Human Clans (book)
The Human Clans
A Book by Zuebara Pulan
Humans are a great and diverse people, I have always known that. As a child, growing up with my particular family, me being the son of a well-to-do but hard-working trader, I traveled considerably, seeing the breadth of this entire continent, meeting many of its incredible peoples and learning of their ways. Many researchers read their withered, yellow books and try to grasp and understand of the world outside their crumbling libraries -- but I, I have seen it. It was the experiences of my childhood that shaped the course of my life. My love of scholarly pursuits -- for you see, I never did pick up the reigns of our family business, and woe to me for that, warned my father -- comes from all that I experienced in my youthful travels.
Which brings me back to the start. Humans are a diverse and great people. I am a Human myself, I should point out to those who don't know me. But yet still I've met so many Humans that are so unlike me, and it really is remarkable.
Lanival the Elf put it best when he said, "Those who are known with snorts of derision as Humans, are only treated so because they are feared. In the mortal brevity lies a desire to accomplish much before Time cuts their strings, and in this they find the comfort that change is their immortality." Therengians and Zolureners -- both Humans, yet both are different, as the Halflings would put it, as taffleberry tarts and rutabaga tarts. And then there are the clans. It is they that I speak of in this volume, for those who would learn a bit about them.
Once the greatest of all Human Clans... no, the greatest of all clans... Ram Clan's glory days have long since faded. Once one of many others, Ram Clan existed millennia ago. There was nothing truly remarkable about it -- that is, until Akroeg was born. Akroeg became the Chieftain of the Clan, and it was Akroeg that made it something remarkable. Under the banner of the Ram, he proceeded to conquer other clans, masterfully winning battle after battle, in diplomacy as well as on the field.
The Ram Clan soon found itself centered upon the ideals of justice and unity. When Akroeg died, his son Verek became Chieftain, and later, founder of the Seven-Star Empire. But that was not the end of the Ram Clan. Its people remained part of the Empire, as virtually every clan did, for ages. But when the Empire began crumbling... when that hideous time known as the Kin Strife came about, the people of the Ram grew outraged. It was they who had originally struggled to bring about the Empire, and to see it decay so brought pain to their hearts, and the honor they had held. This was under the time of Kaegath the Chieftain. The Chieftains of the Ram Clan were always given a special place of honor within the Empire, due to the stature of Chieftain Verek -- they had special rights. So Kaegath marched directly into the hall of the Emperor within the Palace, unimpeded by soldiers, until he came face to face with the Emperor, the massive hulk of a man that was Grudish. Drawing his sword, Kaegath threw it down at Grudish's feet. Drawing off his ramshide mantle, he threw it at Grudish's feet. And then Kaegath swore before the startled assembly of the lords and the Emperor, quivering with rage, that the people of Ram Clan would no longer follow the Empire -- they were free, they were leaving.
And they did. The Ram Clan separated from the Empire, traveling deep into the impenetrable forests of southwest Therengia. They no longer have much in the way of glory, having been forgotten by most history texts. Except for some trade here and there, they interact little with the rest of the world. But in those woods, the people of Ram Clan still follow the old ways. They still hope to see those ways return.
Nomadic warriors, that is how Wolf Clan was throughout much of its existence. A fierce tribe of fighters, eking their way through Kermoria. The people of Wolf Clan never had a home, instead carrying out their savage travels through woodlands and mountains and river valleys. Their wanderings began at the advice of a Moon Mage, a great seer that delivered unto them a prophecy that those people took deeply to heart.
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 said, had been fulfilled. They now had a home. The people of Wolf Clan now live as hunters and fishermen, though they ever remain the great warriors and survivalists they always have been. It is just that their wandering hearts have been stilled. Forgive my brevity on Wolf Clan, but there are other works which elaborate in far greater detail, and I would not do them justice. See "Trefan Ulf -- The Wolf Clan Home" by Hagynn Atkyn.
After the end of the wars that overthrew the Dragon Empire, Ferdahl Alec the Phoenix, ruler of Shard, had a problem on his hands. The Dragon Priests had tainted and corrupted the lands to the south of his city, calling it the "Dark Hand." In addition to despoiling the land, this was where they conducted many of their foul experiments. The Adan'f were created here, as well as other foul beasts. So the Ferdahl's problem was how to deal with this new threat.
Thus was born Shadow Clan. Shadow Clan is a collection, primarily, of Human rangers and Human paladins who he gathered south of his city, and gave them a task -- confine the Dark Hand. Since being given that mission, they have defended the Five Provinces admirably. The Shadow Clan lives 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.
Dragon Clan is remarkable... full of memory, happiness, rejoicing. The Clan was actually founded by Lanival... now, Lanival has gone by a number of names, such as Lanival the Redeemer. But one of his more prominent names was Lanival the Dragon. That was the one the people of Dragon Clan always took to, for it was in taking that name that they named themselves after their founder.
The clan was established during Lanival's many 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. Few celebrations are as joyous or as grand as a feast held in the camp of the Dragon Clan.
The people of Dragon Clan wear bright colors, and a great deal of jewelry. They're also nomadic merchants of a sort -- every now and then, they'll come around and sell some of their dragon-bedecked wares. In this clan, Lanival is remembered fondly, and much of what they do, many of the feasts they hold, are done in honor of him.
Dragon Clan, though nomadic, generally lives around northern and northwest Therengia.
The people of Harvest Clan are simple folk who live simple lives. They are master farmers, who revere the earth itself, and the gods and goddesses of the hearth and of the harvest.
The patron of the clan was a widowed peasant farmer with more than a dozen children. To her sorrow, her fields were ravaged and her husband killed during a war. Denouncing war and swearing that none of her kin would be a party to such barbarianism, Mowra Erestaevan taught her children the value of peace, of caring for other people, and providing for themselves and others in need. Some became farmers, some became craftsman, others joined various peaceable Guilds to help others. Hearing of what Mowra had done, what she had created, other Humans, believing that her way of life would offer fulfillment, went to join her at her home. Eventually, this became known as the Harvest Clan. Incidentally, almost all the leaders of Harvest Clan have been female, perhaps in remembrance of Mowra.
They developed into a good-sized, out of the way farming community. The clan always 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 -- sometimes it is necessary for survival. But 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.
The people of Shark Clan are warriors and sailors that dwell in the seas of the Qi Province. They are also rogues -- pirates, that make their living by attacking other ships and stealing their goods. Little is known of Shark Clan, for historians are not exactly welcome among them. All I can say is that if you sail upon the Reshal Sea and are approached by a ship with a shark's flag, you would do well to pray to Lemicus for safety.