The World Of Khoras - The Cultured Races

Physical Description, Life Span

Large, broad fat hunched over humanoids. These ponderous creatures are slow and awkward. They cannot run. They vaguely resemble immensely fat humans with curved hunckbacked spines, low held heads that sit forward on short stubby necks, thick short fat legs and short stubby tails. There faces are round, soft and gentle, but slightly alien. Their skin is thick, wrinkled and grey like the skin of an elephant. They often walk with canes or staves. They have thick rolls of fat under their skin. They have four chubby fingers on each hand.

The vaullians are very long lived. A typical vaullian lives to be 400 years old.

Emotional/Intellectual Notes, Likes, Dislikes

Vaullians are very wise creatures. They are intelligent, gentle, non-violent and very empathic. They are social creatures, though they like the serenity and peace that can be found when alone. They tend not to adventure. It’s too taxing for them. They prefer to stay at home and enjoy life with fellow beings. They are slow, methodical, but also infinitely patient, detailed and deeply creative. They have extraordinary mental discipline and astonishing memories. Vaullians make excellent diplomats, ambassadors, speakers, writers, poets, artists, musicians and mages. Vaullians are very good at magic and many master it.

Vaullians do everything with slow deliberation. Every decision, no matter how trivial, is given careful and deliberate thought. All aspects of every course of action are weighed before a decision can be reached. Other races sometimes find vaullians infuriatingly slow.

Most vaullians are staunch pacifists.

All Vaullians have some basic psionic ability – limited telepathy, empathy, mind meld, animal empathy, etc. Vaullians have developed many advanced mental techniques including hypnosis, deep meditation and lucid dreaming. Not all vaullians have developed their mental/psionic skills, but some do. Actual psionic ability in vaullians varies widely. Some are extremely talented. Most have only a very limited ability. A few specialize in such mental mastery and are able to focus their mental energies to achieve near magical effects. Vaullian mental disciplines are used for healing, interrogation and conflict resolution.

Some vaullians are extremists with their telepathic ability. They vew verbal communication as inferior and totally beneath them. They are known as the Order of the Mind.

Religion, Gods, Creation Stories, Legends, Myths

Complex, deep, spiritual, philosophical. The most popular religion among the Vaullians is something called Acharanatrakan or "Vaullian Mysticism". About 25% of all Vaullians embrace Vaullian Mysticism. It has a deep subtle meaning. A bit like Zen or Taoism. Other Vaullians embrace the worship of many gods seeing all divinity as the path to wisdom.

Vaullian Mysticism has many ranks of accomplishment. The highest is Thought Master. Very few Thought Masters exist.

Magic - Social Acceptance, Laws, Availability, Use

Good mages. Magic is more an art form to be mastered over a lifetime. In general, Vaullians are good at magic and many vaullians become skilled wizards. However, vaullian wizards tend to specialize in very narrowly defined specialties and concentrate all of their energies on a single discipline. Some vaullians specialize in a single spell!

Region, Boundaries, Weather, Terrain, Resources

Primarily found in Vaul, in the east. A semi-tropical region of lush grasslands and forested hills. However, Vaullians can be found scattered throughout the continent. More common in the east than in the west.

Population Density, Community Sizes, Mobility, Racial Subdivisions

Small towns. Many vaullians live alone.

Language, Alphabet, Writing, Records, Literature, Poetry, Art

The vaullian language, Vaulsk, is complex with many long words and complicated grammar. It takes a long time to say anything in vaullian. It is difficult to translate things in and out of vaullian.

Vaullians love poetry, music, art and other "worthy intellectual pursuits". It is a Vaullian tradition to commemorate important occasions with a poem. The highest of all art forms is the proverb. Vaullian masters love to quote proverbs of wisdom and it is the greatest desire of a vaullian scholar to pen a proverb that will live on for generations.

Vaullian music is slow, serene, stately and, quite often, very sad. It is formal with specific styles and well-documented melodies. Vaullian musicians adhere to traditional style and structure. They do not adapt or vary traditional themes. The most important piece of Vaullian music is the chanter pipe - a wind instrument that consists of a large leather bag and several parallel pipes of varying length. It has a deep, sweet, rich sound. It is a complex instrument to play and takes years to master.

One of the most sophisticated and respected forms of vaullian art is the polcrav. Literally translated, it means "many crafted". The polcrav combines poetry, prose and art. it sometimes even incorporates music. A polcrav is typically a large painted work of art with writing placed artfully in or with the painting. The words are poetic and beautiful and quite often tell a simple story or parable in only a few lines. The story is always related to the painting. Sometimes the notes of a melody are included. The idea is that one could listen to the notes of the music, read the story and gaze upon the painting, allowing all three art forms to blend into a unified experience. These paintings are often quite large measuring 20 feet across. There are many famous examples of polcrav in Vaullian society including The Blue Wanderer by Xeros, The Swan and The Darkness by Rilli and Three Rainbows by Presalt.

Finally, the vaullians have developed a very complex and beautiful calligraphy called burifalli. Burifalli is a traditional style of calligraphy used only in certain formal works of art and literature. It is based upon concentric arcs and circles that intersect in web like patterns. Burifalli can take many forms, but the most traditional involves glyphs arranged along a large single spiral emanating from a central glyph. The individual glyphs convey meaning through words, sentences and so forth. However, the exact positioning of glyphs on the spiral and their positions in relation to other glyphs convey subtle shades of meaning.  Glyphs can also be rotated or inverted further defining emotional tone and nuance. The artform is a type of poetry which works on several levels – symbolic meaning, visual beauty and mathematical puzzle. Burifalli is a very difficult and complex artform to learn and takes decades to master. Some vaullian masters devote their lives to the construction of these beautiful pieces of art.

