Kaldanes are an exotic race of hyper-intelligent arachnoids that are only found in the hidden Valley of Bantoom. The pedantic kaldanes are not capable of expressing emotion with their facial features, but will whistle when excited or angry. They are creatures of the hive that have disdain for the sun, growing things and all other species upon the Red Planet. Kaldanes are sexless drones and only the King of any given swarm is capable of reproduction. Not much larger than a human head, to facilitate work and travel, Kaldanes use their chelae to form a neuronal link with a bipedal headless creature called a rykor.
“The rykors are but brainless flesh. They neither see, nor feel, nor hear. They can scarce move but for us. If we did not bring them food they would starve to death. They are less deserving of thought than our leather. All they can do for themselves is to take food from a trough and put it in their mouths." (CM V) The life span of a rykor is about a decade. Although mainly used to tend the farms or mine the burrows of Bantoom, some rykors are fattened up as food as banth flesh is not appealing to the kaldane’s palate.
If a rykor is injured or sick, the kaldane will abandon it, remaining unharmed and don a new body. Their grotesque skull is poorly protected, such that almost any significant blow will be fatal. Creatures that pride themselves on logic thought, kaldanes have no emotional attachment to their rykors or to other members of their swarm. Most kaldanes view all other life upon Barsoom as mere fodder.
“With us brain is everything. Ninety per centum of our volume is brain. We have only the simplest of vital organs and they are very small for they do not have to assist in the support of a complicated system of nerves, muscles, flesh and bone. We have no lungs, for we do not require air. Far below the levels to which we can take the rykors is a vast network of burrows where the real life of the kaldane is lived. There the air-breathing rykor would perish as you would perish. There we have stored vast quantities of food in hermetically sealed chambers. It will last forever. Far beneath the surface is water that will flow for countless ages after the surface water is exhausted. We are preparing for the time we know must come—the time when the last vestige of the Barsoomian atmosphere is spent—when the waters and the food are gone. For this purpose were we created, that there might not perish from the planet Nature's divinest creation- the perfect brain." (CM V)
The kaldane/ rykor combination has a
+2 INT and -2 CHA.
The preferred class of kaldanes is priest.
Illustration above is from Frank Frazetta