|They've activated the self-delete! Nah, I'm just messing with you. |
The Kua Toa (which in their language means "Masters of All") are a race of fish-people who rule the entirety of the oceans in the Fadelands. They are so prominent that Demonac's working title for the setting was "KT World". It should be noted that the spelling is Kua Toa, not Kuo Toa, as it appears in official splatbooks, because Demonac thought it sounded better this way.
The Kua Toa are fully amphibious (i.e. they can breathe air or water interchangeably), which is much rarer in this setting than normal (only the KT and the Aventi). They can also see movement so well that they can even detect the invisible (although they cannot see fully stationary invisible objects, such as rope trick portals or Nemondai). They are immune to poision and paralysis, heavily resistant to electrical damage (30 electrical resist) and have developed extreme control over their alchemical skin secretions to the extent that they can use them to power the Colos cloaks, effectively granting them free invisibility.
The monitors are a group of KT monks hailing from five sub-aquatic monasteries (two Illud, three Deluvian). Despite being monks, they're surprisingly effective and are each generally considered to be one-fish armies.
Long ago, at the dawn of time, the goddess Blibaal gave a fraction of her divine power to the inhabitants of an aquatic city-state, impressed by their cruelty and ambition. This caused them to gain great power (see above), allowing them to conquer the seas in her name and found the Deluvian Empire.
After many centuries of battling with, conquering and enslaving other aquatic races (including the Skum, Locathah, Sea Elves, Merfolk, Tritons, and the great Sahaguin civilization), with greater or lesser amounts of resistance, the Empire faced its first major threat when the leader of the Shadowfin monitors, Godfin Shuazul, attempted to seize the throne. It took the combined might of all of the other monitors to bring him and his heretics down.
About 300 years ago, a group of KT known as the Illud decided to rebel against the Deluvian Empire and create their own empire. [Somebody should probably expand on that]
The KT are divided into a number of broad political/social/family groups called houses (ex: House Occov). They are usually ranked as either Minor or Great (aka 'Ruling') Houses based on their current level of size, wealth and political power. Even a minor KT house is an important institution, whose powers and responsibilities can be compared to that of a state or province in other nations; a house has a degree of legal power and responsibility over all of their members and their property, making it a state not defined by geography but by its people. So for example, a major city will include enclaves of many different houses, each of which is governed in part by the laws of that house, as well as common areas (markets, Imperial government buildings, etc).
This system arose because the Kua Toa breed by spawning rather than direct individual pairing - females spread eggs, and males spread sperm in that area - so the control of bloodlines and the responsibility for caring for and educating the young became a communal responsibility. This means they were not inclined to form the sorts of pair-bonds or family structures common among surface races. The houses began as villages, but as their populations grew and spread out through military expansion or in search of opportunity, the communal ties changed from a simple geographical basis to a greater institution, which existed wherever their people clustered. As the Empire was formed, the houses were formalized into the structure of society; raising and shaping the young into their own subculture, maintaining breeding lists and schedules (to avoid inbreeding, and in some cases to 'strengthen their bloodlines' through eugenic principles), but also serving as commercial networks and safety nets, similar to a guild. Although each house contains all walks of society (administration, priests, farmers, slavers, guards, etc), they have naturally specialized to focus on certain areas of expertise over time.
Some notable KT Houses include (Illud name in brackets):
- House Lokolo (pre-Illud), who first developed the Kolos cloaks. This house was in fact dissolved, so that they could interbreed freely with the other Deluvians, meaning that in the modern day all KT have inherited the necessary skin secretions to power Colos cloaks.
- House Babago (same name), whose experiments with alchemy led to them all mutating into fish-ogres. Don't ask. This caused them to be looked down on by the other Deluvians, leading to them being one of the first factions to (mainly) defect to the Illud. Best known as bodyguards and mercenaries.
- House Occov (Scolov), reknowned as the premiere military experts, with well trained soldiers and as a major provider of arms and armor.
- House Valun (no Illud equivalent), the main house of the priesthood of Blibaal. Source of many paladins and priests, Valun is best known (and often reviled by other houses) for its massive political power within the Deluvian Empire, for though members of Valun are ineligible to become Emperor, they are responsible for selecting each new Emperor, "guided by the will of Blibaal", and their Goddess' will always seems to choose a devout fanatic who becomes seen as a puppet of the priesthood.
- House Lunnon (Illud name unknown), which produces "handlers" to deal with logistics.
- Deluvian name unknown (Gildul), which is responsible for manufacturing Colos Cloaks.
The Kua Language
On the surface, not much is known of Kuar (the Kua language), as the KT refuse to teach it to outsiders (although Angel's picked up a little, during her training with The Organization ). However, a small number of words and phrases have been translated:
|Kua Toa||Masters of all|
|Mun Baru||Mountain of Sacrifice|
|Vulbaal||City of Blood|
|Goffvi Suvo Hoktoa*||
[you are] "One who eats food and shit with equal gluttony"
|Oru Kuaru||You [will be] blood|
|Oru Kubaru||You [will be] my [prayer/sacrifice]|
|Kolkobuta||Prepare (derived from buta)|
|Ut||Denotes that the following word is in the future tense|
Writing and literature have a very high status in Kua Toa society (which would be a surprise to most outsiders, given their bloodthirsty and militaristic nature). Modern Kuar writing uses a phonetic alphabet which matches reasonably well with common, but lacks the "w" sound (sometimes replaced with 'ua'). Kuar also lacks the "h" sound, and compared to the English alphabet, C/K/Q are all represented by a single letter, however, because of the way the 'o' is tucked into larger characters when writing Kuar, the syllable 'co' has its own special character to avoid confusion with the holy letter 'B' (which, when written hastily, looks like a C/K/Q with an 'o' tucked in). This special character '(co)' became the word used to indicate a speaker for written dialogue, the format being [Name] (co) [spoken dialogue]. The '+' character appears in formal Kuar writing to indicate the verb 'to be', but is omitted in the spoken language, and often left out of casual writings.
It is notable that the 'u' in Kuar is virtually always pronounced as an 'oo' sound.
The letter 'B' is considered holy to the Deluvians, due to its association with their Goddess, Blibaal (formerly known as Blibdoolpoolp). The main effect of this is that Deluvians do not use proper names starting with 'B' - a taboo brazenly violated by some of in the 'rebel' Illud nation.
Prior to the current phonetic alphabet, Kuar was written in triangular runes - pictograms encased within two-sides of a triangle. Though no longer used in texts, these runes are still used in places as symbols of ancient and respected words, concepts and organizations, such as to represent Blibaal, other gods, and as the symbols of the five ancient monasteries.
The most famous work of Kuar literature is probably The Current of Teeth.