Post:The Clans of Humanity - History to Modernity - 04/13/2018 - 15:52

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The Clans of Humanity - History to Modernity · on 04/13/2018 15:52 1566
As written by Historian Zelka, building upon the work of Zuebara Pulan in the book The Human Clans:

=== Ram ===
One of the very earliest of the Human Clans, Ram Clan was originally established when Humans still lived in the West. For much of its history, it was but one of many, many Human Clans, and not a very remarkable one at that.

When Akroeg became the Chieftain of the Clan, however, he proceeded to conquer several of the other Clans, masterfully winning battle after battle, in diplomacy as well as on the field. Ram Clan grew to be focused upon and dedicated to the ideals of justice and unity, and was a sprawling, powerful Clan.

When Akroeg died, his son Verek became Chieftain, and later, founder of the Seven-Star Empire. Its people remained part of the Empire for much of the Empire's history, but during the time of the kin strife, the people of the Ram grew outraged. It was they who had originally struggled to bring about the Empire, and to see the depths to which it had fallen caused them a mixture of outrage and grief so profound that they could not bear it any longer.

Kaegath, the Chieftain at the time, responded to this by removing his Clan from the Empire. They then traveled deep into the forests of southwest Therengia, where they remain to this day.

While nominally Therengian citizens, modern Ram Clan is largely isolationist, and the Barony has had little reason to intrude upon them to date. Except for some trade here and there, they interact little with the rest of the world, instead holding fast to their traditions, awaiting a time in the future when the world might be inclined to their ways once more.

=== Wolf ===
Originally a Clan of nomadic warriors, Wolf Clan appeared under that name after the Human migration to the East. Following a Moon Mage prophecy that set about the origin of the Clan, the people of Wolf Clan remained a fierce, but wandering, tribe eking their way through eastern Kermoria for quite some time.

It was in the early part of the third century AV that the people finally settled down in the Wildulf Woods of midwestern Zoluren. Their prophecy, they felt, had been fulfilled by the deeds of Wolfjaw Ironbeard, and they could cease their endless wanderings.

The people of modern Wolf Clan live as hunters, fishermen, and mercenaries, and some of their warriors go on to join the ranks of the Zoluren Army. The village additionally has a bustling trade in rare pelts and skins, dyes, and animal products for the enhancement of magic, foresight, and healing.

There is a steady stream of merchants in and out of the village because of this, but from an outsider's perspective it still isn't particularly enticing to stay for a longer term if comforts and modernity are what you are after. Wolf Clan homes and other buildings are spartan even by Clan standards and the town is kept dark at night so as not to attract any Gor'Tog raiders from the nearby settlements.

While other writings make note of the famed beauty of Wolf Clan women, my extensive time living with the Clan allows me to correct the rather hideous exoticism displayed in some of these other accounts. Tales of them being particularly sultry and filled with 'wild abandon' are gross misunderstandings of a culture that is incredibly egalitarian, and as thus, has women who are, by and large, as unashamed of their bodies and their natures as any man. Due to these misunderstandings, many outsiders have run afoul of Wolf Clan women, taking their open natures as overtures for illicit encounters where no such thing was intended on the woman's part at all. From this, stories of men from outside of the Clan being murdered or mutilated in retaliation for 'partaking' in a Wolf Clan woman became widespread, when, in fact, these were simple instances of the woman and her family educating the outsider on Clan manners and not taking liberties without actually ensuring the woman was interested in whatever they intended to do.

=== Shadow ===
After the end of the wars that overthrew the Dragon Priest Empire, Ferdahl Alec of Shard was left with the threat coming from the remaining and overwhelming taint from their experiments and magics that blighted the lands and the creatures to the south of the city.

In response to this, as the situation was far too much for his city's forces to address alone, the Ferdahl called for volunteers to help wage a proactive mission to contain and, hopefully, beat back the corruption. The Humans who stepped forward to answer this call to arms became known as Shadow Clan. Primarily rangers and paladins, these fighters had come from the other Human Clans, as well as some Humans who had been born and raised within the more cosmopolitan settlements, and others who had once called the lands south of Shard their home.

This band of fighters, men and women both, banded together and took on their mission with such unrelenting dedication that even the Emerald Knights (those others who heard the Ferdahl's call and fight the Dark Hand upon Corik's Wall) have remarked upon it, and so it remains to this day. The Humans of Shadow Clan live entirely within the Dark Hand itself, where every moment of their existence is a struggle to live and to fight the land around them and the creatures within it. Shadow Clan members are rarely seen in the Five Provinces, even Ilithi, due to their singleminded focus on their fight.

=== Dragon ===
Founded by Lanival himself, Dragon Clan was born during the time of Lanival's wanderings. In each Human village, town, and city he and his followers stopped in, a few more people would get up and follow them, adding to the Clan's ranks. From Lanival, these people learned to revel in their mortality. He taught them that their lives, though short, were more precious than they could imagine, and they should cherish every second of them.

The Clan to this day remains nomadic, although they are most frequently found in northern Therengia. They are perhaps known best by outsiders as traveling merchants, their caravans and wagons laden with exotic wares inspired by their wide-ranging travels and frequently incorporating dragon-themes in their designs.

