Mountain Clans and the Children of Shellac

The clansmen are the original inhabitants of the known world, originally spread all over the lands between the mountains and the desert, but now reduced to Shellac's forest and the eastern mountains. Despite being separated for centuries, the two main branches still retain some similarities.

Clansmen of the Lowlands and Shellac Forest
The main branch, and the ones people think when you say "Clansman". Legend says that there was once a man named Shellac who descended from the mountains to hunt wolves and after months stopped near a lake to rest. When he looked around, he was awe-struck by the land's beauty and returned to his home to bring his family and loyal followers to this land. That man was Shellac, whose name was given to the forest that surrounds the lake. After this death, the land was inherited by his three sons who used it as the staging point of great attacks and adventures and built it into a new homeland for their people, and each created their own clan:

Kench - Named after Shellac's firstborn. Kench was the warrior of the group. He rode with great hosts into chegaran lands and raided the colonies spread around the rivers, bringing back wealth and defending the land from the vengeful easterners. His clan became the largest and boasted the greatest warriors until a man named Brennus took that title from them. Siri was one of those great warriors, a large man who was said to have wolf blood and who had never lost a battle. The clansmen built a Grove in his honor out of an ash tree, painting it in war paint and filling it with skulls of vanquished foes.

Osirclann - Named after Shellac's middle child. Osir was the cerebral son, a man of great intelligence and a keen interest in magic. Unlike his brothers, he did not antagonize the chegarans, and instead went to the great city to learn literature, philosophy, ethics and, of course, magic. He returned to the forest and brought the concept of Groves to the clansmen, who mainly worshiped spirits, and created them as a safer alternative to the fickle fey. His first grove, and the one held most sacred by his clan, is the Well of Argona, a magic fountain that could answer any question if the right sacrifice is performed. To keep that power from being abused, he taught select men how to perform these rituals and to guard these secrets, and these men would later become the Keepers.

Brion - Named after Shellac's youngest. Brion was a wild child, thief and adventurer who plundered eastern lands not with armies like his older brother, but through trickery, theft and scams. He traveled from village to village to ply his trade, and even risked larger cities in spite of their very low-tolerant and very armed guards. Many say that he was naturally lucky because he always found a way out of blunders and averted many bad endings to his adventures by marrying a silver tongued devil in the shape of a woman, who used her charm and natural beauty to not only get him out of trouble, but assist him in his scams. Due to his shrewdness, his clan became the richest and most prosperous and despite its' illegal beginnings, became a legitimately powerful trading partner with the rest of the civilized world. Brion created his clan's Grove in the name of his wife, making it a pile of wealth on a throne earned in his adventures, a pile that survived until the demon invasion.

Brennclann - Centuries after the death of Shellac and his sons there was a civil war among the clansmen. Although each side has their own story, the reasons for this war were largely lost in the decade-spanning conflict and at the end the clans of Kench and Osir were both split in two. The one split from Kench retained their primogenitor's warlike character, but moved away from violent raids and chaotic scraps and turned to tactics and formations. The name of the clan and its' creator became unimportant in the face of what was about to happen 100 years before the events of the game. A man named Brennus, born to a chief's retainer and a Keeper's daughter, came from his side of the forest and united the clans for the first time through strength of arms. With his grandfather's help, he contacted the old spirits, largely abandoned by his kin, and asked them to bless him for what would become his greatest achievement. The spirits gave him Hallstatt and with it he set out to do the unthinkable: To conquer Chegara. His armies overran the east and and occupied the old city, where he secured himself as ruler upon killing the king's brother, a man infinitely more skilled in war and magic than his cowardly eldest, in single combat. His empire was short lived, as upon leaving the capital him and his army was ambushed by men from a former colony, who came to the aid of their rulers. Despite this, his legacy still resonates with the clans and Brennus' kin named their clan after him, and built a Grove out of a statue of him holding Hallstatt triumphantly.

Caraigh - The other clan created during the schism, descended from Osirclann. Secretive and seemingly self-contradictory, the clan resided in the furthest depths of the forest, where the spirits had been driven. They decry their parent clan's eastern magic and customs, and advocated to a return to the old ways of spirit worship and even druidism. Yet despite this, and unbeknownst to the rest, they use eastern script and have erected a grove to none other than Kolk, God of the Dead. Very little is known about this clan, and even its' own members are kept in the dark about the politics' of their Keepers and chiefs and elders, who all dabble in magic. It is perhaps for the best, as one of the secrets that the Keepers keep close to their hearts is the creation of the Wild Hunt, a phenomena considered an act of godly punishment by the inhabitants of the world but in truth a complicated ritual meant to defeat any foe but with a major drawback.

As of now, the clans as an entity have been destroyed and the survivors have converged into one body as refugees in Sion.

Mountain Clans and the Druids
The ancestors of the lowland clans still remain in the mountains, unchanged since the days of Shellac and before. They live on the mountains slopes and peaks, organized in disconnected holdings and villages. Just like their distant cousins, they subsisted entirely from raiding chegaran timber and mining colonies until one of them fought back. With their expansion neutralized by Sion, these clansmen were cut from almost all contact with the rest of the world, which plays a large role in their society remaining unchanged. Among those clans roam the Druids, errant magi trained to wield the power of nature, to protect it, to heal and to advise. They are a loose coalition of wise men and women who live a nomad life, traveling from holding to holding, village to village, to do their duties described above. Some remain at the courts of rulers to help manage the realms, but that it is a rare occasion and considered unseemly. Others decide to join raids and fights, turning into great beasts to rend enemies with claw and fang, a much more preferred occupation of the younger and more spirited disciples.

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