Kaal`Kor (Kaalian Dwarves)by T.A. Saunders ©1997 v2.2
Average Height: Around 5 feet tall for males and four feet and six inches for females.
Average Weight: 180 pounds for males and 130 pounds for females.
Features: Brown, blonde, black and red hair all possible, with brown, blue, green and hazel eyes possible.
Languages Spoken: Dwarvish, Northlandic, Elvish and Common.
Racial Age Limit: Roughly 350 to 400 years.
Racial Nicknames: Rock-Heads, Midget, Diggers.
The Kaal`Kor are not a pretty race, though not unattractive. They are a short, strongly-built people, with ruddy complexions and thick, brawny frames for the males and ample curves for the females. There is a propensity to being over-weight largely thanks to the sort of eating and drinking they enjoy, but this in and of itself does not make them entirely unfit. Hair and eye color will largely depend on clan, which runs the entire gamut of browns, blondes and black, with white and gray hair appearing in elders. Dwarvish men additionally pride themselves on growing a thick beard, but not all Dwarvish men have them. Contrary to popular belief, Dwarvish women do not have beards and will take it as a insult worth a proper thrashing to imply as much.
Dark-Sight: Dwarves are able to see in extremely low light and no light conditions. This allows them to traverse the blackest cave with about the same ease a Human might with torchlight.
Structural Fault Detection: Able to detect stability of any structure or underground passage. This ability covers both made and natural structures, such as the stability of a cave. (95% chance to detect structural fault).
Dwarvish Craftsmanship: Dwarves have an inherit intuition as builders and engineers; as such, anything crafted by a dwarf is 150% more durable, valuable or reliable than by any other craftsman. (Dwarves have a +10% to craft any given item, the item is +5% in effectiveness, and have 150% greater worth and durability).
Innate Toughness: Dwarves are an extremely hardy people, able to withstand unusual amounts of damage and being able to retain their wits when others have succumbed to unconsciousness. (player is given 1d10+2 rounds to stay alert, even when they should be unconscious, innate -25% armor rating vs melee/ranged/spell attack).
Magic Resistance: Dwarves have remarkable resistance any magic casted against them with malicious intent, regardless of the skill of the spell-caster. (Dwarves have an innate -30% Mystic Defense).
Axe and Hammer Lethality: Kaal`Kor using axes or hammers as weapons inflict greater damage with them, having intrinsic knowledge of their use. Their strength plays into this too, which is above that of a human. (+15% to attack rolls when fighting with an axe or a hammer, 10% to feats of strength).Top
Gem Greed: Kaal`Kor suffer an unusual weakness for gems. They love gems more than gunpowder, more than ale and more than building things. This love has caused war between clans, hands to be chopped off and some of the most diabolical traps constructed by any race ever, to protect gems. Dwarves have a very hard time resisting the urge to claim a high quality gem and if one is used in bargaining with a dwarf, it's likely that the dwarf will bend. (-20% to reaction rolls involving gems of remarkable quality).
The birth of the Kaal`Kor as a race happened after the destruction of Vocoria, by the Prismatic Wyrm, Tashalasheeri. Seeing the failure of the Asyndi and the Prismatic Wyrms as complete, Kaal and Zorah lingered on Ishaela for many days and nights, considering what must be done. His beloved wife, Zorah wished to create a new race of guardians, wise like the Asyndi but tempered with a gentler nature. Kaal, on the other hand, felt that a race with a heart for industry would not have the idle mind to have delusions of godhood and power and would work to better the world around them, rather than claim it, or worse…destroy it. In the end, it was decided that three new races would be born: one to protect Nature through magic, one to bring the order of industry to balance out the sorcery others would use and a third race to bring change, so all three would learn to adapt and grow, through the change the third race would bring. Kaal's industrious race would later be known as the Kaal`Kor.
At first, the three races had almost nothing to do with each other. The Sivanoshei Elves lived above the ground, in a fertile valley altered by Zorah's power in such a way that magic and green trees worked there. The city of Am-Shei was founded there, but the Elder Elves never left the valley, for in the mountain range beyond, they discovered the magic they learned from the Prince did not work as well, if at all. Zorah had simply willed the Starmetal veins that were prominent in the massive chunk of Vocoria from existence in that area, while leaving intact elsewhere. Kaal's Dwarves, who lived on the outskirts of the land initially, quickly discovered the metal and stone within the ground and found they could make things with it and began digging, till one day no Dwarves at all remained on the surface of Ishaela.
