Krinth look something like large falcons, with hands and an opposable thumb at the end of each wingtip. Their plumage is a whitish-grey (for camouflage against the sky) except during mating season (early winter), when Krinth of both sexes grow temporary feathers of bright, variegated colors on their outer wings and headcrest (though still presenting a mostly grey profile to the ground when flying).

In the multiracial economies, Krinth tend to specialize in music and in those vocations where flying is a useful accomplishment: as scouts and spies, couriers for messages and small precious packages, cartographers, and so forth. In areas where the Krinth live alone, most Krinth are "farmers" - not raising food directly, but tending and propogating the wild vegetation so that it can support a larger number of the small animals which the Krinth prey upon.

The Krinth are closely related to the Quethna, but don't like to talk about that.

Hybrids of Krinth and Quethna are sterile mules known as Naqueth.


The average adult Krinth stands about 1.2 meters when perching; wingspan is about 2 meters. (Airspeed?)

The Krinth have very keen eyesight and can see a wider range of radiation than most other races, a good way into the ultraviolet and infrared. Their sense of hearing is also more acute than is average for other races, but is primarily in a higher range than that used by most races for speech.

Both the wing-talons and foot-talons have three fingers and a thumb.

Krinth mate no more than once in a year, early in winter. The mother lays about three to five eggs a few weeks later. They need to be incubated for about three months, and after hatching require constant adult supervision for about a year, then frequent supervision for another two to three years. When infant mortality is low, a female may only mate once in her life. In non-technological cultures, Krinth are considered mature adults at four springs after hatching. They live to be about 25 years old when there is plenty of food and conditions aren't conducive to disease.

The Quethna

The Quethna closely resemble Krinth, except for having bright variegated plumage year-round. Unlike the Krinth, they are carrion eaters, not hunters. They live in all the same regions as the Krinth, except Rektek. The Krinth disdain to associate with the Quethna on most occasions, but they cooperate to defend their common habitat from agricultural or industrial development. Quethna are welcome guests with the Toaliralolo, TTambroc, and Briacite, who allow them to eat their dead, but other races mostly disfavor them.

GURPS notes

The Krinth and Quethna have the advantage Winged Flight (30 points) and basic flying skill at DX (2 points).

The Krinth/Quethna inability to speak alien languages is a disadvantage worth -10 (?) points. (Listening-only comprehension of alien languages costs only 2/3 the skill point cost of full fluency. This doesn't apply to Jhray or Jhotha languages.)

The Quethna's outcast status is a disadvantage worth -15 points.

Normal starting Krinth or Quethna characters would be about five years old. (one level of Youth disadvantage for each half-year less than that)


Krinth languages are based on musical notes and chords. Some of them append or prefix additional notes and chords to word-stems to give grammatical inflection, but most inflect words by altering the overtones throughout the word (so that the melody is still the same, but the harmonic notes are slightly different). A few clicks are also used, simultaneous with singing.

Everyday names are short melodic tunes of three to ten notes. Full names are longer and more complex tunes, containing several variations upon the basic theme and harmonic overtones.

Due to the nature of the Krinth vocal apparatus, they cannot speak the languages of other races, though they can learn to understand them. This tends to isolate the Krinth, but the usefulness to those of other races of their unique ability to fly tends to reduce this, because many businessfolk learn Krinth languages in order to negotiate with Krinth scouts, watchmen, couriers, and so forth. Most other races with a broad range of hearing and some musical ability (everyone but the Wexivinov, Jhotha and Jhray) can learn to speak Krinth languages, though not generally with a good accent. (Fortunately those races not musically capable are indeed psi-capable.) The trade-languages of Rectek and Skargard have a convention which matches up each consonant and vowel in the vocal language to a note which the Krinth can produce and which most other races can hear distinctly. Torodoth has several such standards, one in use the eastern continent, another in Novalia, and another in the minor kingdoms.

The convention used to transpose Krinth names into English phonemes here is (representing only the melody notes):

do - s
re - k
mi - w
fa - n
so - th
la - l
ti - r

Arbitrary vowels are inserted where necessary. k+w, when it occurs, is rendered "qu."


The Krinth religion is based on the worship of the Four Winds, the Sun, and the Moon. The Four Winds are Kylker, the North Wind, Squalun, the South Wind, Khestrahn, the West Wind, and Kooklul, the East Wind. These are the sons of the Sun, Squenklam, and his first wife, Squeena, who was killed by the Great Enemy. The fifth son of Squenklam and Squeena, Keklan, fell from grace and was made mortal by Squenklam. Keklan became the father of the Krinth to expiate his sins. The Moon is Squenklam's second wife, Kymli, who watches over her brood of chicks, the stars.

Squenklam is the High Lord, worshiped by all and patron lord of priest Krinth. His palace is... Yes, in the sun! He is often pictured bright with flames, wrestling with the Great Enemy, who is surrounded by darkness.

Squeena is the Queen of the dead Krinth. Her palace is above the clouds, where all dead Krinth may fly free forever. She is often pictured swinging her Flaming Scythe at screaming mist-beings.

Kymli is the High Lady, worshiped by all and patron lady of all healers and broodmothers. Her palace is in the Moon, where she constantly watching over her chicks, the stars. She is often pictured cradling a wounded Krinth while the stars are raining down on some mist-beings in the background.

Kylker is the lord of warrior Krinth. He lives in a palace beyond the northern mists. He is often pictured weilding a spear.

Squalun is the lord of scholar Krinth. He lives in a large library paneled with ornate wood beyond the southern mists. He is often pictured reading one book and writing another simultaneously; artists have pious fun filling in the titles.

Khestrahn is the lord of laboring Krinth. He lives in a large farm house beyond the western mists. He is often pictured planting a field with plants to attract tasty prey.

Kooklul is the lord of civil servant Krinth. He lives in an office building beyond the eastern mists. He is often pictured standing on moneybags, filling out paperwork.


Marriage and Childrearing Customs

In most Krinth cultures, mating is for life. In nontechnological cultures, Krinth do not live in built houses except when they have eggs or children to care for; such houses are built by the couple during the weeks after mating, and tended by both during incubation. In places where other races live nearby, especially in Rectek, it is customary to burn the house after the children are old enough to take care of themselves, to prevent aliens from using it, as this would be thought a defilement. In Skargard, however, no sacredness is imbued in the houses, and they are generally left in place for anyone to use. City-dwelling Krinth in Torodoth and Skargard usually leave their city homes when they mate, build houses in the wild country, and raise their children for two or three years there before returning to the city.


Krinth poetry is always sung, and not merely recited. Their melodies are generally very long and complicated and take a long time to repeat. Because of the nature of their languages (q.v.), there is no such thing as instrumental music distinct from vocal music - there is only coherent poetry or nonsense poetry. (Their visual art, on the other hand, is often (though far from always) abstract and nonrepresentative.)

Copyright 1989-2001 Ynza Morgan Star and Jim Henry
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