The Clans of Talae are split in to ten clans with their own type of shared and separated culture, their shared and separated physical traits, their minor gods and godlike guardian spirits, their hatred for the alaschen Empire and legendary skills in the arts of war
The Clans of Talae are found only on the continent of Irney, also named generally the 'Clanner's Isle'. The Alaschen empire has been unable to 'civilize' these people in its entire history, but has managed to be at peace with them, enabling trade and some careful cultural approaches. Several self-proclaimed adventuers have wandered upon the Clanner's Isle and written about them, the latest named Johnar Irnek, whom, as he claims, spent an entire decade studying the Clanspeople.
Is is from the clans of talae that the battlepriests of Eion learned how to fight the way they do.
The Clans are almost their own race. They, with their so-called Tranced Rage, they, with their unknown kinds of magic, and they, with their mysterious past. The Clans, on Talae, on the Clanworlds, the Clans on Irney and itís many scattered islands, seemingly made by two powerful beings that battled over the Continent. There, in that territory, where no Alasch is ever welcome, there roam the ten Clans. Ten powerful tribes, that battle each other. Ten mysterious groups, with almost magical abilities, and even more magical protectors. Those ten, we shall examine now a little more than outsiders usually would, or even could.
The Sky Falcons. They are the peacekeepers of the Clans, they accept all who join them, who they rescue, who they find abandoned, as a Free One, as a Clansmember, as one of their own. The Sky Falcons, whose protector is a the white Sky Falcon, flying high above the world above, in the azure blue sky of Talae, watching down on it's people, carefully. The Sky Falcons avoid battles as good as they can. They are truly powerful warriors, as skilled as any of the Howling Wolf Clan, or the Blood Raven Clan even, but they use their skills against ones who attack them, and against wild, dangerous beasts, but never they attack another. Their laws are simple, their punishments hard if one rule is broken, but still, all live in peace, protected by the Sky Falcon itself. But even with all the peace and harmony, they still have an enemy. Their worst fears, the worst fears of all other clans actually, are the Blood Raven raiders, led by the Black Bird to their enemyís doom. The Sky Falcon, and the Black Bird, are in deep war, as far as their followers can tell, but they donít see the war. They see only the actions of one another. So it happens, that with only a few exceptions, not one single Blood Raven Clanner will be accepted in the rows of the Sky Falcons. But that war seems minor to the people of the Sky Falcon Clan. Their protector fights that war for them, to let them live in peace as they should, as they all want to, and nothing else.
But the Blood Ravens want their sworn enemies to fall, at all costs. The Black Bird, the raven with the deadly sharp claws, the blood red beak, and the mind sharper than itís claws, canít win alone against the Sky Falcon, and needs itís protected people for that. The Blood Ravens have more enemies though, the allies of the Sky Falcon Clan, and they have to fall before they can enter the land of those nearly untouched Islands near Irney, and their own borders. One enemy, who sets most resistance, protected by the Great Wolf, are called the Howling Wolf Clan, and are truly feared by the Blood Ravens, who might have skill, and are even able to control the Tranced Rage, but have no chance against numbers at least double their own through the Great Wolfís kin. And there we see another War between protectors, a War that the Black Bird keeps up with ease, but canít win. So that more may battle, fight in and with the war, the Blood Ravens take prisoners if they donít kill them, set them as slaves, as no oneís member, and let them work, hard, to their limits. But there is more than the Howling Wolf Clan against them. The Gray Bear Clan also speaks a few words within the raging war, with the Lionís Spirit Clan at its side. Their protectors, the Gray Bear and the Silent Lion are as much in a war with the Black Bird as the Sky Falcon, and so they want their people, their protected tribesmen and women, to help and aid them.