Digging tunnels was not enough for the Kaal`Kor; they build all their cities underground and found supplies of water to help fuel inventions that helped them dig deeper, or more quickly. It did not take long before the vast capital city of Kaalarn was built, some fifty feet below ground, using all manner of tools and inventions to help them move, cut and shape the rock to their whim. Deep in the ground, gems were discovered and drove Dwarvish clans to dig deeper still to get coveted gems to add to their clan thane's coffers. It was not long before clans began squabbling over tunnels and passages and who controlled what and what belonged to whom because they were beginning to run out of places to dig.
This squabbling and bickering soon boiled over into the Clan Wars that set Dwarf against Dwarf in a bloody feud between clans. For one hundred and fifty years, while the Elves lived happily and harmoniously on the surface, the Kaal`Kor Dwarves fought bitterly against one another, with no real end in sight. It was getting to the point that there were more dead Dwarves than living ones and more Dwarves who could not remember which clan had even started the war. In the end, four clans remained and absorbed the rag-tag remains of eight clans wiped out by the war then made a peace amongst them. Three clans would divide the vast networks of tunnels, each claiming one city as their own and the forth clan would leave to return to the long-since forgotten surface, to prospect for new places to dig and prosper. Clan Dunathyn claimed the capital of Kaalarn, Clan Kuergan claimed the city of Rovast, Clan Glantheel would claim the newest of the cities, Vizik and the last clan, Hammerspark willingly chose to leave their ancestral homes to wander and discover new lands where they might dig.
As a further stipulation to the end of the Clan Wars, it was agreed that no war will ever be fought again between Dwarves. Instead, brawls would be fought and clans could settle their differences by beating the sense out of one another, but under no circumstances could gunpowder, blade or hammer could used to settle a difference between clans. Furthermore, at the end of one of these grand brawls, both sides were to meet and share drink as a sign of good will, which led to the time-honored tradition of Dwarvish brewing. To this day, the Kaal`Kor have remained true to this principal and have never fought another war amongst their kin.Top
With the three clans now in relatively peaceful co-existence, Clan Hammerspark gathered at the First Tunnel and began the long and arduous trek to the surface. It had been so long since the Dwarves had been to the surface, there were none alive that remembered what the sunlight of Ka looked like, or what green grass felt like under their feet. After a month of traveling, the Hammerspark clan emerged on the surface of Ishaela to be greeted by their first blizzard of the Yis-Nata season. At least having the entrance to the ancient tunnel as cover, the Hammerspark Dwarves weathered the storm and pushed on across the continent of Mirislyr. As they traveled, they began to discover more and more examples of civilization; markers painted on trees, footprints made by feet not too different from their own, but thinner and signs of old campfires made in clearings in the slowly thickening woods.
Stories differ between cultures, but the Dwarf version of the story is they first encountered the Elves when scouts of Clan Hammerspark found one fast asleep under a tree, caught completely; the Sivanoshei version of the tale is that an Elvish hunter found one of the Hammerspark scouts relieving himself behind a tree and nearly shot him, for mistaking him for a boar. Whatever the case, upon sending word all the way back to Kaalarn about this discovery, negotiations soon began to establish peace between the Kaal`Kor and the Sivanoshei. This treaty would last for several thousand years, when the rise of Khavos would cause great strife between all the peoples of Ishaela.
For a decade, Clan Hammerspark stayed with the Elves in Am-Shei, where the peoples exchanged all manner of secrets involving crafting and brewing (which happened to be a specialty of the Hammerspark Clan). All seemed well in the exchange of knowledge, until the Elves began discussing teaching the Dwarves magic. Renard “Bronze Bones” Hammerspark, High Thane of the Hammerspark Clan would have none of it. He felt that learning and using magic was cheating what the sweat of a honest Dwarf's brow could do just the same; while fine perhaps for the thinner and less sturdy Elves, no self-respecting Dwarf would ever degrade themselves to using sorcery, unless it was the sacred Runes of Forging passed down from Kaal himself or the power of a priest. The Sivanoshei, quite proud of their magic took a mild offense to this attitude and further, felt that Dwarvish engineering raped the land of its natural beauty, rather than compliment it. Of course, the Dwarves found this damned insulting, but as they were guests of the Elves, it was not their place to say as much…unless drunk, then everything is fair game to a Dwarf.
