A Dissertation on the KalA Comprehensive Dissertation on the Kal en Dral
Or: So You Want to be a Kathrani
By Aeston Stromgate
Part I: An introduction to the beings and the relationships between them.
The Kal en Dral are a group of gods. They are the spirits of the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water, and the Spirit/Life that is formed from the summation of all of these. They are not simply beings that embody these elements, or make use of these elements... they are these elements. When you speak of the element Fire, you are speaking of the Dral aspect of Ka. They are one in the same. It is important to understand this before you can understand the Kal en Dral. They strive to maintain the natural order of this world.
Kal en Dral literally translated means “Gods and Elements”. The Dral are each of the elements and The Kal are the spirits behind them. You can have Dral without Kal, but then the element does not have spirit to it. Literally, the Kal is the spiritual side of things, and the Dral is the physical side. There are four Dral aspects just as there are four elements. The fifth element is the spirit/will/love created from the union of the four. We say that the Kal en Dral are “Four and One” because although there are four different Elements, each which is separate in its own right, they are each also a smaller part of the greater consciousness which is the Kal en Dral.
The aspects of the Kal each have their own strengths, weaknesses, and spheres of interest. Each being of the Kal en Dral, great and small, is aligned with one of these elements.
Strength: The Mother: Renewal, birth, healing...
Weakness: Short-Sighted. Doesn't think in Tomorrows, but now’s and then’s.
Balance: Cannot refuse to help a being of this plane that needs renewal, or healing
Spheres of Interest: Strength, Stability, Immovability, Armor, Fortitude, Healing, Birth, Regeneration...
Traditional Location: East
Strength: The Crone: Flexibility/Adaptability.
Sphere of Interest: Death, Life, Protection through Adaptation, Spirit/Soul/Will, Wisdom.
Traditional Location: North
Strength: The Hunter: Universal, is everywhere and everywhen. Time Travel.
Weakness: Short Lived.
Balance: Cannot speak of the Future in anything but Riddles and hints.
Sphere of Interest: Prophesy, Voice, Pursuit of Knowledge
Traditional Location: West
Strength: The Warrior: Combat oriented.
Weakness: Straitforward, Direct and Blunt
Balance: Destruction. Fire only exists through the destruction of something else.
Sphere of Interest: Purification, Destruction, Will.
Traditional Location: South
There are many kinds of beings that make up the hierarchy of the Kal en Dral. The easiest way to understand all of it is to think of everything in terms of size. Usually, the bigger something is, the more powerful it is perceived as. More specifically, the larger the “area of element” is, the more and larger beings of the Kal en Dral can exist there. A small lake will have less and smaller Ma (water) beings in it, while the ocean contains countless Ma spirits with the capability of being very large, indeed. However, it is also important to remember that size is not always something that is visibly apparent, and things may very well be bigger or smaller than they are perceived to be.
The largest of the beings are, of course, the Kal en Dral themselves. These “Gods and Spirits” are so large, that we cannot conceive of them. They never speak to us directly, nor do they show themselves. Either would likely drive the unfortunate conversationalist mad, for they are simply too big for us to comprehend.
Smaller than the Kal en Dral by far, but the largest of the spirits among us, are the Cybelen. Cybelen, roughly translated, means “Messenger”. These largest of the spirits are akin to what we think of as Avatars, or Arch-angels of other gods. They only inhabit places with a great deal of “element”. Very large lakes, great forests, and things of that nature. They are usually responsible for performing a specific task, like keeping a volcano hot, in the case of Dama-Ka in the Mountain of Power. Cybelen are long lived and very impressive to behold.
Smaller than the Cybelen are beings known as Gemari (the teachers) and Munuko (the wanderers). These beings are different in nature than the other spirits of the Kal. The Munuko, as their name implies, do not stay in a single area, or within a single element. They travel in groups of four, one of each aspect. Recently, a single group of Munuko have taken it upon themselves to gather Kathrani (honorary children), a unprecedented move that some other groups of Munuko are nervous about. More on that later. The Gemari are teachers. There has not been a Gemari among us for a long time, and as such I know precious little about them. One of my long-term goals is to attract a Gemari to our Realms. I believe one may come if the Kathrani continue to grow in number.
Then there are the Rani, the Children. They are the smallest of all the beings of the Kal. They serve many functions, but are best and most useful as the “eyes and ears” of the Kal en Dral. Unlike the Cybelen, which are usually set to do one task and do it for a long time, Rani are much more temporary, more short-lived. Of all of them you are most likely to meet a To-Rani. These beings often act as messengers or translators. The Kal act through the Rani sometimes, but more important tasks are usually left to the Cybelen. The literal meaning of “children” is actually quite appropriate, for not only are they the smallest of the spirits, they are often easily distracted, and almost always act child-like by nature.
There is one other kind of creature (known to me) that is the creation of the Kal en Dral. Guardians are demi-mortal creatures that have the ability to wield immense power. Their purpose is to protect the Northern Wildes, and there is only one Guardian active in this role at a time. I will explain more about the Guardians and the Northern Wildes later on.
