Once members of the Blockdelver clan, these dwarves were galdokin charged by the god Mikon to guard a terrible evil deep below the ground. Unfortunately, over time they became seduced by the very thing they were meant to protect, and wound up serving it willingly. The kharakuro, or "demon dwarves" as they are sometimes erroneously called, are the mysterious outcasts of the dwarven race, discarded deep into the depths of rock below their kin and forgotten by all but the most savvy scholars.
No other type of dwarf is as serious-minded as the kharakuro. If their depth and seriousness is taken by others to be callousness, stubbornness, or even downright nastiness, then so be it. The kharakuro are not known to care what other races think of them. From the earliest days of their existence, these dwarves have understood their expendability and their purpose in a greater cause. Over the years that cause has changed for them, warping and corrupting itself, however, it is still in their minds nonetheless. Seeing themselves and each other as expendable has given them new insights into fear, and enabled them to conquer it for the most part. The language of fear has been surpassed by the language of might makes right. Kharakuro understand force, or reasonable threats of force.
Unlike other dwarves, the kharakuro do not form close trusting relationships among their own kind. Their societies are loosely clan and family-based, but these groups are more for reproduction and safety in numbers. Members within the groups are constantly jockeying for power, because they know that the lower ranking members are always the first to be sacrificed in a clash. The entire life of an individual kharakuro revolves around this lifelong game, and doing what is necessary to excel at it.
Kharakuro heights are between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 feet. Their skin tones range from dark browns to black, with occasional tinges of red and violet. Specific colors will vary by region and family, as well as breeding. Hair color is almost always black or brown, with occasional violets. Eyes tend to be deep black, with some exhibiting gold or yellowish colors. Male kharakuro usually grow their beards to mid-chest length, and females can have some facial hair on their cheeks, though not always. Kharakuro dress in dark colors, favoring skull and bone motifs as well as scaly fashions.
The kharakuro are not well-liked by any race on the surface that knows about them. Their other dwarven kin see them as traitors who fell victim to a sick and twisted entity, and only their god-given task stops their dwarven kin from attempting to wipe them out completely. Among the other races of the underdark, the vasharan are their closest allies. Though there is no love lost between them, the kharakuro understand that the vasharan are charged with the same duty as they are, and this makes them tolerable. Relations between the two races are strictly business and military whenever possible, though they have been known to work together for other causes from time to time.
Just about every kharakuro subscribes to the tenets of advancing himself or herself beyond all others, no matter what the cost. The method by which they do this varies, though the grip of law on kharakuro society is tenuous at best. Some laws exist, and are outwardly followed, but on an individual basis they often mean nothing to the society's members. This means that kharakuro tend towards evil alignments colored by chaos or neutrality.
Soon after they were given their duty to guard a great evil demon lord in the underdark, the kharakuro settled deep below the surface where the demon was being cornered by the gods. A small settlement around the demon eventually turned into a major city, and once war broke out between the demon lord's lieutenants, many splinter groups of kharakuro broke off to serve them in their respective lairs, which also became cities. Since then, countless demon lords and countless cities have risen and fallen, and some powerful kharakuro lords even managed to carve out small holdings of their own in the underdark, which turned into de facto city states. Today, the kharakuro are scattered all throughout the deep underdark in these small to large sized settlements.
Invariably, kharakuro worship one of the many demon entities of the underdark. The first such entity that seduced them to the ways of evil was Kimonicticus, whom many still serve today. These entities are powerful enough to grant kharakuro clerics their own spells, and act as miniature godlings. The surface gods are almost unheard of to the kharakuro.
The kharakuro speak a very corrupt form of dwarven, which derives about 35% of its words from the Ta'Nari language of the Abyss, and another 15% of its words from Abyssal language, which is the common tongue of that plane. They also are able to converse in undercommon, and vasharan (a corrupt form of Common), and some know bits and pieces of the galdokin language.
Also see the other Dwarven languages.
Last names signify clan and family names. It is understood that all kharakuro are derived from the Blockdelver clan, and some still hold the name. Through the years, however, certain clans of these dwarves became "endeared" to various Ta'Nari and took the demons? names as clan names to signify their allegiance, often using the "dub" prefix to signify "of" or "from" though not always. The dub prefix is often found attached to a shortened version of the demon's name. First names often can also have demonic connotations.
Bal, Con, Dark, Fofur, Glabra, Kuro, Needler, Stracterus, Villor, Wraithkin
Balia, Demona, Dia, Gusa, Kuraina, Kuposta, Leer, Sensu, Sultra, Treachery
Blockdelver, dub Alifan, dub Kimon, dub Sharis, Gastronitan
Kharakuro can be found adventuring in the underdark for various reasons running from trade to the desire for power and conquest. Rarely are they observed above ground, because they have sensitivity to light and do not see well in the daytime.
Note that kharakuro are not a playable race on Avlis.