Sensing this fundamental difference in cultures was becoming something of a breaking point between friends, the High Thane decided it was time to move on and continue with their mission as it had been agreed upon decades before. It was clear the Elves would not let them mine the rock under Am-Shei and it was clear the Dwarves would not allow their kinsmen to be exposed to sorcery. With a small diplomatic detachment staying behind in Am-Shei, to further communication with Kaalarn, Clan Hammerspark once more set out to explore the world.
Beyond this point, little known about what happened to Clan Hammerspark. For roughly 7,000 years all record and all contact with their diplomatic detachment in Am-Shei ceased. It had been thought that the Dwarves had encountered the remaining Yirok, a race of large and sentient crustaceans that once had vast numbers across Ishaela, but were very nearly wiped out when a piece of Vocoria landed on Ishaela to form the land masses of Mirislyr, Quivyin and Tyris and subsequently slaughtered for food, or worse.
However, others have postulated that Clan Hammerspark may have actually encountered Asyndi that had sorcerously traveled to Ishaela somehow. While there are no clan scrolls that directly confirm this, evidence in the way of Dwarven-made armor, weapon and siege engines littering ancient battlefields in Miroa, particularly around the fortress, S`Kyrai suggests that they found their way to Imarel, either as allies of a Shar`Vaire faction, or captured against their will and later managed to escape. Further evidence of this theory is supported by the presence of Hammerspark Keep in the very furthest reaches of Zoda. It is likely the truth of such questions is found within the keep itself, which has only been very recently reclaimed by an ancestor of the great Hammerspark legacy, a Dwarven warrior by the name of Kladagen Hammerspark.Top
While Clan Hammerspark's adventures became a thing of mystery and folklore, events in Am-Shei had begun unfolding with the discovery of Humans in 8440 BF. Found by a Sivanoshei patrol, much like the Dwarves had been, these nomadic people were just as quickly welcomed by the Elves, but not as quickly embraced. While the Dwarves had their own mind on things, the Humans were like fresh clay in the hands of the Sivanoshei, who were all too eager to shape them in their likeness. The Dwarves staying in Am-Shei were allowed to meet the Humans and were immediately alarmed by the Sivanoshei's efforts to mold them in their own image and their own beliefs, rather than allowing them to make their own choices.
Once permission had been secured from Kaalarn, the Dwarves of Am-Shei instructed the Humans about Kaal and showed them how to build and how to engineer things. While Humans were not quite as good as Dwarves when it came to making things sturdy, they were astounded at the originality and the advanced concepts Humans could come up with, if given the proper knowledge. As the Human population grew, some were allowed to travel to Kaalarn, where they worked with the greatest Dwarven builders, engineers and smiths and were taught the ways of Kaal and perhaps the greatest secret, the knowledge of Runeforging, which had been passed down from Sun Father himself. Whole generations of Humans were born, lived and died in the Below, with the Dwarves, largely ignorant to events that were unfolding with their kin in Am-Shei and the theft of the knowledge of Magic.
Humans with the knowledge of engineering and building were accompanied by Dwarves from Clan Glantheel to the surface, where they would assist them in building the first of their cities, Sengaard. The Prince of the Sivanoshei had been opposed to the Humans leaving their protection, but with Am-Shei quickly becoming over-populated with the faster-producing Humans and more and more instances of inter-breeding disturbing the traditionalists amongst the Elves, it soon became evident that the Humans needed to blossom on their own. So, in 7807 BF, building of Sengaard began and the great expansion of Human culture continued with it.
For well over three thousand years, Humans flourished and built more cities with the help of the Dwarves, though there were many amongst the great clan halls of the Great Below that were growing concerned with the steady power the Humans had attained. When word reached Kaalarn that the Humans had been taught Magic, despite the Prince's royal decree, the Dwarves were outraged. Having worked with Humans as equals, rather than treating them like children as the Sivanoshei had, showed them that Humans were simply irresponsible with power they did not work to attain. While Runeforging and engineering were all potentially dangerous things, each one came with it the discipline of having to work hard to make use of it. Magic on the other hand, while requiring study and discipline to cast it, opened pathways to easy power and whispers from dark places a mortal ought not hear.
