THE KASUMARII MEN ("KAR-II")

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - RELIGION
CLOTHING - DIET - WEAPONS - ORDERS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS - HISTORY

The Kasumarii (Kar-ii or Kar'ii) are a human tribe of the southeasternmost Cyhalloi, the island of Guldor. Thanks to a centuries-old vendetta against the orcs of the nearest island, Dorolak, they have become extremely adept in the arts of warfare and are very good fighters, not to mention the best assassins Caelereth has ever known. They are also often referred to simply as the Kar-ii, which is in fact is a simple abbreviation.

A Kar-ii Assassin

View picture in full size  Picture description. A Kasumarii assassin surveying the region and pondering upon his next move. Pic drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. The native Kasumarii lean towards the slim and short (about 1.65 to 1.8 peds), with wiry muscles covering their slight frames. However, as several of the mercenary schools of Sarvonia pay a great deal of money to have their students educated there, it is possible to find people from all over Sarvonia on this tiny island, and many a mix. Granted, a good third are usually corpses, but still. Few but the native Kar-ii can successfully withstand the coldness of the territory in which they live.

Aside from the other details, the Kar-ii also have a rather pale to yellowish skin tone, due to the cold of the environment they have lived in for so long. Also, they are able to withstand bright lights better than other human cultures because of living in a land where the sun is so often reflected off of the white of the soft snow and ice.

Hair is often of a light color, rarely dark, and being born with pure white hair isn't a very uncommon thing among the Kar-ii. The Kasumarii tend to have short hair, as longer hair is easier to be spotted and easier to tangle in something, which is not of advantage for a fighter-tribe. However, some have invented rather ingenious ways to put their hair, to either keep it concealed or to conceal weapons and suchlike within. Many is the time that an unsuspecting assailant has met a dagger in the gut as the attacked Kar-ii quickly pulled a knife from the confines of his/her hair.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The coat of arms varies for each of the sects of the Kar-ii:

Territory. Most of the Cyhalloian island of Guldor and a tiny portion of Dorolak are under the control of the Kasumarii, but no mapmaker could ever pin the boundaries down; they change almost every day.

The island of Guldor itself is a desolate, snowy tundra. Diverse of many resources, only the hardiest survive. The Kasumarii are among the hardiest. There are many low sweeping hills covering adding complexity to the terrain, and a few forests dot the island, though not enough that their wood resources shouldn't be used sparingly. Kar-ii and orcs often fight over these few precious sources of lumber, along with what few other natural resources exist on Guldor and Dorolak. The sea is all but the Kasumarii's alone. Their fleet is much more advanced than that of the orcs.
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People. Thanks to having centuries to perfect their skills, the Kasumarii are experts at all the various arts of infiltration, assassination, stealth... One of the few survivors of the brutal "student exchange" system between Guldor and Santharia, Galos Scarknife, said that the greatest assassin of Nyermersys would be no more than a foot soldier in the armies of the Nightsons.

Deadly Poison
View picture in full size Image description. Here a Greendeath Kasumarii, his hair darkened as part of his simple disguise, has just completed his deadly contract on an unsuspecting victim. Picture from the game Magical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Illustration drawn by Faugar.

Kasumarii assassins are very valuable, and it costs quite a lot to hire one, due to their superior skills in the shadowy arts. However, their work is unmatched, even by the elves, who are renowned on having superior dexterity and agility than the humans. Though in a head-to-head duel, a more highly trained warrior will usually win, on exception with Echiliani masters, Kar-ii will triumph if they can use shadows and darkness to their advantage, hiding and sneaking about to deliver a fatal stab to the heart by slipping a thin dagger or moonblade through the ribs, or a quick slit to the jugular of the throat.

The Kasumarii are one of the best human warrior tribes, and unofficially and undisputedly the scariest.
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Religion. The Kasumarii have a unique religion, which reflects the importance of fighting in their lives. The worship of Queprur is the only remnant of the culture they initially came from, all other Gods of the Kasumarii are completely their own. Unique in their belief is especially that nowhere else the Gods of Darkness are seen so eminently good as here.

A lot of information on these Kasumarii Gods was provided by Galos Scarknife, one of the greatest assassins of Nyermersys, who was trained by the Kasumarii for many years. In the Religions section you can read more details about Kasumarii beliefs.
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Housing. Anything mobile. The typical Kasumarii lives in a tent-esque structure called a carryhome, so named because of the fact that this three-person structure can be carried on one's back, while the other two in the group can carry weapons and rations.

