"Clansmen" is a blanket term to encompass the persecuted humans living in the wilds of Paravia. With the creation of the Compact, clansmen were given the responsibility of bridging between mankind and Paravians, because they were better equipped than their townborn counterparts to survive the job. Rule is based not on power or privilege, but on the peril of sacrifice, as lords and High Kings often died young while interacting with the Paravians. Following the rebellion, misunderstanding and unrest led to their persecution and migration into the free wilds. This misunderstanding is still fueled by some factions of townsfolk, who mistook past rule for repression.
Each lineage in a clan has an Elder -- appointed by consensus, or claimed by right of aware power. The clan chieftain and the elders form a council which takes responsibility for decisions that affect the clan at a human level (not based upon Paravian Law). The council handles such matters by vote or unanimous consensus, depending on the gravity of the issue. In the case of royal families, High Kings and crown successors are chosen by the Fellowship.
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Peril's Gate.|
In the first years of the Compact, clansmen were selected from humans with latent talent by the Paravians. They maintained a covenant with the Fellowship to keep their marriages pure, although no punishments occurred when outcrosses with townsfolk occurred. Female partbreeds who grew up in towns often joined the Koriathain, while males sometimes returned to the clans for reacceptance. Such outcrosses led to the spread of mage talent in latent proportions across Athera.
Clansmen and partbreeds were both give the same rite of passage for acceptance: the direct exposure to living Paravians. Clansmen received indigo tattoos on their forehead for passing these tests (three in total, one for each Paravian race). Many went mad from the exposure or wasted away into death. Some took refuge with Ath's Adepts although as a rule, those clan lines ultimately died off. Those that chose not to be tested had their charge to interact with the free wilds revoked.
Different lineages were selected for different purposes. Old blood lineages with a propensity for Sight assumed the role of land rule -- the protection and preservation of the free wilds. Those with adamant character traits were chosen to govern human affairs in town-based locations without Paravian focus circles. Checks and balances within the charter system were designed to protect the Compact from the degradation of private concerns or personal ambition.
The clanborn took Paravian names, having become fluent in the language through their dealings with the Paravians. Family delineation was shown with the prefix s', and was usually only applied to families of proven lineage.
An example of a clan-style name is Jieret s'Valerient.
- In Curse of the Mistwraith, Grithen mentions a lack of "clan identification" as one of the reasons he believes Arithon to be one of the townsfolk.
- Clansmen never use written communication, since parchment can fall into enemy hands, should the messenger be captured.
- Clansmen lace white-and-black hide into their clan braids when mourning the death of blood cousins.
- The son of a duchess can be recognized by four stranded knots in his braid.
- When a clan courier is challenged at an encampment, drawn bows remain targeted on the clansman until a cousin can affirm their identity.
- Clansmen seal a bargain by placing a closed fist to their foreheads.