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Calemora

CalemoraEdit

Medieval race of stocky martial arts humans, no emotions, adept at psychosomatics, good martial arts warriors . [1]

Calemoran history goes back over 25,000 years. Theirs is not a technological culture — they have no advanced tools, and their way of life has not changed in over 100 centuries. This does not, however, mean that Calemoran culture is stagnant. While other races improve their devices and technologies, the Calemora improve their bodies, becoming one of the most physiologically advanced species in Guildspace.

AppearanceEdit

Outsiders tend to think that all Calemora look alike. While their overall physique is roughly similar, there are many individual differences, which anyone can learn with enough experience. Calemoran skin tone varies from copper to brown. Hair is dark brown to black, fading to grey and white with age. Facial hair except eyebrows is absent, but older Calemora can sometimes produce enough facial hair to grow a small, goatee- style beard (generally considered a mark of distinction and venerable age). Eyes are dark brown or black. Calemora average 5‘6″ in height. The bones and muscles of a Calemora‘s arms and shoulders are just as massive as those of his legs. A Calemora‘s torso is a massive, v-shaped affair, supported by a thick, heavily muscled backbone. Calemora average 350 pounds, most of it muscle. There are no external ears — not even holes. Calemoran hearing is a slightly more complex process than it is for Anthropos , as described below. All Calemora bear scars, tattoos, or brands. These are intended for personal decoration, and also to identify an individual‘s catong and rank.

Clothing/ArmorEdit

Calemora avoid clothing (except for a basic loincloth) for a variety of practical reasons — receptors on their chest and back enable them to hear. They believe in absolute physical perfection without artificial enhancement, and their natural psychosomatic abilities more than compensate for the lack of clothing. Additionally, many of their natural abilities such as communication, body alteration and martial arts would be restricted by clothing. For similar reasons, armor is rarely worn. Psychosomatic enhancement such as rough skin helps offset this disadvantage. Some forms of Calemora armor, designed to interfere only minimally with Calemoran abilities, are known, but even these are rarely used. Attributes For millennia, the Calemora have been perfecting their bodies. Their arms are just as strong as their legs, enabling a Calemora to lift half a ton, while extremely strong individuals can lift over 1500 pounds. Mentally, Calemora seem underdeveloped in comparison to other races. They are generally considered rather “slow” and a bit on the dull side. However, the perfection of their bodies has provided the Calemora with a number of phenomenal abilities. Their strong Will Power enables them to withstand extremes which might kill lesser races, and allows for the incredible concentration required to perform psychosomatics.

SensesEdit

A Calemora‘s senses are quite different from those familiar to an Anthropos . While Calemoran sensory apparati, such as eyes, mouth and nose, are located in familiar places, their use differs radically. The first, and most prominent sense, is sight. Calemora see in the infrared spectrum. This means that Calemora see heat rather than light. Their brains do not process visible light, but instead perceive objects in shades of red, from white or pink (hot) to black (cold). Vibrations and pressure changes are detected by receptors in the chest and back. These are processed by the brain as sound, giving Calemora as good as or better hearing than most Anthropos . Finally, Calemora have been trained by years of combat and natural selection to ignore pain. They are aware of the sensation, and consider the pain simply as a warning that something is wrong, but even the most extreme pain will not distract a Calemora from the task at hand. They are extremely poor torture subjects for this reason, as imperial interrogators have discovered.

