High in the secluded
reaches of the Chakran Mountains dwell the kelden - a race of
people unlike any other in Audalis. Discovered first by a party
of elves on their tri-annual search for griffons, the kelden
remain shy and unobtrusive, and outsiders rarely see them.
Kelden are tall and fairly thin, with very lightly tanned skin;
males stand an average of seven to seven and one half feet tall
(with females a few inches shorter). Their faces are long, and
the hair of both genders (typically brown) only grows to the
length of an inch or so.
What makes the kelden so unique among the races is the fact
they have large, leathery wings that allow them to glide through
the air. Actually flying is very tiring for the kelden, but
with proper air currents, they can glide for long periods at
Kelden wear very little in the way of clothing, which is a difficult
habit to break for those that venture into "civilized"
lands. Often, little more than a leather loincloth is all that
is worn by members of either gender. In winter, this is supplemented
by various animal pelts, though no preference is given to any
Culture and Society
There are several small tribes of kelden scattered among the
remote reaches of the Chakrans. These tribes consist of a few
extended families, and the various tribes often have little
contact with each other. Kelden usually live in caves high in
the side of a mountain, which makes their homes both difficult
to find and easy to defend.
Kelden are hunter/gatherers, with males and females splitting
the daily responsibilities. Males usually shoulder the responsibilities
of hunting and protecting the cave, while females handle gathering
of foood, raising the young, etc. However, these rules are not
hard and fast, and it is not uncommon to see the roles shared
Kelden have no alphabet, and use pictures as their only form
of writiten communication. In addition, their language is vastly
different from those of most other humaniods, and consists of
a wide variety of whistles and chirps. These factors combine
to make learning "normal" languages difficult, and
magical spellcasting very near impossible.
All kelden tribes do have at least one shaman, occasionally
two or three. These primitive priests normally worship nature
or the sun, though not in the same manner as other races might.
These spiritual leaders serve important roles in kelden society,
and are treated with greast respect and deference. Often, the
chief shaman is the only member of the tribe (aside from children)
not expected to provide his own food.
Kelden are, overall, very primitive when it comes to trading.
Since most families are self sufficient, very little trading
is done; virtually all of that is handled by simple barter.
However, in the past few decades, kelden have come to see the
value of metal weapons and the like - items which they cannot
make themselves. Therefore, a few have begun trading with the
occasional visitors from the outside world. Interestingly, kelden
seem to have a knack for trading, despite the alienness of the
concept; most who deal with them consider them to be shrewd,
and kelden who choose to live in "civilized" society
tend to be successful.
Kelden think in terms of their tribe, and all decisions are
made based upon this philosophy. While each member is expected
to be self-sufficient, if one falls ill or is injured, the tribe
will care for them and will shoulder their share of the responsibilities.
Likewise, every member of a kelden tribe will battle ferociously
for the good of the whole. Duties that involve the common good
of all (sentry duty, etc) are shared fairly.
Outsiders are viewed with suspicion, but only with hostility
if they prove to be deserving of it. However, kelden will usually
study any visitors for a time before they allow themselves to
Most kelden are quite content to live out their lives in the
mountains, caring only for day to day survival. However, there
are a few who choose to leave and see the world. This is their
choice, but it is rare for a kelden who leaves to be allowed
back into the tribe - they are normally viewed as dead, and
treated like outsiders if they attempt to return.
As they have no written alphabet, all kelden history is verbally
passed down from generation to generation. The shaman is usually
charged with this responsibility, though a tribe's elders often
keep a large portion of lore themselves.
Kelden are rare in society; therefore, your DM may or may not
allow you to play one in a campaign.
Kelden receive +1 to their constitution scores, but suffer a
-2 to charisma. In addition, kelden are not normally allowed
to belong to any character class that uses magc without special
permission from the DM.
Thanks to Olan Suddeth for this contribution!