The Wolf Clan is one of the tribal, familial groups within the Hrogar people of the Northern Wilderness. Each of these Clans is decended from Hrogar Kharan, a legendary chief and mythical founder of the peoples. The Wolf Clan arose from the sons of Sulou, third son of Hrogar. Their traditional lands lie in the forests of the Wilderness, between two spars of the great mountains that jut northwards, dividing the Wilderness from the rolling lands of Salashar.
Culture and SocietyEditThe people of the Wolf Clan intentionally pattern much of their society and culture on the wolf pack, since the wolf is the spiritual totem of the tribe. Their word for 'tribal chief'--Hlothar--is the same used for the alpha wolf of a pack. The term is also used to refer to the leader of a family unit, expedition, or so forth. The Wolf Clan is semi-nomadic and wanders through its territory in the warmer months, while setting in well-established locations during the colder times of the year. Family units are based around a patriarch, who defers to the tribal chief in matters of great importance. Women are also accepted as warriors and hunters equal to men but when preganant or nursing are made to refrain from these duties.
The Hlothar is selected by the people through trials of strength, cunning and generosity. A dying chief may appoint a successor but this is no guarantee of popular acclaim; he must still defeat his opposition. However in times of war, famine or other crisis these trials may be delayed and the appointed Hlothar accepted temporarily. The qualities seen as the Virtues of the Wolf are most respected among the Wolf Clan--strength, courage, cunning and above all, loyalty, are highly prized.
Each village of the Wolf Clan features a Lorekeeper, or Eoredh, who preserves the songs, history and deeds of the Clan. The Lorekeeper of the Hlothar's court is usually the eldest and most respected, selected from among the numbers of available candidates. Poetry, song and epic recitals are common parts of Clan gatherings.
Money is rarely used among the Wolf Clan but is used in trade and economic interactions with foreigners. Gold is more often used for decoration and adornment. However in recent years the value of minted currency has become more apparent to the Clan.
Militarily, all members of the clan are trained in combat and warfare. The clan does not maintain a standing army but rather gathers its warriors together in times of crisis. In addition to martial training, each individual is expected to learn the crafts of his or her family. For example, the children of blacksmiths are expected to offer the same service to their people just as the children of healers are expected to become healers. To the Wolf Clan loyalty to ones family and people is the highest of all virtues.
Horses are rarely ridden by Wolf Clansmen, being incredibly impractical within the forested lands of their homes. Agriculture is also underdeveloped as the Clan provides for itself through hunting, gathering and pastoral pursuits, the latter of which are often pursued in the grassy lands on the forest's edge.
The Wolf Clan has little of importance to offer outsiders, but depends on trade to acquire raw iron, textiles and other goods from other lands.
Like other clans of the Hrothgar, the Wolf Clan follows an animistic religion--that is, they believe that every rock, tree, river and so on has its own spirit that can be angered or appeased, becoming an ally or an enemy. The Wolf Clan is tended by Shamans, who serve as a mixture of healer, judge and priest to their people. The shaman and the chief are never the same individual, nor may they come from the same family. There are no holy days to the Wolf Clan, but there are sacred sites within their lands and places of pilgrimage in other parts of the Wilderness.The wolf is an incredibly sacred animal to the members of the Wolf Clan, none of whom will harm one, nor stand to see one harmed. The wearing of wolfskins is allowed only for the shamans and their students, who must wear them, and occassionally to a questing warrior if so instructed by the spirits. When a member of the Clan comes of age he or she is expected to embark on a vision quest, seeking the spirit of the Great Wolf, Vlichak, who will set his mark on those he approves. Each clan member is the tattooed with the sign of wolf's paw print over the heart. Each clan member who journeys beyond the lands of his or her people carries a sacred bag containing charms and ritual herbs that connect his spirit back to his people, and are believed to ensure a safe return.
Classes available: (F): Ranger, Barbarian, Fighter; (M): none; (P): Shamans (see Player's Option:S&M or Faiths and Avatars); (R): Bards
Bonus Proficiencies: Animal Lore (Wolf); Endurance
Penalties: Regardless of class all members of the clan are subject to the Barbarian restrictions on magic (save the priestly magic of the shaman). Wolf Clan Bards may choose spells from the priestly spheres of Animal, Travellers, Sun, Protection and Weather in lieu of the wizard spells they otherwise recieve.