So we come to the Howling Wolves and the Great Wolf, a large, white creature, matching a winter wolf, with itís crystal blue eyes, but powerful weapons as itís claws and teeth. It's said that the Great Wolf gave his people one of his own young ones, and thus made it able for the people to talk with their canine family through that one young wolfling. Almost all of the Howling Wolves have one familiar, friend, companion, or whatever else they wish to call their four-legged clansmembers of the Great Wolfís kind. They live together, hunt together, play together, and fight together, but rarely they fall together in one of the wars against one of the four clans they stand in war with. The Blood Raven Clan might be the worst among their enemies, but the Lionís Spirit Clan, or rather itís protector, fights against them in a war that ended to be more like a cat-and-dog game, with them, on the loserís side. Why they fight, no one knows. Poison Snake Clan, with their poisonous green Snake-protector, is another one of those enemies, that the Great Wolf has for some reason. But thatís not the last of the enemies. The Sword Moon Clan, a clan that learns skills with swords of any kind, and uses them as well as any higher ranked Alaschen Elite could. The Howling Wolves arenít only in war though. They are friendly to all but their most hated enemies, and secretly hope that someday all clans could live in peace together, as the Sky Falcon would want.
So do the Gray Bears, the strongest people among the clans. Their protector, the powerful, huge Gray Bear made sure they wouldnít lack in that one bit of physical strength, and let them fight with him and his kind. Not a deadly fight, not even a very dangerous fight, but tiring, and strengthening. That was a long time ago, though. At least it is told so. And yet the people still have that what their forefathers fought for so hard, and they are sure proud of that bit, even if it sometimes doesnít mean much to the other clans. If all would be so perfect as in the stories, if all could just be so great and peaceful, the Gray Bears and their protector wouldnít want any of their enemies, even if those respect them much for their power. But what match is pure strength against a fine sword wielded by a Sword Moon Warrior, or against the Black Birdís raiding parties with their bows, spears and whips? Not much, meaning that they are loosing the war against those two. The Gray Bear does fight the Black Bird, and yet he canít protect his people from all dangers, like the Sword Moon Warriors. But what does keep them alive are the alliances with the Howling Wolf Clan, the Lionsí Spirit Clan, the Sky Falcon Clan, and their protectors as well. Without those, the Gray Bears would have fallen a sad death, a death, that would have been a great change to much that is now.
Like maybe more war between the Lionís Spirits and the Great Wolfís protected. The Ghostly Lion canít win the fight against the Great Wolf though, the fight that no side can win, because they both are equal in power. The gift of the Ghostly Lion to itís people is courage, courage unmatched by all the other clans and their protectors. The Black Bird even would flee from things that the Lionís Spirits would face. But their gift doesnít make them stupid. They know what they can win and what now, they know when something is worth a death and what not, and they know if they have a chance to win, or will be slaughtered down to the last fighter. Another thing special about the Lionís Spirits are their cities. They have true cities and town spread throughout their lands, and not only simple, mostly temporary camps as all their other friends and enemies have. The Lionís spirits are the only ones that donít have the nomadic wanderlust. With the cities come the laws, and with the laws come the crimes, and with the crimes come the punishments. But to keep them low, the Lionís Spirits made hard laws, that where luckily a success. You could call their Clan a civilisation, and not a tribe. They might still have no true mages, but there are more than just clanners visiting the stone buildings, and looking around for a fine silk or cloth cloak. The Lionís Spirits have made their cities to places of trading, trading for all that knew of the place, and knew how to get there. Of all Clans, they are most like the hated Alasch, though they themselves arenít hated by anyone but their sworn enemies.
Wich doesnít include the Poison Snakes, even though they are allies of the Black Ravenís protected. The deadly and poisonous Snake, that they also simply call Serpent, isnít much of a friend to the Black Bird, but they follow the goals of taking down the other Protectors to gain full power over Irney and itís people, no matter how many thousands of years it will take. The Poison Snakes learnt how to use the poisons very well, and to they learnt what cures what kind of poison, and wish will poison you more. Even if they are enemies of some, they are always welcome, as long as they are traders of antidotes and other cures, and nothing more. For a reason, a reason that none of the clans can explain, there are far more children chosen to become priests of Eion, our alaschen god, than in any other tribe of Talae. But still, they have enough numbers, and skill, that they are surely not the weakest of the Clans. Their warriors, and their fighting style, they are deadly and poisonous to the foe being struck by as much as a little scratch from a breadknife, as long as the Poison Snake Warrior is in battle, and prepared for it.
