to solid metal plate pieces.
4 - Kharajyr Courtship: 4.1 Courtship Initiation Although this form of courtship and marriage is typically only followed in the wealthier caste, that does not prevent lower-caste Kharajyr from following it, nor does it force upper-caste Kharajyr to follow it. No Kharajyr in the White Owls is forced to take an oath of solitude, not even the priests and priestesses. In fact, all Kharajyr in the White Owls are encouraged to love, especially to populate their race with more of their king. Kharajyr are not feral creatures and have risen above the basic "grow, reproduce, die" instincts of animals. They have developed intricate cultural traditions to abide by, thousands of years prior. These traditions are still strong today.
Around the age of 20 years, a Kharajyr in their society is typically ready to receive suitors. It is customary that open, searching Kharajyr host an informal picnic at dawn following the night of any lunar ritual. If the host has decided upon a future mate, they would extend an invitation to the individual in question. The other Kharajyr is not required to accept, and only accepts should they also see the picnic host as a potential mate. The picnic should act as a “date”, and allows the pair to examine each other’s intentions more intimately.
At the end of the picnic, the host will offer the other Kharajyr a cooked and well-made meal made of (typically caught by the host) fish of any kind as an expression of approval, signifying that the host wishes to continue the courtship process. If the other Kharajyr accepts, the courtship process may proceed.
4.2 Proposal Some moon cycles following their courtship’s initiation, either Kharajyr may decide to propose to the other. To do so, the Kharajyr must seek out their partner’s closest relative or parental figure, and if none exist, their closest companion (typically the closest friend). The proposer will ask for the guardian or companion’s opinion and approval, and should they approve, the proposer may ask the other Kharajyr’s hand in marriage.
Proposal occurs by the proposer offering a self-made ring, typically forged of silver and crested with white quartz shaped to match the lunar phase of the other Kharajyr’s birth. The proposal must occur at midnight on a clear night when the moon is highest and must occur outdoors exposed to the sky. This is to consecrate that the Kharajyr’s ancestors (the stars) may bear witness the initial union of two Metz’al (life mates). Should the proposal be denied, the pair may part ways or initiate again the courtship process.
4.3 Wedding Ceremony
Before the ceremony, the pair of Kharajyr will begin crafting each other their wedding attire. Male Kharajyr will be crafted (by the opposite partner) a supple deerskin tunic, dyed black (to consecrate a new lunar phase) and decorated with silver trimming and beads. Female Kharajyr will be crafted (by the opposite partner) a supple deerskin dress, dyed white or silver (to consecrate the full lunar phase) and decorated with beads. Wealthy Kharajyr will craft the dress of pure white deerskin, negating the need for dyes. (OOCly, pairs typically exchange persona skins to design the attire for fun) Same-gender couples will wear the same attire, typically with different colors of beads although it should be noted that the White Owls neighbor the Silver State – while acceptable in the White Owl society, the Silver State identifies same-gender couples as impure. Tread lightly.
A Kharajyr priest is required to be present. The ceremony is conducted outside at night on a full moon and is conducted next to a pond, lake or holy Muun pool. No formal invitation is extended to anyone, and everyone is only invited by word-of-mouth. There is feasting and socialization. The feast will take place on the same blanket the initial picnic was conducted on and will include food items provided by the pair.
Before the pair’s wedding itself, both partners will submerge themselves in the nearby water sanctified by the lunar light above to bless their bodies. Then, the wedding itself may initiate with the permission of the priest. Both Kharajyr will begin facing away from each other beneath the full moon at midnight. The priest will then intertwine and tie the tail tips of the two Kharajyr together, and they will turn to face one another. It is here that the priest says a prayer:
“Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into your days of togetherness,
And may your days be good and long beneath Muuna.”
With the priest’s prayer and blessing, the Metz’al are then consecrated as one soul in the Kha’ faith. Following the official union of the Metz’al, the Kharajyr guests will typically conduct a hunt in their honor, and the kill is offered as gifts to the Metz’al. Following this, the Metz’al will honeymoon until the new moon and feast upon the spoils collected.
5 - Lunar Phases:
5.1 Kha Birth Phases
Kharajyr believe that the phase of the moon a kitten is born under tells what they are destined for in life. To them, there are ten moon phases which assign ten individual traits. The trait the kitten is born under is typically what they will excel in, and therefore should be encouraged to pursue in life. However, for a kitten to be born on a new or full moon, it is typically much rarer. Kittens born to a new moon are equally as rare, and are almost always the destined leadership within the White Owls. Be they destined as an Aelkos, the High Aelkos or a simple military unit commander, the kittens of a new moon are provided great care and mentorship by any leadership raising them. Most young Kha’ will have some kind of mentor who teaches them how to live up to their full potential under their moon sign.