There was nothing to be done about it however; the Humans of Sengaard had fallen prey to their own lust for power and through the Magic they were taught, attracted the attention of Khavos, Spirit of Decay. Relations between the Dwarves, the Humans and the Elves all began cooling until at last, war broke out between the Humans of the Kingdom of Sengaard, now known as the Land of Xos and Am-Shei. A gathering of the High Thanes of the three clans took place then and after much debate, the Dwarves decided to ally with the Elves and make war against the Humans and their new vampire masters.
This presented a problem however, as many Humans still lived in Kaalarn and were contributing members of the clan smithies, brew-houses and other honest labors. The High Thanes did not wish to turn their backs on these Humans and offered them a place as clansmen. These Humans, who would be the forebearers of those who would eventually settle in Zoda on Imarel, accepted this great boon and chose to fight their own kind, who had been corrupted by the taint of Magic and the whispers of Khavos. Many of them priests and Holy Defenders of Kaal took the field and died alongside Sivanoshei and Dwarves alike when the assault on Am-Shei came and would be amongst those who took the great portal the Prince opened to Imarel.Top
The Dwarves at this point had to make a choice; either stand with the Elves, whom they believed ultimately responsible for the Humans learning magic and becoming slaves to chaos or preserve their own kind and prepare to fight them on their own terms. So it was in 4499 BF the High Thanes decided to mount a rescue effort to save their kin trapped in Am-Shei, then seal off the one and only way into the Great Below, so if the Xosians wished to do battle, they would be forced through a choke-point with so many devious and lethal traps that no army of living or dead could ever hope to take the passage without being brought to absolute ruin. The very day the Prince enacted the power of the portal to Imarel, the Dwarven armies mounted their rescue effort and plowed through the Xosian siege of Am-Shei to rescue their kin. As one last act of alliance, the Dwarves stood with the Sivanoshei that remained in Am-Shei and fought off wave after wave of vampires, blood-slaves and all manner of undead until the last of their civilians had made it through.
The casualties had been high however, with an army of fifteen thousand Dwarves being reduced to one of only fourteen hundred. Those that remained delivered the bitter will of the High Thanes and departed for the Great Below, content to leave the Elves to their fate now that they had done the right thing. With any luck, the ones that escaped to the Asyndi-controlled Imarel would fair better and be wiser for the foolishness of their kin. Four two years, the Dwarves remained locked away in the safety of the Great Below, while the Sivanoshei fought tooth and nail to survive against the undead armies of Xos. The Xosians made one attempt and one only, against the First Tunnel and the path to the Great Below in those two years; the army of eight thousand was destroyed utterly and no other was sent to test the might of the Dwarvish defenses.
In 4497 BF this posture of isolationism would be altered by divine command from Kaal himself, who is said to have appeared in the Hall of Thanes, where the three High Thanes were meeting. In this most rare and unusual address, Kaal gave the Dwarves the task of building a great and impenetrable wall around Am-Shei, separating the Elves from the Humans and the Chaos Wastes created by the great detonation of conflicting divine powers of the Prince of the Sivanoshei and Khavos. Furthermore, Kaal charged the Dwarves with keeping the peace between the Sivanoshei and the Xosian Humans, even so far as to kill one or the other should they cross the wall.
This divine mandate stood for over five thousand years, till 1320 AC with Khavos' focus turning away from Ishaela and towards Imarel brought about revolt within Xos. This rebellion through the Theocracy in Sengaard into turmoil and set the stage for the re-emergence of the Sivanoshei as a power. The Dwarves, who had become battle-hardened with fighting powerful vampire armies in the Chaos Wastes had at first scoffed at the notion that Xosians would reject Khavos' control after been put under his boot for so long. With word coming from Imarel about the vampire Ko and the civil war in Sundown to overthrow her traveling to Am-Shei and Kaalarn, the stance on these affairs changed. After much prayer to Kaal and great debate amongst the High Thanes, the Dwarves once more marched alongside the Elves and aided those Humans who rejected Khavos' ways. Still more Dwarves joined the peace-keeping forces sent to Imarel, to help secure the freehold of Sundown, many of whom would end up staying on Imarel to learn of the ways of people there.