But no one can touch a Sword Moon Warrior when both moons rise high above the sky, when the night is cold and the stars barely dare to face the foe with the perfect worked blades, for that one fighter specifically. The Sword Moons have a strange binding to the moons of Talae. If they are both unseen, they are weaker, and seem to be waiting for itís rising again, like a symbol to continue their battles again, and they seem not able to fall in to the Tranced Rage. When both are seen, both shining as bright as if they where lost suns, then the Warriors are untouchable, unbeatable, and unmatched, even by the most powerful of the Alaschen Elite. But no matter when they are met, they are all warriors, all trained to their highest point, but never, never they seek the blood of their enemies for as little reason as bloodlust. They have honour, and tradition, and they are friendly, even if they seem a bit arrogant because of their skill. They know mercy, unlike their allies, the Blood Raven Clan. They have enemies, thought itís senseless to fight them. Is it because they have no protector that those fools of Howling Wolf and Gray Bear think they can beat them? No one knows but they themselves. The Sword Moons are as much teachers as they are Warriors, and will willingly show all but enemies their skills, and pass them on. Though not one ever came up to the skill of a Sword Moon Warrior, not many took the time to learn.
Since many would rather like to belong to a Mage Clan like the Mageís Hands for example. They are one of three who have True Mages, instead of shamans with limited knowledge and talent of a spellcaster. They have no protector, like the Sacred Blade Clan or the Sword Moon Clan, but they do very well on their own, having no enemies, but allies. This magic is what protects them, their own skill, talent, knowledge, and no fabled creature of old stories and legends that reach farther back than anyone could ever remember. The Mageís Hands have as as good as no Warriors, but many, and powerful, True Mages. They are traders, selling their abilities for some things, but also some trade it for other skills, like healing that they try to copy with their magical powers. These True Mages like to stay in one spot, but they never build anything as close to the Lionís Spirit Clanís cities, or even towns. The Mageís Hands stay in smaller groups, groups of families or friends, maybe a bit larger ones, and set camp somewhere, and slowly build it to their homes. There is one place though that could match with a city of the Ghostly Lionís protected. Itís a place where some Clanners go on their Journey, to go to explore different areas that only the Mageís Hands saw before. Other than that, they are quite simple people, maybe the most simple ones on Irney.
Not at all like the Burning Suns. Their protector, the everburning, everliving cousin of the phoenix, the Firebird, taught them some magic, and more even in the destructive, and yet fascinating Fire Magic. As partly True Mages, the Burning Suns belong to the True Mages, and with the Firebird as their protector, they belong also as much to the clans without real magic. And as all Mage Clanners, they are traders, traders of their own skill for what they need or want, but they donít mind wandering around so much like the Mageís Hand Clanís members. They built special shrines for their protector, though. They truly believe in the creature and itís power, and that it gave it to them a few millenia ago. Of all the Clans, these here might be the most chaotic, and yet most patient of people on Talae. They Take their time learning, and teaching, but they have as good as no laws or rules. Not that they needed them, with the Sky Falconís protected as allies, and no known enemies, as well as many dozen gangs of their own people, happy and cheerful. They are surely glad to be of assistance if they can in any way, if asked, that is. But not all are like that. There is enough to replace those strange ones, unwilling and stiff as they are.
A bit like the Sacred Blades, so serious, but hoarding so much knowledge of the past ten thousand years like a treasure worth more than all life together. They are willing to share it, yes, as much as they are willing to share their wares of armor and weapons, but they want it never forgotten, all those stories of past, all those mistakes done that can be learnt out of, all those things that where the past and could be the future, or even present, again. The Sacred Blades are among the most mysterious of the people of Irney. They seem to know of one even if theyíve never mer before, added to that, that they are a Mage Clan, and have no protector, but guard their knowledge as if they where protectors themselves. Anyone who had ever met one of them will have learnt surely much, and yet left the encounter with more questions than answers, about the stories told, why they where told, and about the people themselves, as strange and serious as they are. The Sacred Blades seem also the most nomadic under the Clans. They travel far away from their own borders to trade their goods, to tell stories, and use here and there a spells to aid. But why arenít they like the other Mage Clans and stay in their own regions?