Intercultural Relations, Trade, Alliances

Vaullians make a sincere effort to peacefully co-exist with all races.

Food - Procurement Methods, Surplus, Storage, Distribution

Vaullian chefs craft traditional dishes. Most vaullians are strict, vegetarians. They find the eating of meat a barbaric and offensive practice. They are masters of preparing vegetarian dishes.

The vaullians drink a very sweet, fortified wine called doeza (DOE-za). This wine is made from the fermentation of a local fruit which grows in great abundance in Vaul. After fermentation, it is spiced and then stored in great oaken barrels where it is aged for two years. Doeza is relatively mild compared to other alcoholic drinks.

Technology - Architecture, Tools, Weapons, Armor

Vaullians have advanced stone and metalwork. They prefer working with stone and have very ornate old buildings. They enjoy the permanence of stone.

Use Of Animals

They use animals for entertainment, companionship, defense and beasts of burden. But they do not eat the flesh of any animal. Pigeons for long distance communication.

Transportation, Long Distance Communication

The vaullians use xxx as steeds and for pulling carts, wagons and other heavy loads. They use carriage pigeons for transporting letters from town to town. The vaullian government maintains a network of magical devices for rapid communication between the city of Vaulstav and the outlying towns.  

Ownership Laws, Inheritance Customs, Monetary Form, Debt/Credit

They often use verbal or written agreements to pass own their goods to a friend. Much like a will.

Gender Differences - Rights, Responsibilities

The vaullians have equality between the sexes. Males and females about the same rights and freedom. There is very little distinction between the genders as far as profession, duty and responsibility. Males tend toward my physical professions - soldier, blacksmith, woodworker, stone cutter. Females tend toward more artistic pursuits such as gardening, weaving and such. But there is much overlap. Many male vaullians study magic, poetry, writing, cooking, music. Some females join the military and take up a physical craft..

Marriage System - Customs, Beliefs, Husband/Wife Relationship, Divorce

The vaullians mate for life. A husband wife union is the strongest bond in vaullian society. They are great believers in the concept of "true love". For them, love is eternal. It is greater than all other things. Even death.Ttherefore, vaullian marriage transcends even death. A vaullian will not take a second wife..

Household Form, Family Form

Vaullian families tend to be small, numbering only one or two children on average. Children are usually spaced several years apart.

Birth - Beliefs, Customs

The vaullian gestation period is two years. Most families voluntarialy limit themselves to no more than three children.

Children - Discipline, Education, Recreation

In disciplining the children, physical punishment is never used. Rather, vaullian parents influence their offspring with arguments of logic and reason. Children are taught from early on to respect others and to find compromises. They are taught personal restraint, mental discipline and to find balance and harmony between themselves and the world around them. Most children's games incorporate these lessons and have some educational value in their makeup. A great importance is placed on respect for elders.

Death - Beliefs, Customs

The vaullians are a race that live each day fiercely and passionately. The vaullians see life as a wondrous journey of discovery and death is the tragic and inevitable conclusion to that journey. Of course, vaullian mysticism teaches that death is the greatest journey of all. Passing from life to death the greatest discovery.

Vaullians gather friends and family to mourn the loss of a departed friend. This ceremony involves the Death's Prayer... a long and elaborate chant conducted by the family and friends of the departed. The ceremony usually involves music, food and many speeches by a vaullian mystic. 

Names - Number, Sequence, Meaning

Vaullians have only two names - a family name followed by a personal name. Many vaullians have titles or honorifics which are as important to their identity as their name.

Social Stratification

None. The vaullians have no racial ranking system or hierarchy. They differentiate themselves by profession and attain status through their work and writings. The only distinction one vaullian might have over another is title or office.

Political System - Legislative, Executive, Judicial

The vaullians government themselves with what other cultures might view as councils of philosphers. Each village, town and city is governed by a council made up of the oldest and wisest vaullians. These council members are elected to their positions and serve for life (although some serve for a number of years and then retire to life a life of peace and seclusion). Typically such a council will consist of thirteen members. Although some councils may be larger or smaller, it is always an odd number to avoid ties in decision making. Most important matters in vaullian culture are decided by council vote. Vaullians guilds and businesses follow this example and usually have small councils of their own.

Military - Size, Strength, Description, Organization, Weapons

Very limited military. Most vaullians are pacifists, but there are those among them that understand that force is sometimes necessary. Vaullian warriors wear very heavy, ornate metal armor and wield ornate traditional swords. These massive curved blades are covered in runes of vaullian magical power. Most vaullian soldiers are male. They are not fast, but they have a great constitution. Vaullians also combine magic and psionics into their fighting style. Because of this, they are able to foresee their opponents actions. This makes them much more formidable on the battle field than most would expect.

Prominent Community Ceremonies

Porulue - Vaullian Strategy Game

Porulue (pronounced Pa-ROO-loo) is a vastly complex multi-dimensional game of strategy and tactics. Similar to chess, it involves moving a variety of pieces around a playing board. However, in porulue, the board has multiple tiers and the abilities of each piece are continually changing throughout the game depending on the location of the piece and other factors. Vaullians will sit patiently for hours pouring over the board considering various time-honored strategies and traditional gambits. It is quite common for a game to go days or weeks. It is a very slow game and only vaullians have the patience to find it interesting to watch. Many vaullians devote their lives to this game and become porulue masters. There are no derivatives of this game. There is only a single set of rules that have been passed down through the generations. Porulue players respect their game too much to tamper with perfection. However, the game has many rules and some rules only come up once in a great while. On occasion, massive leather bound rule books are taken down from the shelf, dusted off and consulted on some of more archaic moves. Game boards and pieces are usually crafted from precious materials and rendered with great artistic ability.


This website was last updated November 30, 2023. Copyright 1990-2023 David M. Roomes.

Contact Webmaster