The kakeri (kark-er-eye) are a small reptilian, humanoid race that inhabit aquatic and semi-aquatic areas such as swamps, marshes, shallow coastal regions and waterlogged caverns.
They stand between four and five feet tall and can move above ground both on four legs and two, as well as being adept swimmers. They are also able to breathe both air and underwater, and have excellent eyesight, so much so that they can see in the dead of night as if it were clear as day. As such, they are amazingly efficient hunters, able to catch fish, small insects and mammals with relative ease.
They have a limited intellect and thus have no written language and a very simplistic verbal tongue which no one has been able to imitate or learn with any success. All attempts at contacting and conversing with a Kakeri in a way that does not involve violence have been met with total failure.
Males dominate Kakeri society, with the alpha-male leading a tribe. As in most animalistic hierarchies, alpha-males display their dominance in vicious fights with challenging males, which are almost always to the death. Certain alpha-males are Kakeri Shamans. These Kakeri inhibit natural ability with certain magical Arcs, particularly the Water Arc. Such traits are normally hereditary.
Tribes can range from anything to twenty to hundreds of individual Kakeri, though smaller tribes tend to be wiped out by larger ones swiftly. The Kakeri are well known for their ferocity and hostile nature. They are fiercely territorial, but worse, they are renowned for their appetite for flesh, as they are carnivorous and often crave meats other than the fish which make up the mainstay of their diet. They have been known to inhibit cannibalistic tendencies when food supplies are low. Horrific tales of how caravans travelling near Kakeri tribes have failed to arrive at their destinations, only for the remains to be found days later with the bodies of all involved; peoples, oxen and horses, stripped to the bone, are not uncommon in places where the Kakeri are known to dwell.
It is probably for the betterment of their potential alternative food sources that the Kakeri spend much of their time fighting amongst themselves for territory and mating rights. Territory is very important for the Kakeri, as females require large nests in order to raise young. As they are reptiles, young are not born live but need to hatch from eggs. Kakeri can also only breed a few months of the year, and, because of this, many eggs are hatched and incubated at once. This process of incubation can take eight to ten weeks, during which time the females must stay with the eggs and guard them not just from other Kakeri clans, but also from lone males who would try to feast on the eggs (which are something of a delicacy).
Ogres are highly territorial, and mark off their territory within the woods by displaying the carcasses of the animals they’ve killed on pikes in the general area. If they feel that their home is threatened by an intruder, they will confront them and try to kill them. In some unfortunate cases, bands of travelers have stumbled into an ogre's territory and paid the price. In such cases, the offenders are almost always killed, though several survivors have lived to tell the tale of an ogre's ferocity and viciousness. Because of this, ogres have an unfair reputation for being hostile, savage beasts, when in fact they are perfectly content living their lives out alone.
Kanerous (cane-er-us) are large, docile creatures which are related to their smaller cousins, the kakeri.
Like the kakeri, the kanerous inhabit aquatic areas and are equally at home on land and under water. The kanerous, however, do not possess the ferocity nor the cunning of the kakeri. Indeed, their intellect is so dull that they can be likened to beasts of burden such as cattle and mules.
What they lack in intelligence, though, they make up with their sheer size and power. Whereas a typical kakeri stands a little over five feet and has a wiry, slim frame, a kanerous standing upright could easily tower in excess of nine feet tall, and weigh up to a ton, they have massively thick limbs which end in sharp talons that they use to rend their prey, and their bodies are composed mostly of muscle. They are covered in hardened scales which have been known to deflect sword strikes and crossbow bolts.
Despite their bulk, they are not cumbersome. While not as swift as the kakeri, the kanerous is just as agile as most humans.
In kakeri society, kanerous are used in much the same as a human would use a guard dog, and kakeri territory is often guarded by groups of kanerous who have been instructed to be hostile to all those who might approach.
Left to their own devices, however, kanerous are not hostile. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, they are somewhat docile and could even be described as quite stupid. Kanerous do not need to eat often due to an extremely low metabolism, and have been known to sit, quite happily, looking at a shiny or other curious objects for days on end.
However, when they are angered or pressured into combat, kanerous are horrifying foes to behold, smashing bone with their might and shredding armour with their claws, the kanerous are one of the most dangerous mortal foes on the face of Iiosia.