A Question that only they know, unlike other Questions.
Like what is the Journey? A right of every Clanner to go off in to distant places, away from the clan, under the protection of that right. No battling, but seeing, learning, hearing. A way to experience things that wouldnít be possible within the borders of Irney. Or even Talae. The Journey ends in a year after the Clanner left the safety of home toward new things. After that year, the adventurer has to be back, or be banished from that one clan for all times. A hard rule, yes, but it makes sure that they at least try to return, to get themselves out of trouble, to upkeep a set time. It teaches, though itís consequences could be fatal.
And what is the Tranced Rage? A state, a state of high concentration, making the one affected appearing to be in a trance-like state, but not only that is what happens. The one affected looses concious control of the body and mind. All that works is the will, wich is the will to survive a fight, get it trough as fast as possible, and as unhurt as possible a swell. And how does that work? All senses go keen, as that of some mythic creature, and the one in trance will hear, see, feel all around a hundred times better. The skill of fighting doesnít disappear with the skill of evading, and so the trance is a deadly foe, attacking sometimes with strength empowered by anger, thus making it a rage. But how do you get in to the Tranced Rage? Usually by encountering an enemy stronger than you yourself. Not always, but mostly. Uncontrollably you suddenly get in to the state, and then nothing but the otherís death can bring you out.
Now what about those Alasch people? That would be a question of a Clanner. Simple and easy said, someone would say Ďthey are a highly advanced culture, empire rather, that still have the tradition to keep their Elites, skilled warriors equal in magic and sword.í
And who leads the clans? Since all ten clans are rather large, there are many small group with a council spread about. The council is called the Five, for there are always five members in that council, no matter where or who. There is also a True Five, ones that make the last decisions, and they usually are there where the capital of one clan is, or the largest group is.
Now, what was that about those priests? Once every year a Follower, either a cleric or a priest, comes to Irney and journeys from clan to clan. He chooses then children from the clans to become priests of the alaschen god Eion, the one who is most worshipped amongst the alasch. But why, if the Clans hate the alasch so much? Well, to keep an overly powerful enemy from their own little wars away, they had to make a deal. That was that once a year a cleric could come, and chooses five children among the clans, meaning the Alasch gain a few members, Eion gets a few followers, the Clanners loose another 5 children every year, and no more blood gets wasted in another war.
Well then whatís about those Protectors? They have some kind of religious meaning, but no one knows if they really do exist. They blame their wars on the protectors, since most of the Clanners would rather want to see peace. But sometimes higher creatures have personal things still open and tear their followers with in that personal war, and that is a sad but true truth, especially for the Clanners.
Why do the Clanners have special abilities? Thatís like asking why is an elf so agile, or why is an orc so strong, or why a Dragon has wings. No one knows. Again, they blame it on their protectors, but those without one canít, so they have no explanation.
