Wiki Update: Kalashtari
Kalashtari are sort of like psionic elves, and originate from the campaign setting of Eberron. I wanted them to feature prominently in the region, in part to emphasize the use of psionics, but also because they’re a nonstandard race with some nifty abilities, and I thought their dream focus would fit into the region in an interesting way. They wound up having a broken and compromised society, which I think provides some interesting tension with a lot of the later organizations in the region.
Much of their history is lost now, but the Kalashtari are one of the few races native to Temir. Stories tell of how their great cities stood all over Temir. Tachros is their city, built by Kalashtari hands and magic thousands of years ago, and remained theirs until the mindplague came, seven centuries ago. It was then that the hundreds of thousands of Kalashtari dwindled to mere hundreds, and their primacy was lost not through warfare, but through politics, the humans, orcs, and kobolds gaining control of the senate. The past millenium has been a hard one, with their race facing annihilation more than once, at the hands of the hellfire lich or during the periodic wars with Scything Crag. The slow but steady influx of Kalashtari from the nations of Rutendo and Tafari, parts of Nafaanra to the far west have compromised their politics even further, throwing them into division. The race as a whole is scattered, almost exiles in their own lands.
A further sticking point in the region, most Kalashtari do not follow the path of the Ivory Throne, nor even a different dogma of it, as the Ashkel, Orcs, and Goblins do. They have their own gods, old deities of dreams and desires that stand in the sky. Dakarai is the guardian at the gates, god of those who walk in dreams. Jelani of the Seven Eyes is the dream of silence, always seeing, never speaking. Lerato , dream of the dead, is chosen by those who seek to wake them. Nkiru of the four winds is the dream of the world, and Sanaa is the dream of freedom and rebirth. Xolani is change, the madness of dreams brought to life, and Zuri is the emptiness from which all is formed, the single creative spark. These deities are often presented in geometric relations, evidenced in the waking world by the conflict of ideas, and thus people.
Kalashtari don’t use much magic, preferring to capitalize on their natural psionic abilities. Psions of every discipline can be found among their ranks, and many of the most devoted become ardents, mystics who follow a single ideal. Magic is not unheard of, but consists mostly of sorcerers or clerics, wizards only coming to prominence with the immigration of the Suraj. Ironically, the strongest associations of psions now stand broken, replaced by magical organizations such as the Aecha Ostai and the Therengrad Spellbinders’ Ring.
Kalashtari society is led by the dreamwalkers, a hierarchy of psions and ardents who determine the dreaming of a child upon its birth. A dreaming is mantra, song, and purpose all in one. A kalashtari must keep their dreaming in their mind, or the object of their dreaming might cease to exist. Some dreams are larger, and exist on the lips of many, and some are small, being carried by a few families. Dreaming is a bond that runs deeper than family. As of late, Kalashtari have been abandoning their dreaming names, preferring to use simple surnames which are more acceptable to the Ivory Throne. The practice is slowly falling by the wayside, and the power of the dreamwalkers is waning.