The Game of Houses
The High Clan Ilin (mixed men with some elven blood)
Even before the wars, there were instances of Changeling children appearing in the noble caste houses of the middle kingdoms. After the SoK, some of these people would have been in the forces who moved to Eru Travar to face Iuz. Their sisters were married, sometimes to Perrenlanders and sometimes to other changelings or Baklunish cavalrymen. Some of these became leaders of Celebrinoth ‘wide patrols’.
Towards the closing years of the Iuz campaigns, in the decades leading up to the Dagor Rhassë, these clans would allow (encourage) their daughters to be comfort for their elven leaders. The children of these unions were taken back into their Clans where they were valued as marriageable to the other clans. This went someway to mitigate any ‘thinning of the blood’. Thus the blood of the Gwathlo, Gûl and Hiroth flows in the veins in most of the High Clan Ilin. Status and alliance were also cemented by inter marriage with the Perranic Houses.
The proto-ilin speak Baklunish through most of the Iuz campaigns, however Flanne is increasing adopted as a linga franca by the Celebrinoth (it belonged to neither of the former adversaries who now formed the army). By the time of the Dagor Tarsil most of the Celebrinoth speaks a heavily Perranised Flanne as their first language. Most of the Clans ensure that their children learn Baklunish and some maintain a tradition of learning other languages as well.
These clans are ancient (some are over 700 years old) and are vast and widely spread. Occasionally they may top two or three thousand members by birth and marriage. Given in the descriptions is an estimation of where they are strongest. One should expect to encounter a member of any of these clans anywhere in the empire.
The Yla originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2460
Clan Yla, although very small at the time, won widespread recognition for their performance campaigning in the Dulsi River Basin at the height of the wars with Iuz. By 2583 the number of Clan members is almost 300. With other retainers the Yla field over 800 ilin. Along with Clan Nhi, they calmly interpose themselves between the Nyrondal army and the encamped Celebrinoth. Yuggat Yla is venerated thereafter as the embodiment of the ilin spirit. Clan Yla ends the day with 5 family ilin still in the saddle.
The Clan recovered and latterly participated in the Gwathlo and Gûl led viking columns that struck into the Eastern Flanaess.
Their badge is an eagle’s wing or wings. Quite often the Yla will have decorative wings added to their helmets. The Yla maintain a tradition of learning both Baklunish and Sindarin. Many of the Clan now live in Furyondy and the surrounding nation-states, although their clan head is now in Tenh. They are known for maintaining serenity when all about them is chaos.
The Dre originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2460. As early as 2480 the Dre had abandoned the light lance in favour of equipping their entire force with bows. They became justifiably proud of their ability to hit moving targets at full gallop before such actions spread to the rest of the clans.
The Dre had their greatest hour at the Dagor Rhassë, facing overwhelming odds they fought hard, eventually grinding to a halt as their equine losses re-rolêd them from cavalry to infantry. Still they fought on. After the battle the survivors were swift to find replacement horses and become a usable asset once more. Their chief had them operational again the very next day, scouring the lands for survivors from both sides. Their badge was a sheaf of arrows.
The clan lent much of it’s strength to the Cama for their Teddin venture and then to the Emperor Burrucal II for his wars in Udas. Unhappily for them, the clan lost all the ilin it sent to both places. The remainder had to be content with the reflected glory and the platitudes of their masters. Another disaster for the Dre followed this and the unnatural cursed plagues of the Hurgilin slew the last full blood members of Clan Dre in 3010.
The Ckeao originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2460
The Ckeao joined the Viking Columns that raided into the Eastern Flanaess after the Battle of Chondal. Under the leadership of the Gûl, they struck north and engaged the Frunze raiders, enjoying great success as the Frunze were unprepared for the ilin tactics. The result of this was that if the Frunze managed to capture any of the Celebrinoth, they would roast them alive in their armour.
Even today, the Ckeao are not well disposed to the Frunze. They are famed as producing some of the finest horses in the empire on their estates in Jorassë. Very traditional, they retain the lifestyle of the Celebrinoth as far they can, more so than any others. Perhaps for this reason they are viewed as the most fickle of the High Clan Ilin, refusing invitations to grand social soirées and resisting becoming more dependant on their strongholds.
The Ckeao still prefer to speak Baklunish privately. Their emblem is a Jade stork, a symbol of good fortune in the middle kingdoms and on the northern steppes. The main strength of the Clan is in Jorrasë but they are well represented in Bissel and the southern parts of the Middle Kingdoms.