The Deities of the Clans, a falcon, a lion, a bear, a raven, a wolf, a snake, and a firebird, are protectors in some way, but not fully. They have their own wars and alliances that their people donít even know of. And yet those unknowing people go exactly that path that their guardian goes. Let us take the most extreme example, the Blood Raven Clanís Black Bird, against the Sky Falcon, and itís Clan. The Bird itself doesnít go offensive, but is very powerful in defensive. The Blood Raven raiders attack, the Sky Falconers defend their selves almost always successfully. Also, the Blood Ravens are aggressive, and learn to use their strength by controlling their Tranced Rage. As the Black Bird goes in a mad, but controlled fury when it fights ist ancient battle against the Sky Falcon. Then we have on the other side that oneís Clan. Kind people, yet they have almost inhumanly beauty. As they say, their Deity is the most beautiful bird to fly through the air. So we see, the people are like their higher animalistic beings that roam somewhere where they fight their battles and war against each other. But then, what about the other three clans? They have also some protector, some higher creature, but they never admit it, they say they have no one, but their own selves and ideals, if they talk at all. Well, about those creatures, what are they? Do those Clanners know themselves at all? They say that each of those beasts where created during a battle of two mages, the same two who made the hundreds of islands. And as the mages defeated each other, the summoned beasts yet sill remained on this world, since they where summoned by the ancient magicks of all the elements together. They had a heart, a mind, and a soul, that, what the Clanners say, is needed to be called a living being. Now, what did these creatures do that stayed in existence by mere luck? They went to the people that where in fear, spread all over the continent. They went to them, and lived by them, and the clans slowly started to exist. Only three never met with any higher creatures, but they went very well without any, and they say they never wanted anything like that. Since two of those are Mage Clans, itís understandable. They have their magic, they donít need more divine being to help them out with anything. They learn enough out of storied and from their mentors. And yet they still have shamans. So we ask again, do they also have something as the others do? Do they also have protectors, like the Great Wolf? No matter what, they keep it a secret where those shamans gain their energy, and how they gain it. So we come once again to the Sword Moon Clan. Not a Mage Clan, but still very powerful, and very attracted to the moon, as a were-beast is. Also they have Shamans, but they are known to be so rare, that there could be only one living now, and the next waiting to be born. Now what could this mean? They are no mage clan, they have some strange binding to the twin-moons, but they have as good as no shamans? They must also have some deity, something like a were-creature, or a moon-god or goddess. And one who wishes not to have too many priests. But with all that, we still think, why is that so? We could also ask ourselves, why do some of us pray to deities, and some not? Do some believe, but hide it? It is same, unexplainable, but mysteries keep all going, keep some to go and search for the many answers, to find more questions for another search. A spiral, as we say.
Sky falcon clan: Eyes blue to gray, Hair blonde to black with blue, intermediate strength and toughness, high agility Traces of elven and angelic blood are possible, but not confirmed. Ledend says that a winged being had once been part of the clan.
Howling Wolf Clan: Eyes blue to brown, Hair brown to white, intermediate-high strength, toughness and agility Traces of elven blood are possible, but not confirmed. Many of these people move like their wolf companions, too.
Blood Raven Clan: Eyes red to black, hair brown to black, intermediate strength and toughness, high agility These people survive a long time without food or water and seem recover quickly from wounds and illness.
Gray Bear Clan: Eyes brown to black, Hair brown, black, to white, high strength and toughness, low agility Some of these people do look like a crossing between man and bear, though it is unlikely that that is true. These people are giants, too.
Lionís Spirit Clan: Eyes brown to gold, Hair blonde to brown, intermediate strength, toughness and agility Angelic bloodline is possible, but not confirmed
Poison Snake Clan: Eyes green to black, hair black, intermediate strength, high toughness and agility These people are practically immune to all sorts of known poisons
Sword Moon Clan: Eyes purple to silver, Hair varies extremely, intermediate-high strength, toughness, very high agility These people appear drastically different than the other clanspeople and probably do not originate from Talae, though this is yet to be confirmed. These people seem in average a little taller than the other clans.
Mageís Hand Clan: Eyes blue to purple, hair brown, low strength, intermediate toughness and agility
Burning Sun Clan: Eyes yellow to red, Hair white to red, intermediate strength, toughness and agility
Sacred Blade Clan: Eyes purple to blue, Hair white to black, intermediate-high strength, intermediate toughness and agility These people too appear different than the other clanspeople and probably do not originate from Talae, though this is yet to be confirmed.
The Clanspeople are generally slightly below the average height of a grown alasch, and have slightly different facial features and a slightly different build. Farther study is needed here. There seems to be no great difference between the traits of the men and women of the same clan.
All varies, as I have seen exceptions by marriages with originally other clan members and others.