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As dangerous as
they are ugly--
The Kindred (referred to as “Muties” by the other races) are an unruly, seemingly purposeless hodgepodge of humanoids whose only daily motivation is that of inflicting violence upon others…as well as one another. Genetic variability among Kindred suggests a wide swath of interbreeding (forced or otherwise) among many species and each other. Social order is identified as anything a hair above outright chaos. Rulers, and day-to-day living, is accomplished by purest Darwinian principle: Survival of the fittest. In the Kindred world, this typically means extreme physical strength, or a rare blend of less power with an elevated intellect. This could mean anything from being able to forge allegiances to simply tripping and falling on one’s axe while sharpening it. Brutality remains the preferred currency of loyalty regardless of the leadership’s other qualities.
The past few decades have resulted in a swelling of the Kindred ranks, increasing their threat to surrounding groups. Their ability to overwhelm the opposition by sheer numbers alone is on the rise. As Kindred value their own lives about as much as their prey, only by killing enough of them is their eventual retreat made possible. A recent spate of continual attacks on specific tribes within targeted populations (usually those substantially weaker than the Kindred forces used in the engagement) suggest a “central leader” has arisen from their ranks. Higher intelligence species such as the People and Moncs have begun to take notice of this disturbing trend, but were often too busy trying to kill one another to consolidate their forces and eliminate the common foe. That dynamic has started to change with Jon’s ascension to Battle Lord.
The Kindred’s recent escalation in destructive capabilities has a name: Erebos.
The new leader of the Kindred was the stuff of myth and lore until a confirmation was made by a Monc spy to the Kindred stronghold. There was a mention of “killing with a thought,” for which I cannot even fathom a guess as to its meaning. Moncs aren’t in the business of floral language, so we take it at face value. Somehow, Erebos has the means to kill without touching his enemy. Is this ability chemical…or something more sinister?
Whatever the case, the arrival of Erebos has made an already dangerous enemy many times worse…and growing in its threat to all on Anomaly.
At first glance, the Kindred do not appear to share any particular genetic lineage other than an unworldly thirst for violence for violence sake. Many are deformed, sometimes from battle and in some cases, rejected from their parent societies. The lack of common survival instincts is the typical Kindred’s strength and weakness in combat. No other order on Anomaly has exhibited such a disregard for life in general, or the sheer enjoyment of inflicting pain upon others. Even the act of self-mutilation is elevated to an art form with the Kindred.
Whatever powers Erebos may or may not possess, he clearly rules through fear and intimidation. Kindred will challenge leaders out of sheer spite in hopes of instigating a killing frenzy where a massive dog pile of slashing swords, gnashing teeth and dozens of weakened, secondary victims who are further assaulted. Repeat. Erebos has clearly not only survived such challenges, but has made such an impression as to successfully ban the practice, save against known enemies.
Over time, we’ve noticed a handful of shared values among the Muties. Specifically, that they eye all outsiders as beneath them (presumably driving their bloodlust). The best approximation I can muster for this philosophy is the view that everyone else is an “infidel” in their world and it is their birthright to eliminate us all. Erebos casts an iron grip over all Muties. But recent encounters of Mutie infighting have confirmed loose but discernible hierarchical sub groups within the whole (ironically, likely formed from the loose discipline instilled by Erebos).
At the bottom of these groupings are the Xiphosa, above which are the Haima, atop which are seated the Adiaphos. My knowledge of Greek roots was not strong enough to immediately recognize the namesakes, but the proverb shared among the Muties all but spelled it out for us.
“Without the blood (Haima) of the body, there is no sword (Xiphosa) to bear.”
Only “Adiaphos” pricked at the old dendrites, with the approximate meaning of “an action or thought being neither morally required, nor morally forbidden.” The namesake seems contradictory to the Mutie way of life until one considers their views on murder and cruelty as neither right nor wrong. In other words, it fits the Mutie way of being perfectly.