As I said, size is an important factor in understanding the relationship between the Kal en Dral and the beings that serve them. To that end, another thing to keep in mind is that, just as there is a hierarchy of different kinds of beings of different size, within a single classification of spirits, there can also be a great variance in size. There are Rani that are so large that they might be mistaken for a Cybelen, and then there are those that are so small you may never notice them, and they all have the capacity to grow.. Some Cybelen are larger and more powerful than others, depending on the importance of their task, and the greatness of their domain.
The final thing that needs to be said, is that while the creatures I have discussed are the servants of the Kal en Dral, they are far from the only things created by them. Part of following the Kal en Dral is understanding that they are the very elements that make up everything around us, indeed they are what make up us, as well. Although the creatures I have described may seem foreign and strange, it is important to understand that they are the very essence of what is natural in this world. They are, in fact, the very life force of this earth personified. And most of them are pretty damn cute, too.
Part II: The Northern Wildes and what you might find there
I have only been to the Northern Wildes a handful of times, which is more often, by far, than most. It is a place of great sacredness and importance to the Kal en Dral. It was created by them to be a safe place for all that is natural within this world. Most of the creatures that can be found there are rare and magical, and would likely not survive long outside the Wildes due to predators, poachers, and other harsh realities of our society.
As such, the Northern Wildes is a place that needs a great deal of protection. To accomplish such a task, the Kal created a race of creatures called Guardians. At any time, there is only one Guardian in the Northern Wildes. That is just about always enough to deal with any threat to the place. A Guardian is a creature that wields great power when in and protecting the Wildes. I do not really know or understand the extent of those powers, but I well believe that they are sufficient to accomplish the task.
Part III: The Kathrani, their purpose, and the enemies they fight
Kathrani literally translates to “honorary children”. We are those who have pledged to honor the Kal and fight the enemies that threaten life and the natural state of this world. There are many ways to describe the roll that we fulfill for the Kal en Dral. We might be referred to as knights, or champions, or even servants. In my opinion, all of these are true in some respect, but no description is more accurate than the meaning of the word itself. We are the children of the Kal. We look to them for advice, guidance, and wisdom, and they look to us as, and entrust us with, their future. In essence we both need each other, for both our own sake, and for the sake of the world.
There are many foes that threaten the natural order of this world. Perhaps the most sinister, and certainly the most unpredictable, are the Kal kre Bain. These beings, who’s servants you may have heard referred to as “Bainen” are creatures from outside this world. They come from a different plane, or perhaps many different planes, and their true natures are shrouded in mystery. When Bainen find their way to our world, they have but one purpose, destruction. Destruction of creatures, of land, of sound, of color, of emotions... anything and everything. Through countless different methods, the Bainen render all life inert. It is not clear to us why they destroy things. In truth, these beings are so “different” than us, that we are unable to understand their motivations or their overall goals. We do know the fate of other worlds that have fallen to them. Dry, scorched worlds of red ash and death. It is doubtless that the same fate would be in store for these realms, in time, if the Bainen were allowed free reign. Their destruction is one of our greatest duties and highest callings.
The practice of Necromancy is thought of differently in many variant schools of philosophy. Many believe it to be evil, and many others believe it to be a useful and perhaps necessary tool. Regardless of the alignment of the magic, it is our belief that its practice is “unnatural”, and as such, it is disfavored by the Kal en Dral. There are many Necromancers in these Realms who have done a great deal to ensure its safety, and who we would count amongst our friends. They are not our enemies. However, it is often the case that the undead are found amongst the ranks of the Bainen, or greater still, threats like the Nameless One and her brood, which continue to plague us even today, years after she was destroyed by heroes of the realms. And paramount amongst all the necromantic foes is the elder vampire Azreal, against whom the Kal have been waging a costly war for years beyond reckoning.
There are other unnatural threats to this world besides Vampires and Bainen. As do all our foes, they come in shapes and sizes too numerous to mention or predict. Dark magicks of shadow and fear, natural creatures of this land corrupted by abnormal forces. There is no end to the faces that such evil can take. It is through our working together, the Kal and the Kathrani, that we are able to identify and deal with these threats before they endanger everything about this world we hold dear. It is a heavy burden, but it is borne with satisfaction and pride. And the everlasting beauty of this world is all the reward that is necessary.
Part IV: Beginning the path
I hope that my words have given you some insight to the mysteries that surround the Kal en Dral, and us, their Kathrani. Perhaps you feel inspired by our cause, and think that you may wish to join it. If that is the case, then I encourage you to seek me out, and we can speak at length on the subject. In any case, I have imparted upon you knowledge that you will find useful in the future, for the fight waged by the Kathrani, weather you are amongst our ranks or not, will sooner or later become your fight as well.
Created by Aeston Stromgate (Jason Rosa) at 12-18-06 11:15 PM
Last Modified by Aeston Stromgate (Jason Rosa) at 01-16-08 02:07 AM
Last Modified by Aeston Stromgate (Jason Rosa) at 01-16-08 02:07 AM