Brief Description: Lokai are Explorers. They have an infinite curiosity and drive to adventure, explore and collect. They take great pains to document and map the planet of Atriana. Their stature in Lokai society is directly related to the notoriety received for completing great journeys never before recorded.
Personality Traits: Curious, have a respect for the planet and environment, distracted, acquisitive, individualistic, single-minded, excellent storytellers, quick witted, industrious, aloof.
Physical Appearance: Averages 2 meters high without its shell and 2.25 meters high with its shell. The Lokai are thin and their skin tends to be a tough leather in shades of browns and sand. Shells come in a various shades and colors and are mostly protective. Eyes are typically shades of yellow, blue, green, brown, or white. Every Lokai owns a Lifestaff adorned with talismanic markings and decorum that details the Lokai's life Journey.
Natural Abilities: Have a keen survival instinct. Can adapt to nearly any weather or terrain. Move gracefully for long periods of time without tiring. Quick, agile, and precise in combat, but not very strong.
Unique Abilities: Can jump vertically several times its height. Have a symbiote under its shell that can temporarily detach and act as a scout or a third eye.
Eccentricities: The Lokai are rabid collectors of rare or unique artifacts that will bring them notoriety within their culture. Since there is little to no glory in buying these items, it is common for a Lokai to spend most of their life in search of unique artifacts. Since the Journey is where their focus lies, matters of state and politics are often left unattended. This leads to many conflicts and misunderstandings that are compounded by the Lokai's tendency to believe what they ignore will eventually go away.
Natural Habitat: Homeland is desert, hot and dry, but can make themselves at home in any climate or terrain.
Current Lokai Leader: Atriarch Afton
Although there is a very specific government and hierarchy in place for the Lokai, the culture of the Lokai affects it in a way as to make it more a tradition than a ruling body. The Lokai are obsessed with questing and the search and the journeys involved therein. They are single minded in this respect. Therefore, affairs of State and politics are often lost on the Lokai, who often seems aloof to other species. Stature in the Lokai culture is achieved through notoriety, not through politics. As a result, policy and management of the Lokai Atriarchy are effectively run by a special religious sect by the default fact that they are the only ones in a location long enough for these issues to be of concern. This sect is not a highly visible part of the culture.
It is rare for a Lokai to want to take over the leadership position, because there is practically not enough time to be concerned with it during the quest for notoriety.
Like the Tyrusin, the Lokai leadership is also passed down through the bloodline. The Lokai regard their lineage seriously. Notoriety is both personal and tied to lineage. Those who can trace their ancestry back to the famous historical siblings, (Mantar, Devar, Orescent, Gentar), receive a special designation on their staff. Lineage ties to other famous explorers are also honored by distinctive staff adornment.
The Loshan Kilar, Book of Journeys: Every Lokai knows the Loshan Kilar. From birth, Lokai are taught and trained according to the Loshan Kilar, lore that documents the famous "firsts." Whenever a Lokai discovers something new, charts a new land, or is a part of a significant event, the Lokai's travels are made a part of the Loshan Kilar. The Journey is named after the honored Lokai, and it is forever remembered for its contributions to Lokai culture.
Young Lokai are expected to show reverence and humility by retracing the steps of each of these Journeys to experience it as their ancestors and elders did. The greatest and most difficult notoriety achievable for a Lokai is to have its Journey made a part of the Loshan Kilar while still alive and actively exploring. Every Lokai after reliving the recorded Journeys begin a quest that no other has done in the hopes that they too will complete a Journey worthy of the Loshan Kilar.
Khanja, a Lifestaff: A personal staff, called a Khanja, is cut before you take your first journey, retired when it becomes full of symbols, or you make a major life change, and a new one cut and immediately inscribed with a sigil that lists the number of previous Khanjas which exist somewhere. Symbols are pictograms which stand for journeys taken -- a long and dangerous journey between three cities would have the sigils for those cities, linked, possibly with the sigil for a creature or species that were attacked or traded with along the way. It is tradition for a Lokai, who is welcomed you into a home when abroad for a meal or shelter to tell a story from its Lifestaff.
When an entirely new place of significance is discovered, a new sigil is created for the Khanja. The sigils are recorded and spread like a verbal virus by every single traveling Lokai, as are travel stories, so it's rare not to know which places have already been discovered and mapped.
It is an incredible dishonor to be exposed as having fiction or lies written on your Khanja. This happens so rarely that Khanjas have been accepted as evidence in murder investigations. And since Lokai travel so widely, and talk so much, it's regarded as impossible not to get caught. An offender caught lying on its Khanja would have it broken, and have to change names, towns, and probably professions before it would be allowed by society to cut a new one. The Lokai's old associates and family would regard him as shamefully dead.
There are museums of the Khanjas of famous historical Lokai, and some are also passed down from elder to spawn and kept in family homes. If there's no family, faction, or city that wants to host your Khanja when you die, then it's buried with you after being treated so it'll fossilize into rock.
They aren't diaries -- routine trips to run a trade route or fight a small conflict aren't usually recorded, unless something amazing happened there. Only very major events in the life of the Lokai are inscribed.
Old Lokai sometimes refer to a particularly impertinent or arrogant youngster as a 'barestaff.'
Khanjas (Lifestaves) simply aren't stolen or broken by Lokai. The theft of one would be regarded as something like murder. Lokai who have their homes burgled of every single possession down to the floor tiles can rest assured that their staves will be left untouched, or at least set safely aside
Professions: Traveling in a quest for notoriety can become expensive for most Lokai. Therefore, you will often find them providing services for other species, such as mapping locations, scouting for resources, or acting as guides. Traveling caravans of Lokai selling their wares and rare resources from distant locations are also common. In any Lokai city, the marketplace is certain to be a center for commerce and information. There are many skills and professions a Lokai can learn. Through their travels, they are exposed to many different cultures and ways of life. Variety is the spice of any Lokai's life.
"May you find what we seek."
- Lokai salutation
PC IGN features a Lokai Profile.
Last updated: November 11, 2003
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