Kalamarans construct their homes, equipment, and cities with grandeur. They exaggerate size and detail, covering massive lintels with brilliant frescoes, and placing them above colossal doorways. Kalamarans decorate everything, especially their weaponry and accoutrements: “Know a Basiran by his surcoat,” goes the saying, “and a Tokite by his shield.”
Pure Kalamarans have blue eyes and dark red hair, features that are now prominent only among the nobility. They are tall, especially in the eastern Young Kingdoms and northern Kalamar, where Fhokki blood runs strong. However, Fhokki blood is hardly the only racial influence. Today’s Kalamaran has unprecedented range in size, shape, build and coloration. Centuries of conquest and trade have given the Kalamarans access to every known race. In the Young Kingdoms, Kalamaran blood mixed for centuries with Brandobian, hobgoblin (especially in Korak and Ek’Kasel), elven (especially east of Korak), various Dejy tribes and Fhokki (in Paru’Bor). O’Par, Paru’Bor and Dodera have extensive Fhokki and Dejy influence intermixed with a smattering of elven, hobgoblin and Brandobian. Tokites share their Kalamaran blood with that of the Dejy, Fhokki, elves, Brandobians, Svimohz and Reanaarians (the latter two through trade). Central Kalamar and Basir have intermixed with every conceivable race through trade, conquest and slavery. Tarisatans have generous amounts of Dejy, hobgoblin, orc and goblin influence mixed with already-diluted Kalamaran blood from the central holdings.
Male 4'10" +2d10 (inches) 120 lbs x (2d4) lbs
Female 4'5" +2d10 (inches) 85 lbs x (2d4) lbs
Among adventurers, Kalamarans prefer professions that allow them to experience as much as possible. They make brave fighters, dashing rogues and intrepid paladins. Except among Basirans, Kalamaran bards are rare, and barbarians are extremely rare, coming only from deep in the Alubelok Swamp or unruly Tarisato. Since Kalamar is the center for several powerful faiths, clerics are common as well, but druids come mostly from the Young Kingdoms or central Kalamar.
“Give a Kalamaran a weapon, and he will give you thanks. This is when you should run.”
– Dwarven saying.
After centuries of foreign conquest and domination, Kalamaran has been influenced greatly by Dejy, Brandobian, Fhokki and non-human languages. Thus, there are countless dialects of Low Kalamaran spoken throughout the Empire and the Young Kingdoms. It is unlikely that an artisan in southern Kalamar would be able to understand an O’Paran laborer. The exact dialect spoken depends directly upon who settled the area before the Kalamaran conquest. For example, in Paru’Bor, O’Par and Dodera the people speak dialects of Kalamaran that have Dejy and Fhokki influence, but in Korak and Ek’Kasel there is a distinct Brandobian and even Hobgoblin influence.
Kalamaran uses the letters A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, Ka-, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, TH, U, V and W. B, G, K, L, P, R, S and T are the consonants used most frequently. Actual vowels or consonants are never found in pairs but are separated by apostrophes, which indicates a syllable delay when spoken, e.g., P’Bapar (puh-bah-par), Ka’Asa (kah-ah-suh). This also indicates to the reader (or listener) that the name or word probably originated in another region, e.g., a half-Kalamaran/half-Fhokki might be named Rosharek in the Wild Lands, but would be Ros’Harek if raised in the Empire.
In Kalamaran, the emphasis is on action. For this reason, verbs precede nouns, and adjectives and adverbs always follow the words they are describing. Verbs are short, typically one or two syllables, and nouns and adjectives are longer. Articles are usually only one or two letters long. Possessiveness is indicated by the prefix ka-; gender is defined by the suffix -i, -e or -u for male, female and neutral, respectively. Plurality is indicated by the suffix -l or -al. Mixed groups of males and females are always given feminine gender. The naming convention for towns and cities is as follows: villages and towns end with the suffixes -idu and -ido; cities end with the suffix -eta, and capital cities are preceded by the word Bet.
Noble Kalamarans always use two names. Freemen have picked up the custom as well, with two names being more prevalent in thickly populated areas. Serfs and rural Kalamarans need only one name, and they are unlikely to adopt surnames in the near future.
The nobles surnames identify their family, which name, in turn, identifies their fief (the house of Eramis rules the Duchy of Eramis, for example), their castle, and the founder of the family. When a fief bears a different name than the ruler, it is sure evidence that the fief has changed hands since its original grant by the Emperor. Freefolk will most often take a name related to their occupation, but they might alternatively take a name related to their home village or a noble under whom they work. Repetition of names is not uncommon, and similar names are very common. The Kalamarans favor naming children after famous heroes and the same name often reappears in large families several times.