The Alliance of Clans
Location: North-northeast of the Known World. The Alliance of Clans lies northeast of The Pyrian Empire (accross an area of the Wilds), and is bordered in the northeast by the mountains of the Spires of Heaven (forming a border with the troll lands) and in the southeast by the peaks of The Divide (forming a border with the nation of Benguison).
Climate: Ranges from cool temperate in the southwest to sub-arctic in the northeast. All the seasons in the Alliance are often cold, with winter being extremely snowy and frigid.
Government: Loose coalition of hereditary leaders. The Alliance of Clans is a nation in name only. It is comprised of a myriad number of Wolfen clans, each nomadic and independent from one another, and each led by a hereditary chieftain. However, when necessary, the chieftains of the clans can ally them together to deal with threats that affect their race as a whole.
The grasslands once claimed by Illuth and the steppes occupied by the nation of Hasaan have always been the ancestral home of the wolfen clans. Once these human nations fell following The Collapse, it was not surprising that the freed wolfen claimed the area as their own. Although identified as a nation, the territory of the Alliance of Clans serves more as a “roaming grounds” for the many nomadic clans themselves. Only a precious few permanent settlements occupy these lands, and most of the area is uninhabited for months or years at a time.
The wolfen, however, have little tolerance for intruders in their homeland, as orc marauders from the south and troll armies from the north have no doubt discovered over the past centuries. Any being caught trespassing in wolfen lands is likely to find themselves in a quick, violent fight with the most renowned warrior of the hunting pack or tribe who caught them. Those that prove themselves through this confrontation are often celebrated as great champions, and given much praise by the tribe before being sent on their way. “Chain-bearers” (as the wolfen know humans) are less fortunate, even those that succeed in this quick duel are likely to be attacked by every other warrior present if a prominent leader does not command otherwise. No respect is shown for chain-bearers by the wolfen. In the eyes of the clans, there is almost no way a human can ever wash the blood of their clan from his hands.
For most wolfen, the practice of Demonism is a serious spiritual danger. The predatory nature and hunter lifestyle of clan members can easily lead to a sense of superiority and need to further one’s own station and power. A clan’s shaman often fights to stay off the temptation of demonism by emphasizing the duties of clan members to each other and decrying the corruptive nature of demons. Every so often, however, a member of a clan falls for this temptation.
When discovered, wolfen demonists are stripped of their mate, children, and worldly possessions. The other clan members then restrain the individual, and take turns publicly beating him. At the end of this open display, it is customary for the clan’s shaman for step down from his position (for having failed the demonist and the clan itself), and to take up a spear, wounding the fallen clan member in he shoulder. Following this ceremony, the demonist is abandoned by the clan, and all members (even the demonist’s family) cease to notice his existence. It is expected that, following this shame, the punished individual try to redeem himself by traveling into the north and fighting the enemies of the wolfen clans, even to his own death. Despite this harsh punishment, wolfen demonists still appear irregularly, and large groups of them (such as the Burning Howl Clan, whose members had all fallen into the practice of demonism) have been known to exist, if rarely.
Arrn’Grth: Built on the ruins of Arungerath, the capital of the human nation of Hasaan, Arrn’Grth is the closest thing to a capital in the Alliance. All that remains of the once-great city are several empty, stone structures at its heart. The wolfen have since surrounded the city with a circle of free-standing stones, each one carved with the name and symbols of a clan in the wolfen tongue. Normally, Arrn’Grth remains abandoned, year-round. However, when clan chieftains must meet, or the various clans must gather for some larger task, they do so at the site of Arrn’Grth, deep in the middle of the Hasaan Steppes. During these meetings wolfen can take up residence in the abandoned city for days, weeks, or even months at a time, if necessary. When done with their business, the members of each tribe pack up their things, clean the buildings they occupied, and abandon it once again.
Rrr’roh: Located in the south of the Hasaan Steppes, just on the edge of the mountains of The Divide, Rrr’roh has been established as a permanent city by the wolfen of the Green Blade Clan, who may be the first in history to abandon their nomadic ways. Rrr’roh resembes many human cities (although the construction of its buildings might be considered a bit primitive), and the members of the Green Blade Clan have begun penning and breeding their chosen game in ranches surrounding the city. Members of most other clans steer wide of the city, and are often reluctant to call upon the Green Blade Clan, whom they feel have been corrupted by the chain-bearers’ ways.