Towns are something that are there one day and gone the next. The Kasumarii rarely stay in any one place for too long, and even their largest buildings are designed to be able to be taken apart for traveling. As with most everything of the Kasumarii, the buildings are white, to allow them to blend in with the snow in which they are set against.
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Clothing. Despite the bitter cold even this far south in Cyhalloi, Kasumarii are taken to wearing tight camouflaging clothing, knowing that the more clothes that are worn, the greater the chance of detection is. However, three groups violate this general rule. The Nightsons wear wooden armor, the Stormsons wear suits of sealskin that protect them from the icy waters around Guldor, and the Darkpriests always wear flowing black robes.

The camouflage that the Kasumarii wear depends on their location on Guldor, but is generally pure white. When nearer to forests, the Kar-ii are known to put black splotches on their clothing, to better allow them to blend in with both forest and snow. Tight-fitting white masks are also a common article of clothing worn by Kar-ii, both being warm and helpful for concealment.
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Diet. If it's edible, Kasumarii will eat it. From regular fish to orc flesh to Tscoi-an to even cáeh'fish, the Kasumarii don't discriminate. Galos, in his memoirs, wrote that the first thing every student learned to kill on Guldor was their gag reflex.

Regular meals of the Kar-ii are most often fish, as those are the main and one of the only natural resource available on their frozen continent. Orc flesh is a treat heavily despised by the Kar-ii, and whilst they do eat it, the consumption of it is considered to bring bad luck and to bring upon a curse on one's self by Greimnpor. Along with that, the flesh of orcs is also very tough and leathery, and has a disgusting taste. All other options are considered before even the thought of eating orc enters the Kar-ii mind. Though, this is probably an opinion shared by many a culture.
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Weapons. From poisons to throwing stars to the unique Moonblades to the deadly double-bladed of the latter, the Kasumarii excel in this area. Below are a few:

A Korenjaan Assassin

View picture in full size Picture description. A Korenjaan Assassin at work, favouring a throwing dagger over a moonblade. Image from the game Mystical Empire, used with friendly permission, drawn by Faugar.

Orders. There are six orders of the Kasumarii society, each dedicated to a particular service.

While the Kasumarii are usually not sexist, the chronicler notes that the Darkpriests, Echiilianni, and Greendeaths are predominantly female. The reasons for this are as of yet unknown, though it is rumored that Kasumarii women are more potent magi, in the fields of the Darkpriests and Greendeaths, however, why they are more common place in the Echiilianni sect is a mystery, perhaps because Echiilan is female as well. The Kasumarii refuse to let any knowledge out of this, or do not know it themselves.  Return to the top

Government. Quite simple: The strongest among the Nightsons is the leader of the Kasumarii, the Master Assassin. The leaders and representatives of the other five sects form a Council that selects the Master Assassin, and also acts as an advisory body to the Master Assassin. These are given the respective titles of the Moon, Storm, Vengeance, Black Rose, and Shadow.

In general, each sect is given a host of representatives, along with the leader of that sect, that decide what to do on issues that occur within the Kasumarii society. The Nightsons have the most representatives at ten, and the Shadow has the next highest at seven. In order of amount, the Moon have five, Vengeance and Storm have four, and Black Rose has only one.

Each representative is in the Council for up to six years before required to step down, however, representatives may leave whenever they want after serving one year. A representative's family is given an easy life, where they are required to do nothing, during the course of the representative's term.

Election of each representative is determined in a gladiator-type match of sorts, where each representative must undergo an intense competition of their sect. The Korenjaans have a competition of stealth and assassination tactics, the Stormsons have a bout on ship-to-ship combat, each representative is given a 3 ship large fleet, the Greendeaths on healing and clerical skills, the Nightsons on knowledge of Kasumarii lore, and the Darkpriests on magic skills. The Echiilianni have only one representative, that being the leader of their sect. He is chosen by combat amongst the most skilled of his sect. Each wield a double-sided moonblade, and whoever survives the massive free-for-all is declared leader of the Echiilianni sect.
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Production/Trade. Guldor, not having much in the way of resources besides life and death, the Kasumarii have only one thing to trade: Knowledge. They exchange students with some of the finest mercenary guilds, so as to both spread the Kasumarii over Sarvonia and receive vast amounts of bartered goods. Very profitable.

