Empire of the Hyena – The Clans

The original Gnolls that inhabited the world were organised into four great clans by their ancient hero Zakkir the Bloody-Handed, since those days and the incorporation of orcs and other races into the Empire, the clans have become societies. Although it is possible to be born into a clan and display their characteristics, it is also possible to be adopted into or banished from a clan.

Although a number of Lesser Clans have been founded since, the three Great Clans–or Royal Clans as they are sometimes known–are the most powerful in the land.

Choosing a Clan

Membership in a clan gives you an additional skill proficiency in an area associated with the clan’s interests. Each clan also has a favoured weapon, members of the clan automatically gain proficiency in that weapon and begin play with one of the weapons in their possession.

The Great Clans

Blood Clan

Clan leader: Hikari (Fighter)
Families: Moriai, Manaka, Hoshino.
Clan skill proficiency: Intimidation.
Clan weapon proficiency: Nodachi (Great Sword).

The Blood Clan are an ancient clan of proud warriors, they are quick to anger when their honour is questioned but also quick to forgive. Dedicated protectors of their clan lands the Blood Clan has a reputation as blood drinkers, it is rumoured that the clan engages in unhealthy blood rituals that border on heretical, however nothing has ever been proven. The Blood Clan counts a number of Half-Orcs amongst it’s membership.

Sand Clan

Clan leader: Taree (Ranger)
Families: Watanuki, Horie, Okamuru.
Clan skill proficiency: Survival.
Clan weapon proficiency: Bo (Quarterstaff).

The Sand Clan believe that the troubles of everyday life often distract from contemplation of the Heavenly Virtues, as a result they have taken influence from their Firbolg and Goliath members, adopting a more nomadic lifestyle emphasising closeness with the wilderness.

Fist Clan

Clan leader: Arisu (Monk)
Families: Chikae, Aoi, Uematsu.
Clan skill proficiency: History.
Clan weapon proficiency: Daikyu (Longbow).

The Fist Clan traditionally have a high proportion of Gnoll members who are significantly larger than most members of the species, this is due to controlled breeding amongst their families creating a distinct species known as Flinds. The Fist Clan is organised along strict lines, with Flinds being the warriors and workers and Gnolls being the priests and noble rulers of the clan.

The Fist Clan are obsessed with keeping their bloodlines pure.

The Lesser/Minor Clans

There are a number of different reasons why the Lesser Clans came into existence, most of them are descended from one of the three Royal Houses and maintain cordial relations with their parent Clan. Some Minor Clans remain reasonable close to the ethics of their forebears whilst others different more radically.

Minor Clans descended from the Blood Clan

Clan Sanguine

Clan leader: Rinako (Monk)
Families: Chiba, Ogawa, Ban.
Clan skill proficiency: Survival.
Clan weapon proficiency: Nunchaku (Flail).

In order to quell the blood-thirst of their parent clan the Sanguine Clan have adopted lives of contemplation and renewed dedication to the Heavenly Virtues, but they can suddenly snap into lightning quick action.

Clan Flame

Clan leader: Katsuko (Barbarian)
Families: Kodama, Hiruchi, Kono.
Clan skill proficiency: Athletics.
Clan weapon proficiency: Masakari (Battleaxe).

Unlike their brothers and sisters of the Sanguine Clan, the Flame Clan have embraced their bloodthirsty love of combat throwing themselves into violence with the furore of berserkers. This has lead to several incidents where they have killed peasants in pursuit of an enemy of the Empire, although no action has been taken against the clan as a whole, rumours persist that they may soon be censured by the Empress.

If you are playing a member of the Flame Clan then you may choose the barbarian class.

Minor Clans descended from the Sand Clan

Clan Scorpion

Clan leader: Akina (Fighter)
Families: Yanagida, Obara, Shiro.
Clan skill proficiency: Athletics.
Clan weapon proficiency: Wakizashi (Scimitar).

Although loyal to their parent clan, the founder of Clan Scorpion believed that–whilst contemplation of the Heavenly Virtues was a worthwhile goal–it meant nothing if it wasn’t backed up with action. Clan Scorpion are far more proactive than their parent clan, although the two have cordial relations, in-fact the Sand Clan often call on their Scorpion cousins when they require additional warriors.

Clan Mirage

Clan leader: Unknown (Rogue)
Families: Tokunaga, Ejira, Ito.
Clan skill proficiency: Deception.
Clan weapon proficiency: Shuriken (Dart).

From her contemplation of the shifting sands, the founder of Clan Mirage released that the true danger of the desert lay not in the heat or the lack of water, but in the tricks that it could play on the senses. Clan Mirage is composed mostly of Rogues and Bards with a few Fighters to round out their number, although careful not to disobey the letter of the Heavenly Virtue code the clan thinks nothing of using trickery or manipulation to accomplish their goals.

Minor Clans descended from the Fist Clan

Clan Iron

Clan leader: Shizu (Cleric)
Families: Tashiro, Okada, Morine.
Clan skill proficiency: Religion.
Clan weapon proficiency: Katana (Longsword).

Secure in their belief that both they and their related clans embody the perfect mixture of bloodlines, Clan Iron do not brag about this achievement (since doing so would be dishonourable) but rather seek to embody the heroism of their bloodline. Clan Iron includes some of the most dedicated Clerics and Fighters in the Fang Empire, seeking to act as intermediaries between the real world and the spirit world, preserving the balance of the Empire.

Clan of Letters

Clan leader: Rena (Bard)
Families: Tsujihara, Taketa, Nagano.
Clan skill proficiency: Insight.
Clan weapon proficiency: Katana (Longsword).

The Scribes (as they are also known) were a Minor Clan deliberately created by their parent clan, they were given the important responsibility for maintaining the extensive records of clan bloodlines and genealogy. Mostly made up of Bards and Mystics the clan take their responsibilities extremely seriously.

The Outcast/Traitor Clan

Clan Saltscowl

Clan leader: Zadrath(Warlock)
Families: Unknown
Clan skill proficiency: Arcana
Clan weapon proficiency: Magariyari (Trident)

Out of the four original Clans, one is reviled above all others, the Saltscowl Clan dabbled in forbidden necromancy, abandoning honour in their lust for power. They even went so far as to commit the ultimate atrocity and rise the previously honourable warlord Zakkir into a hollow mockery of unlife.

Clan Saltscowl are not available as a choice for player characters, although Clan Death are (see entry below).

The Oddities

Although most clans fit within the established hierarchy, there are a few whose origins are a little more strange.

Clan Death

Clan leader: Megumi (Druid)
Families: Masumi, Niikura, Ogami.
Clan skill proficiency: Nature.
Clan weapon proficiency: Bo (Quarterstaff).

Something of an oddity, Clan Death are a Minor Clan that split from their parent (Clan Saltscowl) in disgust when their parent clan began attempting to raise Zakkir from the dead. Throwing themselves on the mercy of the then Empress, they were spared execution in return for providing much needed intelligence on the Saltscowl Clan. They now occupy the official status of a Minor Clan, although they are looked on with some suspicion.

However the clan is sincere in their desire to remain part of the Fang Empire and have dedicated themselves to becoming one with the natural world, counting many Druids and Rangers amongst their number.