Below is a table to list the phases.
Note: The New Moon birth phase requires OOC leadership permission in the pride, given you may choose your own phase.
5.1.1 Phase Anomalies:
Unique occurrences with the moon may occur, however. Lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, harvest moons, blue moons and blood moons are many of which may heavily affect the life of a Kharajyr if born to these phases. While extremely rare, if a Kharajyr happens to be born during these incredible events, their life may be difficult in the White Owls society -- or it may not even begin. 220.127.116.11 Lunar Eclipse
If born during a lunar eclipse, a Kharajyr may be viewed as a curse to the society. Often times, these kittens are quickly sacrificed by priests to appease whatever has become angry with them.
18.104.22.168 Solar Eclipse
If born during a solar eclipse, a Kharajyr may be viewed as a blessing to the society. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Brave and are trained as soon as they are able to fight. Solar Eclipse Kharajyr are viewed as powerful warriors capable of vanquishing any enemy, and almost always lead any war efforts.
22.214.171.124 Blue Moon
If born during a blue moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as one with innate abilities with magic. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Wise and are trained as soon as they are able to connect with the Void. Blue Moon Kharajyr are viewed as powerful mages, and almost always become powerful and intelligent wizards.
126.96.36.199 Harvest Moon
If born during a harvest moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as one with incredible luck in botany or farming. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Creators and are trained throughout their life. Harvest Moon Kharajyr are natural green thumbs and can care for the most difficult of plants in the harshest environments.
188.8.131.52 Blood Moon
If born during a blood moon, a Kharajyr may be viewed as incredibly holy. Often times, these kittens are quickly taken into custody by The Holy and are raised in worship. Blood Moon Kharajyr are natural spiritual leaders and are gifted in the art of persuasion.
Note: Your phase grants you no special abilities – this is simply all religious/cultural. To obtain an anomaly phase, you must roll a successful 1 with /roll 99 in-game. A celebration can be arranged if your birth phase is a positive anomaly, but this section is mostly designed for ETs/STs to utilize for special events if they choose for flare!
6 - Arts & Music:
White Owls art and music are basic but beautiful and easy pieces of creativity to appreciate. Crafted from base materials, their art is often beautifully created from stone, paints from crushed plant fibers or animal products such as bone, fur or skins. Artwork is key in White Owls society as it decorates every building and often decorates an individual in the form of jewelry or clothing.
6.1 Paintings & Statues
Your typical Kharajyr painting or statue is frightening to the common man but represents life and death in the White Owl culture. The passage of time is a facet covered often, as it comes with the transition of lunar phases. Kharajyr depicted in battle or the phases themselves are typical to Kha’ artwork and focus on the face of the Kha’ to express the emotion involved. Hieroglyphics are commonly used in artwork to textually explain the depicted work, especially on stone surfaces where statues may stand. The hieroglyphics follow no language but act as visual aids that can be easily interpreted with deductive reasoning.
6.2 Pottery & Glass Blowing
Kharajyr also create beautiful pottery from clay and glass. Glass is especially important in Kharajyr artwork as it is one of their finest crafts. Perfection in the art of glassblowing has allowed Kharajyr to create beautiful, intricate pieces of art that closely resemble whatever they choose to shape in the form of glass. This glasswork is often colored to better express their design and may even have other objects situated into the glass for further accentuation.
Music is common in Kharajyr culture and instruments are mostly designed to the anatomy of a Kha’. Vocals are highly uncommon, and most music is a voiceless instrumental consisting of woodwind instruments, string instruments, and percussion instruments. Kha’ music is rarely recorded on paper and is highly expressive while maintaining improv as a key to all their musical pieces. 6.3.1 Woodwinds
Woodwinds are commonly reedless aerophones (such as the flute) where a sound is produced by blowing across an opening, given a Kha’s anatomy does not allow easy manipulation of their lips. These woodwinds are crafted from wood or bone.
String instruments are far and wide, as the Kharajyr can easily play these graceful instruments given their retractable claws. Your more basic instruments such as the lute or banjo are common, while violins are inherited from other cultures and less incorporated in Kha’ music. These instruments are crafted from wood, horsehair or plant fibers.
Percussion instruments are the most common and are simple drums constructed from wood and animal hide. These drums complement and tie together Kharajyr music. As most Kha’ music is improvised, the aid of the drum is important in creating depth and volume to a piece.