Transportation-wise, the only port city that communes with Guldor is Carabrand. All ships that make their way to and from the Kasumarii island come from this city. Except, of course, for secret Stormson convoys that, when needed, transport various military leaders and armies through their own routes. Though the Kasumarii have never entered war on the Sarvonian continent, they are prepared to should the need arise, and are known to send ambassadors to many Sarvonian governments to ascertain their value as allies or enemies. These ambassadors are also commonly spies, and in their time spent with these governments, work out on finding every weakness that their tribe could exploit should it need to.
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Natural Resources. The Kasumarii, on their icy continent of Cyhalloi, have hardly any natural resources. The sea is where most of their resources come in, mostly in the form of fish and seaweed, which is their primary diet. Orc and other animal parts are also a resource, the bones and fat of these large mammals have a variety of uses, from carryhome support to leather wraps for the handles of blades.
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. Not being the most celebratory people, the Kasumarii have only one true holiday, the Day of Kasumar. On this day the hero's band attacked the orcish fortress of Dzulmir, and finally showed the Hiding that they could fight back against the vile orcs. In celebration and memory, on this day the Kasumarii re-enact the attack and, in general, party.
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History. Below you can find a short survery on Kasumarii history:

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THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
602 b.S. Flight from Nyermersys to Northern Sarvonia
The origins of the Cyhalloian tribe of the Kasumarii are traced back to the Plague of Nyermersys of 602 b.S. A large group of panicked citizens evidently puts their trust in several departing vessels; this portion of Kasumarii history is known as the Exodus. Evidently they make their way to the Northern Sarvonian Covert Major, and at that point records are sketchy.
  

ca. 600 b.S. Sarvonians land on Guldor
What is known is that in about 600 b.S. the group that once fled from the plague that hit the southern Sarvonian town of Nyermersys crash-lands on the southeasternmost island of Cyhalloi, Guldor. These people would become the known as the "Kasumarii".
  

599 b.S. Orcish attack on Carabrand
Possibly the most unlucky thing ever to occur to Cyhalloian orcs happens in 599 b.S. A large group of orcs has the bright idea of assaulting the newly founded settlement of Carabrand from the sea. They forget why no orc in his right mind would ever venture onto the waves. One third of the "fleet" is lost at sea, one third retreats and one third is slaughtered by the Carabrandian defenders, and the flagship Dzulgor crash-lands on Dorolak one month later.
  

580 b.S. The Butchers of Dorolak
Approximately twenty years after settling in Guldor, a party of humans sends a colonizing force to Dorolak. The only response they are given is the party of orcs that immediately begin butchering the humans. For the next century and a half, the humans gradually learn how to hide, to evade, to sneak past the brute orcs.
  

463 b.S. Birth of Kasumar Nightson
Kasumar Nightson is born in the year 136 by Kasumarii standards, 463 b.S. His parents are killed in an orcish raid when Kasumar is 16. The encampment where Kasumar's family is living fails to learn of the impending orc attack, and young Kasumar vows not to let such an atrocity happen again.
  

447 b.S. The Appearance of God Korenjah, the Lord of Darkness, to Kasumar
At this point history and myth begin to intertwine. Current Kasumarii legend states that one night, Kasumar is visited by the God Korenjah, Lord of Darkness, and is told that he must discover the way to strike against the orcish Firelords (as the Hiding called them) by using the powers of the land to aid them: "Draw your strengths from night, from cold, from nature, wherever you can. On our level of existence, Griemnpor and Borhul have nearly won! But they have grown complacent, and the time has come to strike back. I will contact you again when the time is right." (Some more stolid historians have noted that Kasumar is one of many of the younger Hiders to enjoy Tscioarulan, a beverage made of saltwater and crushed arv seeds, and as such may not have been entirely stable.)

However, Kasumar always holds his vision as truth, and several of the Hiding, tired of the constant running and fear of the orcs, fall behind the charismatic leader. There is also the rather convincing evidence of the divine blade "Moonslash", which one Ximaxian mage has confirmed later is imbued with shadowed powers. The woman who eventually is to become Kasumar's wife, Tyrajall, is among these, and it is she who is credited with the discovery that may have been the most important to the Kasumarii Order: the poisonous plant of the tyrscaru, dubbed in the name of the Sea God and the first of the Clerics of Green Death.

