For the similarly-named article on the storyline arc, see The Kohm (BZPRPG).
The Kohm (plural form is same as singular) are canine Rahi, roughly wolf-like in physique, specialized to be perfect hunters and killers. Their sense of smell is potent and much greater than that of other species. Despite their bestial appearance, they are intelligent enough to understand and speak the Matoran tongue (and possibly other languages as well).
Kohm form packs of ten on average (give or take a few). They live, travel, and hunt in these packs, though within this "family" there still exists a hierarchy, with the fittest Kohm becoming the Alpha of the group. All other Kohm defer to the Alpha Kohm, following his or her orders.
Kohm are immensely loyal, and will follow the orders of their 'masters'. Zyrul, for example, provided a pack of Kohm with shelter, food, and the occasional hunt, and in return Zyrul's pack carried out his work with frightening ruthlessness.
Having worked their way to the top of the food chain over the millenia, the Kohm as a species are especially adapted to combat, and have a natural aptitude for killing. Even trained Toa find a match in a single Kohm, and an entire pack has been known to take down a healthy adult Muaka. When one hears the howl of a pack on the hunt, the recommendation is to try to flee -- after all, the Kohm are fast and tireless, and don't stop until they have their target.
Were-Kohm are essentially this world's version of werewolves, a hybrid of canine and Toa. There are two types of Were-Kohm.
All Kohm used to have the ability to transform into Were-Kohm, with their back legs shifting to support bipedal movement, and their upper bodies becoming taller and broader. However, throughout the years, as Kohm became more Rahi-like, they lost this ability. Only a select few, like K-1, have had the special training that allows them to call back on this ability and transform.
Type 2 Were-Kohm are originally different species, such as Toa. However, when bitten by a Type 1 Were-Kohm, a 'Madness' can be transferred into their bloodstream, changing them against their will into a Were-Kohm. Individuals unused to primal feelings may be overcome by the bestial aspects of their Kohm half and become true Rahi in mind as well as body, unlike Type 1 Were-Kohm who can retain their sentience and sense of self.
This first transformation is usually not permanent, and the individual will soon regress to their original state. However, once there, the Madness can never be removed. Individuals may find themselves unwittingly reverting back to their Were-Kohm states periodically; however, strong-willed individuals can learn to retain their consciousness in this state rather than becoming beasts during these transformations.
There is only one named example of a Type 2 Were-Kohm: Saeras. His infection was caused by an injection of the distilled saliva of a Kohm...proving that the 'Madness' does not need to be transferred directly for it to work. This could be a potential biological weapon; however, such distillations cannot be preserved for long. Once the technique has been refined, though, it could be devastating in the wrong hands.
Below are the names of Kohm or packs of Kohm that have stood out in history.
The Alpha male of Zyrul's Kohm pack, K-1 is particularly devious as well as being superior to the rest of his pack in strength and skill.
The first appearance of K-1 and his pack occurred when Zyrul decided to finally make a move against the Rebels, a group of students who openly defied Zyrul and were growing quickly. K-1 was specifically sent after VMN, the most outspoken of the Rebels. K-1 and his Kohm attacked VMN and his pet Muaka, Striper, and would have quickly killed both had not four nearby Toa intervened. Even with the reinforcements the Kohm retained the upper hand, with K-1 proving especially formidable; impaling one of the Toa after a short fight and fighting the other to a standstill.
Seeing that his pack was also suffering heavy casualties, however, K-1 called a retreat, and the Kohm pulled back, leaving five Toa and one Muaka severely wounded.
Since then, K-1 has been called out by Zyrul to lead several other missions, mostly in tracking and combat. K-1's great loyalty to Zyrul was a counterbalance to Zyrul's right hand man Kyshim's treacherous nature, though it was not enough to stop Kyshim from eventually betraying Zyrul. Even through that, K-1 remained an efficient and valuable General for Zyrul's forces.