CommunicationEdit

Ignorant individuals consider the Calemoran language to be simplistic and primitive. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The Calemoran language is simple and direct, as would be required while hunting, or in battle, or when excessive verbiage would be a handicap. Theirs is a deep, vibrating language, which has been compared to the soft beating of a drum. Consonant sounds are often modified by a soft aspirant, creating such words as “Dha.” When using Guildspeak, Calemora also waste few words. Where a Zin-Shee in extreme formal mode might say “Hark unto my words, oh respected individual of higher rank! It is my duty to inform you that the thermal extremes of yonder igneous formation are such that they might cause severe discomfort should the aforesaid formation be manipulated…”, a Calemora would simply say “Rock is hot!” Among themselves, Calemora use verbal communications only when they are a considerable distance apart. When close, they utilize psychosomatics to alter their body temperature, with different degrees of heat representing various words and concepts. This form of communication — called “catongi” after the massive martial arts temples scattered across Calemor — is a highly subtle and effective language. Certain points of the Calemoran body, known as chakra, are particularly sensitive, and are most often used for communication. If one or more of the chakras is covered, this does not prevent catongi communication, but it does slow it down. Only a few Guild xenolinguists fully understand catongi, and these few admit that they have a lot to learn. Most deep and philosophical thoughts are communicated through the chakra, and are memorized by old or particularly wise Calemora. Books and permanent records are unknown, save for stone carvings on Calemoran catongs. This language is difficult for aliens to learn requiring infravision or infrared equipment.

Activity CycleEdit

Calemora do not sleep as Anthropos know it. The conditioning and modification of the Calemoran physiology did away with this requirement centuries ago. Calemora function at their peak, however, if they are allowed to rest and meditate for at least four hours per day. There are no visible ill effects if this meditation is not practiced, but those individuals who do not meditate regularly are known to have shorter lifespans than those who do. Strict vegetarians, Calemora subsist on the fleshy, moist root-crops of their home world. Once a rich jungle world, Calemor was reduced to a desert during the Blood Feud, so that today only tough, spindly leaves exist above ground, while water and other nutrients are stored below. Calemoran roots are nutritious, and if eaten regularly, need for liquids is all but eliminated. Away from their homeworld, the Calemora eat roots such as potatoes, carrots and radishes, but must consume liquids to make up for the deficiency.

PowersEdit

Mutak
The Calemora‘s greatest power is their mind-over-body control known as psychosomatics. This is the ability to mentally alter or control body functions at all levels. A master is able to accelerate cell repair, concentrate his immune system, break down tissues and transfer them to other parts of his body, enhance muscles, alter pigmentation, form natural body armor, and so on. While it might seem that way, psychosomatics is not magic or mysticism of any kind. It is simply supreme neurological control of all bodily functions. Many animal species have the ability to reduce respiration, slow heartbeat, feign death, or control a wide variety of other functions. The Calemora have learned to control and harness this power. Sciences Calemoran culture is naturally low-tech. Their mental capacity for technological work and understanding is lower than other races. The real reason for the limitations of their sciences, however, is their basic philosophy of existence. Calemora shun technology, considering their bodies to be the ultimate machines. It is believed that with proper preparation and concentration, any task can be accomplished. The use of any technological device is considered a betrayal of ancient codes of honor. A Calemora who undergoes cybernetic modification, for example, will become an outcast and be shunned by his fellows for the rest of his life. Biotechnology is tolerated somewhat better, since it is an outgrowth of basic life processes. However, many Calemora shun it as well, considering it an abomination, and the exploitation of other living things.

CombatEdit

Although they are one of the most peaceful races in the galaxy (their thousand-year conflict with the Zin-Shee notwithstanding), they are also among its most formidable warriors. They feel no pain, display little or no emotion, are physically superior to most races, are trained masters of the martial arts, and possess powers which can turn their very bodies into deadly weapons. Fortunately for other races, the Calemora‘s combat effectiveness is limited by several factors: their rigid code of honor, their quest for physical and mental perfection, and their disdain for advanced weapons and technology. Calemora prefer a straight contest of unaided physical strength. At best, medieval level weapons may be used. Energy-enhanced weapons are usually looked down upon, but have gained some level of acceptance since they still require muscle power to work properly. Simple thrown weapons are likewise shunned. A Calemora would rather run to fight an opponent hand-to-hand than waste time throwing a spear. Such items are sometimes used, and are not considered particularly dishonorable, but are not preferred. Propelled weapons (those powered by more than physical strength) are thought of as highly dishonorable, and their use is considered grounds for a total loss of honor. In battle, Calemora try to match their opponents, avoiding any unfair advantage. If an opponent has no thrown weapons, the Calemora will not use them, either. Should an enemy use dishonorable weapons, however, all rules are suspended, and a Calemora will fight as dirty as is necessary, so long as his own personal honor is not reduced. The worst mistake an opponent can make is to shoot a blaster at a Calemora. Calemora do not take prisoners or practice torture. Prisoners are either slain (if considered dishonorable) or set free (if honorable).