6.3.4 The Death Whistle
The most notable instrument in the Kharajyr culture is a religious instrument, a woodwind flute dubbed the “Death Whistle”. This whistle is commonly blown following the death of a Kharajyr and signifies the opening of passage into time with all other Kharajyr that have passed. This whistle is skin-crawling and terrifying as it emits a howling screech similar to a collection of wailing ghosts. This instrument is incredibly important to Kharajyr war efforts as it is used prior to battles, marking the opening of the passage into time for any Kha’ that perishes in battle. The sound of this whistle is terrifying to an enemy force especially at night, and is a psychological weapon when used correctly. Its appearance is a short wooden flute with a large wooden Kha’ skull crafted onto its end, where the sound of the flute is emitted from parted jaws.
Dance in the Kharajyr culture typically takes little specific form, and is rather spontaneous to the rhythm of their equally spontaneous music. However, one specific form of dance is incredibly emotional, empowering those who partake and charging the emotional energies of any who view as a friendly bystander.
6.4.1 The Haka
The Haka is a very emotional, spiritually-charged, primal dance that the White Owls take part in. The dance most often involves extreme facial contortions such as widening the eyes until the whites are visible, stretched movements of the mouth, outstretching the tongue, wild snarls, hisses, guttural growls and chanted words. Typically performed as a group, the Kharajyr arrange into a staggered formation and take upon a squatting stance before the dance is initiated by the leading individual of the assembly. Initiation commences with a powerful slap to the chest, the tongue of the individual outstretched and a gutteral snarl released from the throat with whites of the eyes displayed. This may initiate any of the following routines:
The Waewae is a traditional Haka dance utilized to welcome (a) guest(s) as a form of hospitality. While sometimes appearing terrifying to foreign individuals unfamiliar with the culture, it can also be viewed as incredibly beautiful due to the overwhelming emotion expressed by each individual in the dance. The dance following initiation is typically choreographed and consists of movements to the left and right while squatted, raising the right arm and powerfully slapping the bicep while stamping the right foot; all in rhythm. All the while, facial contortions of all kinds occur and individuals will randomly snarl, hiss and laugh maniacally with crazed joy. Throughout, the performance leader will walk around the assembly moving as if feral, but graceful in their steps. They guide the chant, and will often-times stop their movements to gesticulate at the sky with wide eyes, tongue outstretched and a wild snarl leaving their throat. The dance concludes with wild grins, snarls, laughing and an ultimate cry to the sky where all individuals gesticulate towards the clouds above and then point to the guest(s) -- a blessing, offered from them by their Creator, Muuna (Metzli).
The Ngeri is a traditional Haka dance utilized to psychologically prepare warriors for war. It is performed without weapons, and is extraordinarily empowering to those involved and viewing. Typically performed by warrior-caste Kharajyr, this Haka is incredibly free and each performer is expected to fully express themselves. It follows no routine, and has been said to make an individual and viewer even if foreign feel charged, fearless and unfoundedly robust.
The Manawa is the final traditional Haka dance. It is utilized for incredibly solemn occasions as a form of celebration. Typically, it is performed during a funeral and is designed for each performer to express their sorrow before finishing with aggressive joy. This Haka following initiation has little routine involved, and every individual is expected to fully express their sorrow -- crying, calling to the heavens and chanting convey the first half of the performance before ending with wild smiles, maniacal laughter amidst crying and performers looking to the sky with wide eyes.
6.5 Weapon Decorations
Decoration of a Kharajyr’s weapons is also a common, traditional practice. Most weapons are created from bone or wood with flint and glass. Many Kha’ will decorate their weapons with the items of what they kill, even if sentient in nature. For example, a common hunting bow might be decorated with feathers of a pheasant they have killed, or perhaps even the teeth of an orc they have slain. It is indecent to do so across the Kha’ culture, though many individuals adopted this concept after many lesser descendant races -- humans and orcs in particular -- began to wear Kharajyr pelts as clothing.
7 - Food & Agriculture:
7.1 Cuisine - Food & Drinks
White Owl food culture is highly complex as opposed to the rest of their society’s basic, archaic culture filled with ancient concepts. Masterminds with the usage of spices, the White Owls are well-known artisans in the craft of their cuisine and can make the blandest of dishes delectable.
Their diet is dominated by fruits and vegetables, as domesticated animals are often limited to dogs, ducks, and honey bees. Game (especially rabbits, deer and wild pigs), fish, birds, salamanders, algae (used to make cakes), frogs, tadpoles and insects are also a valuable food source. The most common crops are wheat (famously used to make tortillas and tamales or gruel), amaranth, sage, beans, squash, and peppers. Red and green tomatoes are cultivated along with sweet potatoes, jícama (turnips), chayote (vegetable pear), cactus green, and peanuts. The White Owls also grow guavas, papayas, custard apples, mamey, zapotes, and chirimoyas.
