KKK vs D&D: the surprising, high fantasy vocabulary of racism

As John Holbo notes, the Ku Klux Klan's extensive, bizarre, fanciful "titles and vocabulary," set out in a 1916 volume called the "Kloran," has enough weirdness to match the Monster Manual for its "hydras, furies, nighthawks, giants, goblins, ghouls, titans, magi, monks, grand turks, dragons, wizards, cyclops."

You've no doubt heard of the "Grand Wizards" and "Grand Dragons," but what about the Great Titan and his six Furies; the Grand Giant and his four Goblins; the Grand Cyclops; the Ghouls; the Grand Council of Centaurs; the Lictor; the Nighthawks; the Invisible Empire and its enemy, the Alien World; the Fifteen Genii (who serve the Imperial Wizard); the Exalted Cyclops and his Twelve Terrors?

Then there's the recognition argot: "Ayak" ("Are you a Klansman?") and "Clabark" ("Constantly Applied By All Real Klansmen") and "Sanbog" ("Strangers are near, be on guard").

The months get rebranded with names with the watery composition of the thrice-brewed tea of Tolkien:

April: Portentous

November: Mournful

So do the days:

Friday: Crimson

Saturday: Emerald

And the hours:

4: Woeful

8: Sorrowful

10: Appalling

It only gets more crazypants from there. It's like the bible for a shared world fantasy series dreamed up by third-rate hacks.

The Dens were the basic level of organization for the Reconstruction Klan.[12] In the original prescript, its chief officer was the Grand Cyclops, who appointed two Nighthawks, a Grand Turk, a Grand Sentinel and a Grand Ensign in addition to his Grand Scribe.[13] The Grand Cyclops, Grand Exchequer, Grand Magi (second officer) and Grand Monk (third officer) were elected by the body politic of the dens, identified as Ghouls[14] In the second prescript the Grand Ensign is dispensed with, while the Grand Exchequer was appointed by the Grand Cyclops, who was now appointed by the Grand Giant. Only the Grand Magi and Grand Monk were elected by the Ghouls.[15]

The exact function of these officers and meaning of the titles varied. The two Nighthawks have been identified as couriers.[16] The Grand Sentinel was in charge of the "Grand Guard", an organization which is not otherwise elaborated upon in the prescripts, but apparently served as the Dens security detail.[17][18] The Grand Turk was the dens "executive officer" and was charged with informing Klansmen of "all informal or irregular meetings" and helping the Grand Cyclops maintain the "control and government" of the Den.[19] The Grand Ensigns job was to take care of the Klans flag.[20]

Ku Klux Klan titles and vocabulary

(Image: Ku Klux Klan Virgina 1922 Parade, LOC)