The Dwarves of today are still largely distrusting of Elves and only moderately less of Humans, save the Northlanders of Zoda, whom they consider lost kinsman. While few live on Imarel, there are contingents of Clan Hammerspark in Zoda, Clan Glantheel in Windsong, Clan Kuergan in Farwind and more than a few Dwarves of Clan Dunathyn in the Grand Duchy of Brookshire. While sparse in the overall picture of things on Imarel, Dwarves have been branching out and exploring the world that has been largely unknown to them till fairly recently in their history and are generally willing to share a few pints of brew and tell a tale or two about their land and way.Top
At the beginning of Dwarvish history, there once had been twelve Great Clans, to which all other smaller clans separated their allegiance. After the Great Clan Wars in 9050 BF, only four Great Clans remained: Clan Hammerspark, Clan Dunathyn, Clan Kuergan and Clan Glantheel. Each of these Great Clans is led by a High Thane, who in turn lords over other thanes and their clans. Each of the lesser clans are considered cousins to the Great Clan and all work to bring profit and strength to their particular Great Clan. Because of this arrangement, a Dwarf will have a first name, a last name derived from his lesser clan, then a clan name, which is derived to which Great Clan he or she holds allegiance to. A typical Dwarven name would go to the tune of Tagen Brightforge of Dunathyn, though in informal conversation, it's fine to give one's first and last name only. When being presented in a formal setting, the Great Clan name is always given and to not do so is an insult to the Dwarf, or to the Great Clan if the Dwarf in question does not give it. In the case of direct descendants of a Great Clan, the surname portion of the name is truncated, (ex. Sir Khalag of Glantheel).
Dwarves take their names and their history very seriously, many of whom can trace their ancestors back to the digging of the First Tunnel. While Kaalian Dwarves have free will to choose their own occupations and their own destinies, it is traditional and largely expected that the first born son in any family takes up his father's trade. Breaking with this tradition is frowned upon, but does not usually result in the expulsion of the Dwarf in question from his clan. Dwarvish females on the other hand are far less restricted in that way, but are expected to tend home and hearth before taking up a more traditionally male occupation, such as blacksmithing, architect or warrior. That doesn't mean there are no female Dwarves that follow those occupations, but with so many being very focused on their families and the traditions of their people, it is a rare sight indeed.
As one may imagine, Dwarvish society is a patriarchal one but does not suffer from the illusion that females are inferior providing their women are observing their traditional roles. While women are considered equal to men, it is their accepted social norm that women in general maintain the home, cook the food and wash the clothes while the men work in various industrial capacities. The one area of life this does not hold true is in the Priesthood of Kaal, where there are just as many priestesses as there are priests who serve the Flamebringer. Those ordained in the Church of Kaal are allowed to marry and rear children, though expecting priestesses are not allowed to accompany Dwarvish armies into a brawl or a battle.
Typically, the average Dwarvish family is an extended one, with an average of three to nine children, the parents and the mother and father of the husband all living under one roof. Aunts, uncles and cousins usually live within walking distance, though not always. Dwarves have a keenly strong sense of family and will go out of their way to provide and protect one of their direct blood before all others. Dwarves who betray or are disloyal to their families or their clan are considered worse than thieves or murderers and are often exiled from the underground territory their clan holds. Word travels fast in the Great Below and a Dwarf who has been exiled from his or her clan will be a lonely one, as no other clan will shelter such an individual willingly.Top
Amongst the Kaalian Dwarves, the true measure of one's self is how well they do the thing they do. Whether it be warring, building or merry-making, the Kaal`Kor are instinctively driven to excel at whatever they put their minds to doing. To find a lazy Dwarf is to find an outcast in a Dwarvish society; it simply isn't tolerated and those who are deemed repeatedly lazy are driven from their homes, disowned by their clans and left to their fortunes in the dark of the Great Below. Because of this zeal for building, creating and engineering great things, Dwarves distinguish themselves amongst their kin not by triumphs in battle or by wealth, but by the quality of their craftsmanship.
Each Great Clan has a Master Craftsman in a particular field; this individual is selected from all the smaller clans that hold fealty to that particular Great Clan, every fifty years in a contest known as the Durga Damorn, or the Crafter's Tourney. This tournament of crafting covers the four most important crafts of Kaal`Kor society: Architecture, Blacksmithing, Engineering and Brewing. While many fine examples of Kaal`Korian craft are produced during these tournaments, the very best of the best are selected by the High Thane of the Great Clan holding the Durga Damorn. When these four craftsmen are selected, they become Clan Craftsmen and move on to compete against the other Great Clans' craftsmen till the best of all four become the Crafters of the High Thanes. These four individuals for the next fifty years are in charge of overseeing the various projects and works the High Thanes desire to be constructed or produced.
