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ATRUAGHIN CLANS (Territories of)

Location: Along southern shore, west of Darokin and the Five Shires. OW

Area: 46,380 sq. mi. (120,124 sq. km.), including 19,172 sq. mi. (49,656 sq. km.) on the plateau itself.

Population: 224,400. On the plateau: Bear Clan: 44,200; Elk Clan: 29,000; Horse Clan: 69,500. In the lowlands: Tiger Clan: 57,000; Turtle Clan: 24,700.

Languages: Atruaghin, although each clan has its own dialect.

Coinage: Coinage is uncommon, as most use barter for goods. The few coins that do exist are called cloud (5 sp) and land (cp).

Taxes: None.

Government Type: Numerous independent tribes, each lead by a chief and/or shaman, loosely collected into larger clans.

Industries: Trapping, fur production, leather production (especially Horse and Turtle Clans), pottery and woven goods (Bear Clan), woodworking (Turtle Clan). The Tiger Clan is known for its raids into Darokin.

Important Figures: Powakuan Sleeps-With-Open Eyes (Bear Clan Chief), Tulabal Shadowfall (Elk Clan Chief), Hovar Duck Watcher (Elk Clan Shaman), Eleya Moonstalker (Horse Clan Chieftainess), Naravipa Dagger Tooth (Tiger Clan King), Eelsha Spider's Kiss (Tiger Clan Cleric), Talinguk Rolls-His-Canoe (Turtle Clan Chief).

Flora and Fauna: Horses, buffaloes, birds of prey and many types of snakes can be found atop the large plateau. Down in the jungle below, great cats are often encountered, as are other typical jungle beasts. There is even rumour of a huge green dragon making its lair somewhere in the region.

Further Reading: GAZ 14 The Atruaghin Clans, previous almanacs.

Description by Ryuk-uk Tshaa.

The so-called Tiger Clan is at once the most technologically advanced and yet most antisocial of all the peoples of the Atruaghin region. They actually constitute a kingdom of semi-autonomous city-states with a very strict and powerful clergy influencing their day-to-day activities. It is largely due to their insular nature that they haven't spread further across the face of the Old World, nor taken up the technologies of their neighbours, a fact that should cause outsiders some measure of relief.

The Land

The forests of the Children of the Tiger are almost jungle-like in their appearance. Endless tracts of enormous deciduous trees loom over a jagged, broken landscape, their thick canopies blocking all but the slightest traces of sunlight. The result is that smaller trees and plants aren't able to compete, and thus little vegetation exists at the ground level. Mosses, lichens, and ferns constitute the majority of the ground flora.

Still, life thrives in these woods. Numerous streams and ponds can be found in the forest, and the strange meteorological conditions caused by the presence of the plateau ensure that rain is abundant here. Animals of all sorts make their homes in the woods-monkeys, bats, birds-and of course, the tigers for which the peoples of the region get their name.

The People

The Children of the Tiger live different lives than most of their neighbours around the Atruaghin Plateau. They are perhaps most similar to the Children of the Bear atop the plateau, in that they live in cities and have a very defined social structure. Their cities are built amongst the surrounding woodlands, beneath the forest canopy, so that they are nearly invisible from above. The only structures that stand above the treetops are the central pyramids that house the city's clergy.

The clergy is one of two major social structures of the children of the Tiger, the other being the nobility. The nobility arose from the concept of the tribal chieftain, in which a great warrior would be chosen as leader of the tribe in times of war (a concept still evident among many Atruaghin peoples, such as the Children of the Turtle). Over the centuries, this title became hereditary amongst the Children of the Tiger, in ways similar to that typified by other Old World nations. The noble families of the Children of the Tiger are mighty warrior families, and are descended from the same.

This dichotomy of clergy and noble warrior has led to many conflicts over the history of the Children of the Tiger. It is typified by the division of loyalty between the two patron Immortals of the Children of the Tiger-Atzanteotl, their primary patron and sole object of the clergy's attentions; and Danel Tigerstripes, a legendary hero of the Children of the Tiger, whom is honoured by most of the common people, particularly the warriors of the clan.

Recent History

The Children of the Tiger were dealt a harsh defeat by their enemies last year. First, combined military efforts of the goblinoids of the Great Migration and Atruaghin peoples (both from atop the plateau and in the surrounding lowlands) caused the children severe setbacks, nearly devastating two of their westernmost cities. Then, following the retreat of the Great Migration, the Atruaghin forces were joined by military from Darokin-primarily mercenaries and the personal forces of the Borderland region of Tenobar, which has long suffered from Tiger Clan attacks.

The combination of military pressures evidently was a catalyst for religious discord that had long been brewing amongst the Tiger Clan. Civil unrest was the result, as warring religious factions gave voice to their sentiments. The Darokin and Atruaghin forces were thus able to deal severe setbacks to the Tiger Clan. Several treaties have been signed between the Tiger Clan and their outside neighbours, and the peoples of the Tiger Clan kingdom have been attempting to resolve their internal difficulties, which has reportedly ended in violence on more than one occasion.

The hope among their neighbouring states is that the Tiger Clan will resolve their difficulties and move towards a less antagonistic, more cooperative relationship with others. Whether this will happen or not is as yet unknown.