The Kowez are the first sapient race encountered by the human pilgrims. They are a race of Grey Men and thus their name is usually erroneously applied to all Grey Men by humans, even if they belong to other cultures.
The Kowez are the prototypical Grey Men: lean, with medium grey skin and straight black or dark blue hair usually shaved or worn in a braid. Their features are long and they tend toward long, lean faces with wide foreheads. Their height vary between an average of 5’3" for women and 5’6 for men. They rarely have large or imposing builds: even the most muscular Kowez have very lean muscles. Kowez wear clothes made of worked and decorated animal hides with fur in the colder months.
The Kowez do not form a fully united nation, preferring to gather in semi-nomadic tribes ruled by hereditary rulers (although in some cases, a ruler may be deposed or replaced by a particularly skilled hero who may later be sanctified as a true ruler by shaman and elders). They are mercurial people with a tendency to ignore and forget grudges. As a result, the Kowez tribes are in an ever-shifting state of war and peaceful trade whose rhymes and reasons somewhat elude the humans for now. Kowez lack a unified monetary system, instead trading in gems, precious shells, pearls and beads.
Not particularly pious, the Kowez are best described as mostly an eclectic mixture of animistic and polytheist beliefs; while their myths do speak of a singular creator, He is not revered in any shape or form directly as such creator is described as long-gone. Rather, the Kowez worship the spirits of the land around them and a ever-shifting pantheon of distant gods (more treated as one would pray to patron saints) who are usually conflated with historical figures.
Kowez are not very advanced builders: their semi-permanent and rare few permanent habitations are primarily made of wood, mud or clay with roofs of straw or made from the shell or large land-based arthropods. They have bronze and iron weapons and armors primarily made of leather and the thick, steel-hard shell of the same creatures they use to make roofs. When not using large pieces of shell to make breastplates, they grind down these shells into small pieces to create some sort of crude scaled mail out of shell pieces.
- Kowez armor is usually Light or Medium armor. While they are capable of creating heavy armor, such thing are considered unwieldy by the Kowez who tend to fight in smaller groups in rugged hill terrain or tightly-packed forests.