The Shadow of Dragons
Social standing in Turrion is loosely based around the concept of clans or “Heritage”, with each citizen born to one of twelve specific signs, each embodied by an animal. The concept actually predates the founding of the nation, and can be traced back through thousands of years of local tradition. A few days after birth, a Ritual of Determination is performed by a representative of the High Clerist’s offices, in which the ritual caster can sense the child’s Heritage.
Heritage signs are usually maternally hereditary, but sometimes paternally. Although rare, it is also possible a child will be born as another sign altogether.
For example, the child of a Stag father and Wolf mother is almost always a Wolf, sometimes a Stag, but can also on rare occasions show as another sign altogether. These “off-brand” children are referred to as Strays in polite company, while the term Jetsam is the local insult.
Heritage signs have also come to represent a loose caste system in Turri society. While largely traditional, there is ongoing tension among different factions and organizations. There is nothing, for example, keeping an enterprising Fish from rising to control a wealthy merchant enterprise. However, there are also Wolf nobles who would perceive an Owl, or heaven forbid a Moth, bearing noble titles or property as an insult to their historically “proper” bloodlines. Similarly, a Hawk longshoreman may have to deal with assumptions that he’s “working below his station” or “thinks he’s too good for the rest of us.”
There is a thirteenth clan, Snake, that legend says were a bloodline heavy with shapeshifters. In FA699, a plot was uncovered to replace the Turri royal family with dopplegangers, which came dangerously close to success. In reaction, Snake was officially purged from the nation in the years following, as thousands of the clan were hunted down and either killed or forcibly sterilized. On occasion, a Snake (either real or imagined) will surface as the source of some plot or trouble within the nation.
== Noble Caste Clans ==
Wolves have a strong sense of purpose, and will go to great lengths to see their point is made, and fully understood. This heredity is fearless, brave and rarely compromises. These are the heroes you want by your side in the heat of battle. They will not back down, and they will take no quarter. Others marvel at their inner fortitude. Where do they find the energy and wherewithal to keep going? They thrive on challenge, that’s what gives them their stamina. They have impeccable character, and “honor” is their middle name. They are strong willed, and sometimes live up to the “lone wolf” label. Nevertheless, you always know where you stand with them, and they will unite with you as long as you share their cause.
The Stag clan has high ideals and aspirations. If you want to start a new project, get a Stag sign to help you. They will not be deterred from their vision. They are thorough, and patient, and their persistence ensures their triumphs. When others have long given up, Stags buck their way past boundaries. They are proud, and rightfully so – they hold themselves in a regal way. They are naturally noble, but this is not to say Stags feel entitled. Far from it. They believe in righteous hard work, and their integrity is their trademark.
Seldom do you see a more focused clan than that of the Hawk. When Hawks see something they want, they go after it with a force that is remarkable. If, however, they aren’t interested, they will fly off to other more interesting prospects. They care deeply for wisdom, and often focus on sharing that knowledge with others. They can be very philanthropic and generous. Hawks have a keen sense of balance, and they navigate through life with an internal sense of purpose that creates an uncanny integrity within them. They are open minded and philosophical. Not to say they cannot be persuaded, although they entertain all manner of hypotheses, they are strongly opinionated.
== Merchant Caste Clans ==
The Fox clan has a cool exterior but are infinitely lively. They are curious and are always full of questions about how the world works, and how the people around them work (even if they aren’t openly asking, you can bet they’re figuring out the answers in their own mind). Foxes are natural communicators, and they can be hugely persuasive. If they are passionate about a cause they can round up the whole neighborhood with their zeal and enthusiasm for their purpose. Foxes can be spontaneous and unpredictable too. And although they’re pretty flexible, they like things to go their way, and can prove to be uncooperative if pushed in a corner.
The Owl sign is associated with freshness, and opening to new insights, and quietly respectful dispositions. They are natural care givers and will offer considered wisdom to their friends and family. They remain calm in the midst of stormy weather. You want to have an Owl with you if you find yourself in a crisis; they are resourceful and stay cool under pressure. The Owl bloodline also has a high sense of responsibility and moral integrity. They seek balance in their lives by being leaders at work on in the community.
The Badger is vastly flexible and resourceful. This is the clan you want managing your finances or handling your legal matters because they are infinitely clever – if there’s a loophole, they’ve either found it or invented it. They also have amazing memory retention. They are sometimes hard to follow because their minds are so sharp. Badgers are astoundingly versatile and adapt remarkably well in any environment. They are also considered loveable, and they love being adored, and easily reciprocate affection.
== Labor Caste Clans ==
Exuberant, expansive and powerful, the Horse clan will give you a run for your money. Naturally competitive, and rightfully so. The Horse has loads of talent, and enough confidence to go ‘round. They have a sixth sense when it comes to strategy and navigation. They are gregarious, and openly charming. They make grand appearances, and know how to carry themselves with style and authority. They do as helpers of any clan (as long as they are given adequate recognition for their talents and contributions). Potentially headstrong, they are also valiant in times of adversity.
Quick minded, and even quicker wit, the Cat packs a pounce in the realm of intellect. This sign has impeccable reasoning abilities, but moreover they have a knack for seeing the underside of things, a “sixth mental sense” if you will. They have unorthodox vision, and should be called upon when fresh new perspectives are needed. They also have a kind, humanitarian quality. Although sometimes they can appear aloof because they like to be on the fringe, always observing. Nevertheless, they have the best intentions at heart. Panthers are also very creative, and need an artistic outlet to express themselves.
Strong, stable, and sure are the watchwords for the Bears. They are the ones you turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on, honest opinions and solid advice. This bloodline has an inexorable intuition and can spot a liar from a mile away. Because they’re highly intuitive, they can be misunderstood as moody or over emotional. Bears are as trustworthy as the day is long, and know how to keep a secret.
Fish dive deep in their inner waters for inspiration, bright visions and dreamy perspective. They are naturally intuitive but they don’t make a big deal out of it. This clan has a unique view of the world which makes them some of the nation’s best artists, poets and visionaries. Sometimes they may dive too deep for the rest of us, and some just can’t follow where they swim. But that’s okay, as Fish need that kind of depth, isolation and introspection because when they come back up for air, the world is awed by their brilliance and insight.
Spiritually evolved, and eloquent in expressing themselves, the Swan swims in a class of their own. They have high standards and a keen eye for beauty (even when others cannot see it). Very refined, sometimes the swan is mistaken as detached. This however, is not the case. The swan is a lover, and can prove to be quite passionate in relationships. They can be exacting in details, and have specific ideas about how things should be done. If you want someone who is perceptive, organized and extremely tasteful, get a Swan’s perspective.
Sometimes also referred to as Butterfly due to their habit of flitting from friend to friend in parties, and are always in contact with loved ones. They can not help it, Moths are gentle souls who can’t be tied down for very long. They love to dream, express new ideas and discuss grand plans with all their friends. These are the people who brighten up any dark day with their cheer and magnetically bright personalities. They are naturally empathetic, make easy friends, and like to see others uplifted. Moths bring a sense of wonder and youth to the world. Keep these people around you to remind you of how truly good life can be.
== Banished Clan ==