Amongst Tacaniaer societies, especially in the Scarlet Dragon, the term katupraen (An east Chawic contraction of the esoteric Tao word katāu'atiparaȳ'an, "death devotee" refers to a particular class of elite Madradaic warriors defined by their devotion and loyalty to their master, heightened skill in the thaumic and sword arts, and their inclination towards sacred violence. The latter has earned them being "likened to elves" (māparavahin, vriśatuvai), sometimes as a pejorative. They are also referred to as "bladesingers" (masangaqa'on) for their use of metal as thaumic conductors.
The katupraen are also particularly known for their consumption of massive amounts of psychedelic and painkilling substances (such as kajja and trawi), mainly for religious use. The traditions of the Partanian Hrdaic magicians are considered to be related to the katupraen (if not a local attempt at revival), particularly on their combat and religious use of psychedelics.
Place in Society
The katupraen are highly respected and feared for their holy duties and prowess in combat, giving them a high status within most bridgelander societies. Initiation and education to a particular katupraen order is not unlike the monastic traditions known throughout the lower continent. Multiple lineages of katupraen have varying roles and traditions that are supported by historical obligation and religious belief.
The katupraen are organized primarily into something similar to a scholarly order. The traditions, thaumatology and practices are passed down to a lineage, which is renewed amongst the highest master and their apprentice. The katupraen order is an essentially religious one, primarily devoted to the service of a particular deity. Some orders are exclusive only to either men and women mostly out of such inclination.
Such devotions create particular roles and purposes amongst various orders. In clerical regnancies such as Min and Ganamaung where the sovereign is regarded as an incarnation of a particular deity, orders called the Kesaratian serve as their formal royal guard. Some orders handle the maintenance and protection of religious sites, such as the Daya.
Their roles, social standing and styles of fighting vary depending on tradition, which is passed down through scholarly lineages. In Kohonara and Min, the katupraen are responsible for the protection of nobility, royalty and divinity, sometimes being matricians themselves. In Min and Ganamaung in particular, the royal guard consists solely of katupraen. In the southern regions, such as Amponerivo and Kotaroa, they serve solely as warrior-priests, travelling mendicant sages. In pre-Republican Partania, they are privateers who guard the empire's waters, and, if faced against a greater enemy will enter a state of violent rage in which they must kill as much enemies until they die, as a service to the gods. The kinds and amount of weapons katupraen carry vary region to region, though they all must carry a sangat-pari or taganaq. In Ganamaung, they serve as clerical assassins.
Loyalty among the katupraen are valued of utmost importance, and some sects even enshrine the value of killing one's compatriot in the name of secrecy and eradicating treachery. Such adherence to duty has made them valuable to the clergies and royalties dependent on their protection. Their skill in battle has also made them apex soldiers, participating even in modern wars against Antraean and Elven armies.
- Cognate with Partanian tauátinḡ capatîàn, "necromancer"