The Kvatch-Takers or Hûndyn and the Taer
“And Dog came out of Dog’s House. And he looked at the Void, and decided that he was in need of a poop. So dog crouched out and made the land, the Taer. He sniffed it and found it to be good. But Dog knew he needed to pee, so he lifted his leg on the land, and made water. And he sniffed it and judged it to be good. But Dog saw that the land was devoid of anyone so dog made the Hûndyn, and he licked them and judged them to be good. The first pack was six, and six was the number. They were the Pippfather, the Sermother, elders of the gray. They were Rover and Snowball, elders of the Eastern. Finally, they were the Q-lord and Z-lady, elders of the red-brown talls. And the Dog barked, ‘Be abundant and make many litters!’ And so it was on the first puppy paw.” — Fido the rememberer.
The origins of this race are unclear. Many of the elder races (Mer, Men, Elf and Dwarf) have claimed that this race is a result of magical interloping, primarily after the cataclysm when the Equality of Magus created the Kvatch-Takers in order to hunt and destroy the Kvatch, a race of rat-demons who plague spell casters. The Hûndyn themselves adhere to a philosophy that they were created by a divine being they call Dog. Furthermore they claim that the other races have corrupted the worship of Dog, namely because god is Dog spelled backwards.
History, such as it is…
One hundred years ago when the cataclysm disrupted the normal affairs of the Taer. The Hûndyn appeared in the Branschluss around that time. Primarily settled in an area north of Morrilheim, they were granted the area which quickly was settled by halflings as well, leading it to be called Kleinmark, or the little march. The lord of the Hûndyn, Rex the First, declared himself King. His descendant Rex XV now rules in his name as King in Kleinmark, and Kurfurst of the Empire.
Appearance, and sub-races
Grays stand about two feet tall. They are bipedal with a gray topcoat and white furnishings. Grays like the Easterns do not shed. They tend to weigh anywhere from twenty to thirty pounds. They generally crop their ears, and dock their tails, which is in fashion both in the nobility and peasantry. Rebellious pups will avoid cropping their ears for a more cavalier look. Both males and females have snouts that sport beards, and their beards are a source of pride.
Red-brown Talls (Hûndyn)
Red-browns stand about four feet tall and are bipedal. They have a red-brown coat that is wiry and covers their entire body. Red-browns are noted outdoors Hûndyn, and have been documented as shedding. They tend to weigh up to one hundred and twenty pounds, and do not crop nor dock tails or ears. They are beardless, but a bushy tail is a great source of pride.
Other than shedding habits almost nothing is known of the Easterns. Tales from the Arturic horde have painted them as an island race, known for colorful dragon visaged armor. Past that there is nothing but speculation.
Society, Religion, and Culture
The Hûndyn have organized their society much along human lines. They have a king, nobility, merchant class, freemen and serf class. Important to note is the King’s privy council which retains features of human privy councils but calls the councilors by different names. Examples include:
Religiously the Hûndyn only worship Dog. As this does not square with the Unified Churches they are considered to be heretical. As Kurfurst or Elector, the King of Kleinmark nominally must accept the worship of Mittron. That no one has demanded an inquisition is one of the mysteries of the Taer. Additionally Hûndyn religion is unique in the fact that it is almost exclusively male. The Rememberer is their chief cleric, and he calls to the faithful from his house in Saint Petter’s Cathedral. The current Rememberer is the Holy Father Fido Rover II. The sabbath for most Hûndyn falls on the seventh day, or as they mark it, the seventh big puppy paw.
Culturally, the Hûndyn are hard working. Preferring repetitive tasks to those that take creativity, Hûndyn have been known to spend their entire day as gophers hunting down tools for other races, or spending their time at work as hunters or trackers. They make excellent guides, and can be fierce warriors if threatened. They are loyal companions and have laid down their lives for other races with little hesitation. Hûndyn are mature at about two years, and reach old age at ten years. They will mate for a season or life, based on need. Hûndyn follow professions that call to them and are ardent workers in their chosen vocation.
The Hûndyn view other races with awe. Humans, dwarves, and halflings are mostly favored, each for their respective reasons. Humans are held in awe due to their large size, and apparently good smell. Dwarves are well liked because their stone hearts are easily manipulated by Hûndyn magic called “puppy eyes.” Halflings are liked because they are not much taller, and tend to do tasks that Hûndyn are not well suited for, like farming, trading, and scratching behind the ears. Merfolk are not well liked due to their strong sea smell, but can become quickly loved by Hûndyn if they are respectful. Half-Orcs are liked for their size but again smell sort of funny. Hûndyn do not like Goblinkind, nor Orcs, and Hûndyn cannot tolerate demons of any kind, and the bark ‘just explodes out of them.’ Elves are distrusted and not liked at all because quote, “Nelfs are funnylookin, and smell like stinky stuff.” If this holds true for half-elves one cannot be quite sure.