A glossary of well known Prydaen related terms.
The Claw of Azca specializes in communications and trade with other races. The founding member, Azca Fauran, saw that there could be benefits to interaction with the Rakash. Upon their first meetings, she found that the language barrier posed quite a problem, and appealed to the Three for assistance. Demrris gave Azca an artifact that allowed her to understand foreign tongues. Many Prydaen are skeptical of the Claw of Azca, believing them "tainted" by their long association with the furless, and many of their workings are still a mystery. It is rumored that Azca's artifact still exists, and may be shared among members of the Claw.
The oldest and most influential of the Claws. These few with the sharpest memories who are able to hear the subtle words of Eu strive to preserve the Prydaen history and tradition of the ancestors, so that they may pass it on to the future generations. They are the teachers of the people. Ra'trel was one of the first of these Priests and it is because of him that "Ra" is used in the naming of the members of the Claw of Eu. Any Prydaen who falsely claims to be of the Claw of Eu can be declared Cemsiat.
In the beginning when it first became apparent that an organized system of living would be necessary for Prydaen survival, Demrris instructed the first Pride on the creation of Hubs. A Council of Elders was established to oversee the running of the Hub, gatherings of the people, and education of the kits. The oldest of these Elders was Soru Krotaya, and to him Demrris passed the knowledge of Cizayu. The Claw of Demrris ensures that the Hubs are a safehaven for all Prydaen.
With the coming of Lyras and her army of undead to the Prydaen lands, the people found themselves at a loss as to how to combat this new enemy. Tiatra and her group of followers began to study these creatures, and prayed to Tenemlor for guidance. Tenemlor taught them the ways of the undead, and gave them special weapons with which to fight them. The weapons were bonded to this group, and although they were effective, the group was too small to decimate the undead hoarde. In exchange for the knowledge to fight the undead, the Claw of Tenemlor agreed to worship Tenemlor and Tenemlor alone. At last count there were about twenty members of the Claw left, fifteen on the eastern side of the Great Barrier and five left in the west to keep watch over the undead.
The Prydaen "coming of age" ritual, Cizayu symbolizes the transformation from kit to hunter. The knowledge of this ritual was first passed from Demrris to Soru, of the Claw of Demrris. The ritual involves testimony before the Elders from the kits teachers, and a hunt where the kit must prove their worth to the Hub. The last person to undergo the ritual of Cizayu was Vhadin, before the Prydaen fled eastward.
Claw and Fang
A "challenge of Claw and Fang" is an honorable method to resolve conflict between Prydaens. Through combat the dispute is resolved, without the use of either weapons or armor.
The Prydaen and Rakash peoples fled eastward from their homelands, pursued by the undead hoarde of the Necromancer Lyras. At the ruins of Journalai, Vael, who lead the Prydaens, called a halt. The priests and other magic users joined hands and formed a line a mile long. Through their combined efforts, a magical barrier was cast down from the sky, forming a wall between them and the undead. It has been said that the Great Barrier was "part magic, part god-wish" and that when the last of those who created it died, the Barrier would fall. The Great Barrier was all that stood between the eastern lands and the undead minions of Lyras, but on Day 341 of the year 393 AV Balam and Felinda, the last two remaining Elders, returned to the Wheel, and Clerics received this vision:
A pale shimmer materializes in front of you. It gradually intensifies until it is a solid-looking wall of blinding gold, unfurling vertically as far out as the eye can see. You notice greasy, invasive veins pulsating within the glare, and soon the entire surface is consumed by their taint, the golden hue shifting to an ichorous crimson-streaked black. Just as several grotesque silhouettes begin to emerge, the vision blinks out of sight.
This vision marked the fall of the Barrier.
The Prydaen version of a "city". As most Prydaen prefer to live in the wilds in solitude or in the company of only their mate, the Hubs are occupied mainly by the Priests, young kits, elderly and pregnant females. Hubs are a safehaven to the people, where kits can learn under the guidance of the Elders and all can find the comfort of their fellow Prydaen.
Prydaen pairings are often brief and informal, lasting a few seaons or less, until the two go their separate ways. A "life-bonding" is a deeper commitment between two Prydaens, usually involving a longer courtship and blessing of the union by the Elders.
A roving group of Prydaen, less than would be present in a Hub, usually joined together for the purpose of hunting.
A type of sash mainly used for weddings. A Pr'Ysin is considered by some to be the traditional wedding attire for a female Prydaen while others feel it's more unique to certain regions. It is a narrow strip of fabric, usually approx. 8 - 10" in width and 12' in length. A portion is gathered in asymmetrical pleats, which is then wrapped around the hips and secured with an elaborate bejeweled brooch. The remaining cloth is then draped over the opposite shoulder and allowed to act as a train behind the wearer. The train is usually shadow-embroidered with symbols meaningful to the bride.
This item is considered by some to be the traditional wedding attire for a male Prydaen while others feel it's more unique to certain regions. The garment tends to cover the wearer to mid-thigh, slitted at the sides for easy movement. Worn loose, it is usually tied at the midrift with either the same material or cord. Pr' types have symbols relating to specific past events in the male's past along the hems.
Dead bodies reanimated by a Necromancer. In the scope of Prydaen history, this refers specifically to fallen Prydaen and Rakash who were brought back to "un-life" by the vile Necromancer Lyras. The Prydaen and Rakash fled eastward from the homeland to escape the undead, and raised the Great Barrier to keep them at bay. The Undead do not sleep or feed, and retain all the strength and battle prowess of their living selves. During the migration, the Prydaen and Rakash took to burning their fallen kin to prevent them from being raised by the Necromancer. It is believed that the spirit of an undead Prydaen is trapped in its corpse and cannot return to the Wheel.
Wheel of Life
The Wheel is a metaphor for the Prydaen belief in reincarnation. Prydaen are born, live, and die, and then the Wheel turns again as they are reborn anew as a kit. When the undead invaded the homeland and our fallen Prydaen kin were transformed into undead as well, their souls were trapped within their corpses and unable to return to the Wheel, thus the birth rates dropped. When the soul tires of the Wheel, they may find peace in Tenemlor's realm for all eternity.