In Dragon Clan, Lanival is remembered fondly, and much of what they do, many of the feasts they hold, are done in honor of him and his philosophies. Few celebrations are as joyous or as grand as a feast held in the camp of the Dragon Clan, for they truly embrace the concept of living their lives to the fullest at every opportunity. While some may decry them as hedonists -- and the people of Dragon Clan do indeed generally wear bright colors, sumptuous fabrics, and a great deal of jewelry, all the while displaying a tremendous love for food, drink, and celebration of all kinds -- when one comes to truly understand Dragon Clan, it becomes evident that these actions are not hedonism so much as they are a reflection of their zeal for existence. Dragon Clan members embrace all aspects of living with such joy, and will take up arms to defend the lives of themselves and others when presented with wanton destruction and oppression.

=== Harvest ===
With its origins in the war-torn pre-Empire times, Harvest Clan is a true outlier amongst the Human Clans, as its people are all strict pacifists who lead a largely vegetarian lifestyle. They are master farmers, who revere the earth itself, and the gods and goddesses of the hearth and of the harvest.

The founder of Harvest Clan was Mowra Erestaevan, a widowed peasant farmer with more than a dozen children. To her sorrow, her fields were ravaged and her husband killed during one of the many wars of the time. Denouncing war and swearing that none of her kin would ever be a party to such atrocities, she taught her children the value of peace, of caring for other people, and providing for themselves and others in need without harm to any living creature. Some became farmers, some became craftsman, others joined various peaceable Guilds to being their help to others.

Hearing of what Mowra had created and the values she espoused, other Humans, believing that her way of life would offer fulfillment, went to join her at her home far on the outer edges of the lands claimed by the Five Provinces. As time progressed, they developed into a good-sized, if extremely out of the way, farming community, and eventually, became known as the Harvest Clan.

The clan continues to put an emphasis on teaching and on learning crafts that would provide for the community and for others, such as farming, herb-growing, weaving, teaching, and healing. Hunting is always frowned upon, though it is sometimes necessary for survival. However, drawing swords against others of the mortal races, or participating (with the exception of healing the wounded of both sides) in warfare are both forbidden by the Clan.

To date, almost all the leaders of Harvest Clan have been female, in remembrance of Mowra and in reverence for the generative nature of women as illustrated in the act of childbearing.

=== Shark ===
Until recently, little was known of Shark Clan by outsiders save for whispered rumors, snatches of old, moldering texts, and, of course, the rampant piracy.

Over the last several years, however, I have worked hard to build trust with people in Shark Clan in order to gain access to their stories and ways, with an aim to not only understand them and their history better myself, but perhaps to also bring this to the rest of the world so that the relationships between this insular Clan and others may be built upon truth and understanding going forward.

In my time with the Clan, I have come to understand that to say that people of Shark Clan are warriors, sailors, and pirates that dwell in the seas of the Qi Province is an understatement of great proportions. Their traditions are often predatory in nature, just like their namesake, but beyond that they are also protectors, innovators, and people who see themselves as a pure, untainted extension of the sea itself.

The shark moves forward, and the same can be said for this Clan. Originating from a band of early seafaring Humans, Shark Clan is deeply religious. They see themselves as part of the ocean, having adapted their lifestyles to existing nearly entirely aboard ships at all times. Shark Clan sees that all of them are born in blood and salt water, and so too do they all live in it. This attunement to the more brutal aspects of nature, and particularly the sea, has left the Clan with little moral compunction against piracy or raiding. They see it as a form of hunting no different than any other. It has, however, also lead them to a sense of morality in that they 'hunt' no more than they need to survive, just like any shark. Their raids and pillaging expeditions are never to become rich, but instead a simple extension of what they are as creatures. In truth, Shark Clan roams the entirety of the oceans, not just those nearest Qi, though different families tend to remain within the same set 'territory', and thus the acts of active piracy vary depending on the needs of the families in any given area of the ocean.

Their reputation with outsiders is complicated by the fact that many Shark Clan members have also participated in the activities of the Red Sash pirates, but Clan elders and traditionalists frown upon this practice, seeing it as an affront to their place in the ocean's life cycle. However, the core of the Clan does not engage in such activities, instead keeping to their own ships, and their own form of worship. Shark Clan members are, incidentally, just as likely to be followers of Eluned or Lemicus as they are of Drogor, and all give at least some fealty to all three Aspects.

Though only tangentially related to the topic at hand, it is important to note that there exists a prominent offshoot of Shark Clan that lives on the difficult to reach island of Tref Bain. This group split with the Clan proper long ago, but the two groups hold no ill will towards each other, instead seeing themselves as close cousins. This island group is not recognized as a formal Human Clan, but their close blood and cultural ties to Shark Clan are evident in their protective natures. It is my great hope that I will soon be honored with permission to travel to Tref Bain and meet with these people.

This message was originally posted in Discussions with DragonRealms Staff and Players/Game Master and Official Announcements, by DR-PERSIDA on the forums.