Thanks to many helpful pushes from the gods, the Kasumarii are prepared. Through Kasumar, they have trained them through the tests of Korenjah and Tscioaru, respectively being able to move silently enough to not disturb a cave filled with bats, and the ability to endure the fear and cold of swimming through a dark, frigid tunnel.
  

443 b.S. The Assault on Dorolak's Fortress
Kruu-ann appears before some of the members of the group, and teachs them of the power of the native plants and animals to kill. Finally, the group (nine in number according to the legend) steal a ship of the orcs and sail under a deep fog to the Island of Dorolak's fortress, Dzulmir. When there, the nine each do their work. The two disciples of Tscioaru swiftly sink many of the orcish transports, the two of Kruu-an poison the water supply, and three of the Order of Korenjah escort them. You may note that leaves two to be accounted for.

Kasumar and Tyrajall have stolen into the heart of Dzulmir, and as they draw closer, oppressive heat begins to cover the halls. Shadows disappear, camouflage falls apart, and even Moonslash is growing weak. Then they arrive at the innermost sanctum: A red and golden room, fire streaming around it, and three orcs chanting around a strange orb. An orb that in Kasumar's vision seems to be screaming out that the two were there. The orcs evidently share this vision, and suddenly the fire around the room shapes itself around the orcs and starts to look like a man: A man who stands three peds tall, his eyes fire, his armor lava, his sword the sun itself. Kasumar draws Moonslash, and utters one brief prayer.

"Fool! Here, the Father of Shadow is powerless. And in the heart of MY sanctum, even with that sword, you are even more worthless than he is!" the creature utters. Legend tells many things of the battle that follows. There are those who say that Kasumar presses Griemnpor to his limit, and there are those who say that Kasumar simply is lucky. But then there are also those who say that Queprur finally allows Korenjah his retaliation against his firey brother. However, on one thing all tales agree.

Griemnpor is on the verge of slaying Kasumar, when Tyrajall throws herself in front of the blow, sacrificing her life for that of her beloved. And in the moment of her death, something snaps within the young hero. Somehow, Kasumar Nightson strikes the heart of Griemnpor with the divine blade Moonslash. Somehow, he is returned to Guldor. Somehow, the last remnant of Tyrajall is taken with him.
  

440 b.S. The Death of Kasumar Nightson
Kasumar Nightson, after teaching all he knows to his son Tularam, dies. The Town of Nightheart is founded around his tomb. Noted at his funeral are the two Gods of Shadow, Korenjah and Tscoiaru, doing honour to the mortal who served them so well.

The Tomb of Kasumar is not a great place, in the senses of many. Indeed to many it would appear simple and shabby, lacking the ornate decorations of the resting places of such as the Santharian Kings. However, there is something very commanding about the simple bier of dark marble and shadow... and the single black rose atop it. From now on the Cyhalloian humans will refer to themselves as "Kasumari" (short "Kar-ii").
  

300 b.S. Cyhalloian Orcs re-establish Link with Sarvonian mainland
Reinforcements are sent periodically by orcish tribes.
  

296 b.S. The Karii Stormsons trade with Sarvonia
A detachment of Stormsons finds its way back to the Sarvonian mainland; low-grade weapons trade is established.
  

240 b.S. Assassin's Guild establishes Student Exchange System
The Assassin's Guild in Carabrand catches wind of the established trade system with the Sarvonian continent and establishes a student exchange system. Galos Scarknife is one of the first students sent to Guldor.

THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
10 b.S. First Kasumarii Student at Ximax
The Academy of Ximax receives its first Kasumarii student, a Darkpriest by the name of Turya Firebane. Despite an incident with some of her classmates (a Volkek-Oshra; the hatred of orcs ran deep in Turya) she proves an avid student.
  

56 Kar-ii Turya Archmage of the Black Tower
The Kasumarii Turya ascends to the position of Archmage of the Ecuá Tower, Kasumarii establish further relations with Ximax. Kasumarii are also now known to most Sarvonian magi as knowledge spreads.
  

ca. 100 "Kasumarii" becomes a Santharian Watchword
The Kasumarii are a watchword in much of Santharia as the elite assassins of the shadows. Moonblades pierce Santharian weaponsmiths' awareness, and they start churning out imitations. No substitute for the real thing, though.

THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
(YEARS 1.144 A.S. - 1.440 A.S.)
1.428 Beginning of Trade with the Kasumarii
A small Stormcloaks port is set up on the island of Ludor and trade begins with the Kasumarii.

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