When Krauser I took the throne as the King of what would become the Merthian Empire his first edict was that no intelligent being would make property of another. With one edict he’d told the entire world that though he had unseated the Troll’s Empire he would not replace him. Three hundred years of decaying morality later imperial magisters had begun experimenting with magic powerful enough to create a new species of intelligent creature. An enterprising wizard, with an eye for small print, hit upon an idea. This cat-like race, the Kryn, did not exist when Krauser I made his declaration, what more they were not divinely created. As such the great edict did not apply to them. The courts bought this argument and the Kryn officially became the slave race of the empire. When the empire crumbled the Kryn rose up against their masters, and started an exodus to the South. When they reached the shore they bought ships with their masters’ stolen riches and set sail across the Southern sea toward the Hurricane Islands. The Kryn were forgotten over the next hundred and fifty years until their ships reappeared in Saltashian ports. The Kryn had returned and began offering their service as mercenaries to interested parties throughout the continent. While Kryn are an increasingly common sight on the continent few, if any, have any idea about their closed society on the Hurricane Islands.
Family, Mercenary Clan, Race. These are the most important things, in order, to a Kryn. Every cub is taught in their cradle about where their people come from, and how they were used by the powers that be. By the time the cub can walk he, or she, knows that the only people they can trust are their family, their Mercenary clan, and other Kryn. This is so deeply ingrained that the greatest taboo a Kryn can commit is to kill another Kryn. When dealing with people who do not fall into their trusted circle Kryn are usually either cold, or in some cases just outright shy. When under contract Krynish mercenaries will stick to the letter of the contract unless it brings them into conflict with other Kryn. As such Krynish mercenary parties seldom leave home without a scribe trained specifically to negotiate contracts. When amongst those that they trust Kryn are much more open emotionally. They’re dedicated to being the best in whatever field they pursue, but few are so busy that they can’t take time out to play with some cubs. One thing anyone should know about dealing with Kryn is to never
make a joke regarding their women. The fact that many Krynish women used to be bred as pleasure slaves makes the males very touchy on the subject.
When Kryn were first created their owners bred them into specific breeds for specific purposes. As such even today one can see a wide variety of cat-like features in Kryn. Some clearly have markings like a tiger or leopard, while others have manes like lions. Some have more bare skin than fur, other have human-like noses. One can usually tell a Kryn by the fact that they always have furry tails and oversized ears. Your average Kryn stands anywhere between five and seven feet tall, with weight varying just as much, a wide range, but understandable when you realize that the various “breeds” have only been mingling for a mere one hundred and fifty years. When not in battle Kryn favor wearing either light weight baggy clothing or intricate robes for those of higher rank. Kryn in the field wear armor that wits their role, practicality is always the goal.
Krynish relations with all races can best be described as business-like. If you stick to your end of the contract you can trust the Kryn, but don’t expect them to be your friends. Kyrn go out of their way to present this façade. If they can appear like they don’t have opinions it makes it easier for them to get work. The truth is that Kryn are always dubious of humans due to their shared history. They are fascinated by Dwarves and their myriad of strange inventions. The Sidhe bewilder them as they have no idea how to handle such an obviously magical race. And they have a great deal of respect for the family and tribal structure of Orcs, and their ferocity. An odd facet of Krynish relations with other races is that if a non-Kryn proves him or herself a close friend a Kryn may declare them honorary clan members, and other Kryn will respect the decision and treat relative strangers like clan mates.
Kryn hail from the Hurricane Islands, about four hundred miles off the Southern coast of Saltash. On the islands your average Kryn makes a simple living growing rice, fishing, or as craftsmen. There Kryn live in clans, collections of families, which double as mercenary companies. Each clan rules a given area and are responsible for training their members in whatever manner they deem best. Clans are encouraged to stay out of one another’s way in order to preserve harmony amongst the race. In the case of potential conflict the angry parties must plead their cases to the Warmaster of the Divine Sword Clan. This clan was the first established, and the only clan allowed to police the whole of the Hurricane Islands. The Warmaster, or High Warmaster as he’s often called, then arbitrates between the parties. The High Warmaster’s decisions in such cases are binding. The dirty secret of Krynish society is that The Hurricane Islands possess very little metal ore. They have not learned how to work the strange porous stone of the island into serviceable weapons like the Elemental Scions of Air that they inherited the islands from. As such the backbone of Krynish society is the training of warriors, assassins, bodyguards, and mercenaries who can go to work on the mainland and using their earning to purchase raw supplies to keep their society well equipped. As such many clans require every member, even a lowly fisherman, to have combat training. Despite this resource scarcity the Kryn have such an ingrained fear of outsiders that they only allow pre-approved foreign ships to dock in their cities, and only a fix number of times during the year.
The Kryn were never religious when they were enslaved. They were reminded constantly that they were created by mortal hands, not those of the divine. This continued until they reached the Hurricane Islands. There they found the lost civilization of the Elemental Scions of Air. These worshippers of the winds were supposedly powerful mages who sculpted their chosen element in an attempt to maintain balance in the world. Their enclave in the Hurricane Islands had been wiped out ten years before the Kryn’s arrival. The Kryn picked through the remains of the lost society and tried their best to emulate as much of it as possible. This included religion. As such the Kryn worship the four winds of the world. Since few Kryn spoke Auran much of their religious practice is intensely personal but there is an emphasis on freedom that seems to be almost universal. On occasion a Kryn will grasp the true teachings of the bygone Elemental Scions of Air and become a Wind Master; the name Kryn calls those who can control the wind with their will.
The Krynish language is a combination of the form of the common tongue in use during the imperial era and the Auran tongue used by creatures and mortals especially in tune the element of air. They use the writing style of the old empire, though the differences are pronounced enough where those who can read the old language will have trouble with Krynish.
Krynish given names are usually heavy on vowels and are almost always derived from Auran and the same in true of family names. Kryn often earn nicknames shortening their given names during their lives and allow only those closest to them to call them by such nicknames.
Clan names on the other hand are almost always easily translated into the common tongue. They are usually fearsome, and have colorful standards to go with them in order to make clan unique in the eyes of outsiders.
Suggested Krynish Racial Traits:
+2 Strength, +2 Dexterity
Acrobatics 4, Intimidate 4, Notice 4, Search 4, Survival 4
Leaping 1 (1pp), Super Movement 1 (Wall Crawling; 2pp), Strike 1 (Power Feat: Mighty; 2pp), Super Senses 3 (Extended Sight, low Light Vision, Scent; 3pp)