Personality and CultureEdit

For thousands of years, the Calemora strove to eliminate emotion from their lives. Although they still harbor some of the behaviors associated with emotion, they have for the most part succeeded. Calemora almost never show outward signs of emotion such as fear, anger, hatred, love, sadness, happiness, etc. Despite this, Calemora are a gentle race — humble, introspective, and stern but merciful. They avoid instigating emotions in others, they are stubborn and goal-oriented, and retain a profound respect for life and other species. What little leisure time the Calemora have is devoted to perfecting the body and training the mind. Meditation, martial arts kata, weapon practice — all honorable ways to pass time. Calemora learn martial arts and philosophy in vast pyramidal structures called catongs. Little is known about the internal arrangements of the catongs or the Calemora‘s low, blocky cities, as outsiders are never allowed beyond highly- restricted visitors‘ areas. While the emotional bonds of friendship familiar to such species as the Anthropos and the Zin-Shee are unknown to the Calemora, they may form close relationships based on mutual respect. Calemora in adventuring or mercenary groups are highly loyal and dependable, although they almost never show any real emotional attachment to their companions. Virtually nothing is known about Calemoran family life. Families bearing the same name do exist, and form an important part of Calemoran life, but their actual organization is a mystery. So far, only male Calemora have been encountered. The concepts of grandfather, grandson, uncle and cousin have no meaning. Calemora call all elders “father,” all of the same generation “brother,” and all of younger generation “son.” It is difficult, therefore, to determine whether an individual referred to as “father” is truly related or not. Many theories have been advanced for the monosexual nature of Calemoran society, and none have explained it satisfactorily. Do the Calemora reproduce artificially, creating only males? This is completely contrary to their anti- technological bias. Do they reproduce asexually, with male Calemora “budding” off their parental unit? This has never been observed, and male Calemora have been observed at all life stages without such thing occurring. Many other hypotheses have been advanced and discarded, and the true nature of Calemoran family life remains a mystery. The Calemora themselves aren‘t talking, as to do so would be a severe breach of their code of honor. Within their species, the Calemora are obliged to respect all those with more honor or higher rank, and receive respect from those of lesser status. Their relationships seem cold and impersonal to outworlders, but many who have spent time on Calemor claim that there is a vast and silent bond, almost like a hidden love, which binds the race. Despite their lack of emotion, Calemoran compassion and mercy is near-legendary, and their society remains one of the most peaceful in the Guild. No one knows what religion, if any, the Calemora practice, although most suspect it is an ascetic faith whose rituals are performed in the secrecy of Calemoran catongs, and is intimately related to Calemoran martial arts and body- control regimen.

MotivationsEdit

As may be guessed, personal ambition is suppressed within the Calemoran species. Motivations therefore spring from the desire to live within and help the group — to live honorably, die honorably, build honor for yourself and your catong, learn, adapt, and improve yourself to benefit all. The most overriding and important motivation is to obtain perfect mental and physical balance and to attain perfection as a species. Calemoran society is governed by a strict code of honor, known as the Code of the Dragon — so called since it was originally developed by the Dragon Catong. To disobey even one law is grounds for exile. An exiled Calemora is shunned by his own race — no one will acknowledge his existence. An exile is totally ignored, unless he attempts to commit a crime, in which case the sentence is instant death at the hands of any Calemora nearby.

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