Their dishes are almost never created with oils or fats and are either boiled, grilled or baked on a hot plate. Taste is often added using condiments such as sauces or seasoning, which is a staple of Kha’ food production. Examples include epazote, toasted avocado leaves, achiote seeds and, of course, peppers either fresh, dried or smoked. Two other popular flavors for the Kharajyr are vanilla and chocolate, sourced from vanilla beans or cocoa beans which are highly cultivated.
Vanilla or cocoa beans are fermented, cured and roasted to draw out richness in their taste. Ground into powder and mixed with hot water or milk, cocoa bean powder can create a delicious drink famous to Kha’ cuisine: hot cocoa -- a warm, frothy drink. Bitter to taste, it is often flavoured by adding vanilla, various herbs or honey. Commonly in White Owls culture are the esteemed cocoa beans exchanged as a form of currency in trying times when Minas or High Elf currency is few and far between.
Other semi-popular but highly illegal drinks, although consumed in great moderation, are pulque and pozolli fermented from wheat dough or acacia sap. Given alcoholic consumption is punished in White Owls society with the death penalty, it is rarely consumed – these beverages are always consumed illegally, and typically in secret.
To maximize yield, Kharajyr in the White Owls take extra measures in their agriculture. Commonly, they will utilize terracing to increase the area at which farmland is used. Irrigation is also implemented, though the land required for farming allows little in the way of dams or water canals like other prides might utilize.
Despite countermeasures, crop yields can be significantly reduced by unfavorable natural events such as excessive rain, snow or crop plague by pests such as rodents or insects. Accordingly, the White Owls will stockpile grain reserves as many other races do for the destitute in these trying times.
All manners of foodstuffs are cultivated, to include non-food crops such as cotton and tobacco. Tobacco is a staple alongside cactus green which is incorporated in dishes as well as for recreational smoking. Smoked in a pipe or rolled into a cigar, tobacco and cactus green are two highly common crops Kharajyr tend to produce. Catnip is a third, although far less cultivated and heavily frowned upon to use as it induces manic episodes and incredible lethargy in a Kha’, along with the fact they are taunted by descendant lessers with the plant.
8 - Kharajyr Sports:
8.1 Kharajyr Ball
White Owls sports consists primarily of an archaic form of basketball, more commonly known in the real-world as Mesoamerican Ball, although as Kharajyr ball in the LoTC universe. This game is played similarly to a combination of basketball and real-world American football, although teams consist of 3-4 Kharajyr at most while adorned in their team colors. It is played with a round solid rubber ball, which in itself could be used as a weapon; the ball is known to cause broken bones when thrown with the intent to cause harm.
Rules dictate that a Kharajyr must not allow the ball to touch the ground at any point. Hand-tossing is utilized, and a Kharajyr must not maintain hand contact with the ball for any longer than two full seconds or it will be determined a foul ball. Passing the ball around between teammates is key, and the team must avoid the opposing team and disallow them to capture the ball. Once in range of the goal, a side-ways stone hop attached to a wall, the team in control of the ball must shoot and pass it through the hoop. If successful, they gain a point. A game is won by a team at 10 points.
Rewards from this game could be money, food, clothing, weapons, or even titles, and the recognition to speak before the tribe while they are gathered at the playing ground. In more extreme cases, this game might be played by a group of individuals accused of crimes. The losing team is sacrificed, while the winning team is set free and cleared of their wrongdoings. Although this extreme practice is highly uncommon, it was in more ancient times a standard practice given Kharajyr tribes maintained massively higher populations as a unified empire.
8.2 Game of Ur
Also known as the Game of Twenty Squares, the White Owls enjoy this two-player strategy race board game as an alternative to the more commonly played games of Chess or Checkers.
The Game of Ur is played using two sets of seven checker-like game pieces. One set of pieces are white with five black dots and the other set is black with five white dots. The game board is composed of two rectangular sets of boxes, one containing three rows of four boxes each and the other containing three rows of two boxes each, joined together by a "narrow bridge" of two boxes. The gameplay involves elements of both luck and strategy. Movements are determined by rolling a set of four-sided tetrahedron dice. Two of the four corners of each die are marked and the other two are not, giving each die an equal chance of landing with a marked or unmarked corner facing up. The number of marked ends facing upwards after a roll of the dice indicates how many spaces a player may move during that turn. A single game can last up to half an hour and can be very intense!
The objective of the game is for a player to move all seven of their pieces along the course (shown above) and off the board before their opponent.
9 - REFERENCES:
A big thank you to these individuals for providing ideas/outlines for the culture here.