Since Clan Hammerspark has not had a significant presence in the Great Below for several thousand years, other than being honored for their choice to explore The Beyond, They hold a smaller version of the Durga Damorn at their keep in Zoda and welcome both Northlander and Voraath craftsmen to join in the festivities. While this is only a very recent tradition with the re-emergence of Clan Hammerspark in the distant north, it is this smaller Durga Damorn that has produced the wildly popular Hammerspark Lager, that won the Brewing portion of the tournament last year in 1321 AC. The Humans and Voraath that have participated enjoy doing so and find the Dwarves of Hammerspark fine and rowdy company to share the cold steppe and the frigid mountains with.
Dwarves without a particular craft they excel at usually try to find a vocation that at least makes them useful, such as a laborer or they volunteer for their Thane's army, while still others give themselves to Kaal and become priests or Holy Defenders. One thing you will not find, often is a Kaal`Korian male tending crops or watching children, or tailoring clothes. These are traditionally female roles and any male caught exploring one of these careers is often ridiculed and mocked for being feminine. Likewise, it is frowned upon that females take a sword and go to war, or labor with stone and metal. The one exception to this mindset seems to be those Dwarvish women that decide to become Holy Defenders. The Dames of the Flamebringer are just as respected as the Lords of the Flamebringer and have shed as much blood fighting the Undead of Sengaard. Generally speaking, even the male Dwarven gardener and the female Dwarven warrioress are given some slack, for at least contributing to the cause of kin and Thane.Top
The secret of Runeforging is said to have been passed from Kaal's own lips to the ears of the first of his Dwarves. The runes are sacred symbols that evoke Kaal's power over elements, including his prime element of fire. In this fashion, the Kaal`Kor are able to craft magical weapons without corrupting themselves by learning magic. It also facilitates a means to enchant things that normally could not be enchanted, like Starmetal which is a highly magic-resistant metal.
Only Dwarves (and later Humans) who have become masters in their craft are taught the secrets of Runeforging as it would be considered a grave insult to Kaal (and incidentally any Dwarf) to place the divine runes of their patron god on a subpar weapon or a bit of armor. Contrary to what the name implies, Runeforging is not limited to metal-worked items; runes can be stitched into clothing, or leather items or chiseled into stone. Anything non-consumable that can be made with one's own two hands can technically be Runeforged.
The Codex of Runeforging is kept by the priesthood of Kaal and are considered a divine relic of knowledge and is guarded viciously against anybody seeking the book without consent of both the High Thane and the standing Archpriest of Kaal. Once that permission is given however, the Dwarf learning from the Codex undergoes a training that takes ten years to complete and once that training is completed, they are given the suffix to their name, Huan Paxa-Durgh or The Rune-Smith. Few are afforded this honor and indeed, few actually gain it.
The secret of Runeforging is not exclusive to the Kaal`Kor. Humans have also been taught this craft and in ancient times they had been instructed in this very same tradition that the Dwarves had followed. However, with the great exodus from Ishaela, the Humans that accompanied the Elves were gifted with a copy of the Codex of Runeforging, penned letter by letter by the High Thane himself, to ensure the knowledge they had imparted would not be lost over the passing of ages. This book resides in Brookshire in the care of the royal family DeBellicose, where any Human smith who wishes to learn Runeforging must go to learn it.
Runeforging can impart a various array of effects to an item so marked by its divine symbols. The most common of these is the Rune of Fire-Blessing, which makes any weapon marked with it a Greater Bane Weapon against the Undead and the Infernal, or any armor marked with this rune partial invulnerability to such creatures. Other runes include those that can reinforce the strength of fabric or leather to the strength of Kaalcite, make metal thrice its normal strength, allow stone to withstand temperatures that would normally crack and brittle it or mystically remove a portion of the weight of an item so it might be lifted by hands that might not otherwise be capable of doing so.
While there are literally millions of different runes, Runeforging an item is in effect giving it a blessing. Those creatures opposed to Kaal will not be able to handle such items as it will cause them great pain to do so. There is a tale that is whispered amongst the Kaal`Kor that the Overlord of the Nine Lords of Chaos, Miron presented a Codex of Black Runes to one of his demon smiths and items and weapons marked in this way, were they ever touched by mortal hands, would slowly corrupt them into servants of Chaos.