The Nhi originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2460. During the Iuz campaigns, some of their number have Quenya names. The Hisra branch of the Clan still learns Sindarin. Their badge is a wolf’s head, which may have connections to wolf nomad or Gwathlo ancestry.
The Nhi were exceptionally active at the Dagor Rhassë, being one of the few units to avoid entanglement in the melee and remain a manoeuvre asset throughout the battle, winning great acclaim for their tally of foes slain.
By 2583 the number of Clan members is over 300. With other retainers the Nhi field over 1000 ilin. Along with Clan Yla, they interpose themselves between the Nyrondal army and the encamped Celebrinoth. Clan Nhi ends the day with 17 family ilin still in the saddle.
The Nhi recovered from their losses and participated in the closing decades of the Nyrondal campaigns. They were chastised for being over zealous when sacking towns and were re-directed to fight the Frunze. There were tensions and detachments of Clan Nhi would turn up in unexpected places. After the fall of Rel Mord the Nhi seemed to once calm down and accept the authority of their leaders (Laru and the emperor). They performed well in the campaign against the Pomar, leading the army from Selene to the Dagor Rhassë
In 3099 the Nhi of Keoland the surrounding nation-states were ordered to leave by the emperor. They removed all their goods and chattels north of Uleck, mostly staying with other branches of their clan in other regions of the empire. The Nhi are strongest in the nation-states of the northern steppes and Tenh. In some places ‘Nhi’ is taken as being a by-word for stubbornness.
The Myya originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2480
Their symbol is a golden horse. Mûr Alu Myya, who was leading the Clan at the Dagor Rhassë, had a vision of a golden horse before the battle. During it’s opening phases he saw the horse of a fallen Furyondian nobleman, charging wildly about the field. The horse was itself a golden colour and wearing yellow livery. He galloped after it and uncovered hidden enemies whose ambushes were then foiled. The Myya believe the colour yellow or gold to be lucky.
In 3099 there were a series of hedge wars in Keoland and the surrounding nation-states. Clans Chya and Nhi came close to wiping out the Myya. Intercession by the Gefeothan Lords of the area saved Clan Myya. By imperial edict, the Nhi and Chya left the region. The Gefeothan, on behalf of the emperor, held their holdings for the Myya, until such time as the Myya are strong enough to take them over. 51 years later, the Myya are still waiting.
In 3150 the Myya still have less than 100 ilin and none of the lands held in trust have been opened to them. They are feeling aggrieved. The Myya are known for being passionate in all things.
The Chya originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2480
Their greatest moment came with the Viking Columns that struck into the Eastern Flanaess after the battle of Chondal. Riding under the leadership of the Càma, they were militarily successful and also accumulated a useful haul of plunder, some directly from the populace and also items recovered from Frunze raiders.
The Chya have some Djanne blood as well as their quasi Gwaithor and Sindalië ancestry. Always proud, they are seen as rash and impulsive, camping next to the Chya was not popular with the Celebrinoth as they were always at the centre of any brawl or argument. Conversely they were also known for the liveliest parties.
In 3099 the Chya of Keoland the surrounding nation-states were ordered to leave by the emperor. They removed all their goods and chattels north of Uleck, mostly staying with other branches of their clan in other regions of the empire. The Chya range from the shores of the Dramij Ocean in the west to the borders of Nyrond in the east.
The Ynr originated from the Settlement of Ket, their ancestor was one of Laru’s original Baklunish Changeling children. He was made Captain of one of the ‘wide patrols’ around 2480
Their names and (blue) boar’s head device were well known to their contemporaries in the PH. They had fought at Chondal (2483), covered the retreat to Veluna and fought in the Dagor Rhasse (2492) before moving south to fight in the Pomarj campaigns. The Ynr ilin died in their hundreds at the Dagor Tarsil in 2601. Their Chief, Mabber, lead a counter attack against a force of demons who appeared at the rear of the Gul lead holding force on Laru’s right flank. Mabber Ynr’s actions didn’t win the battle but did save a third of Laru’s army from a rear attack.
The survivors were feted and were gifted lands in Uleck. After the war they settled in that area, one of the Clan’s war heroes, Attik, married a Djanne lady. Clan Ynr held considerable lands in Eastern Bissell and were well represented in Geoff, Keoland and southern Veluna.
The Ynr were quick to spot an opportunity and many of their second sons immigrated to Udas, the first ilin going in 2888 and soon fully half the strength of the Clan was in Pinath in the service of the O’n’grasse. Those who remained in the Clan’s traditional range found their numbers depleted by wars much closer to the heart of the empire, with many of their number falling fighting Pynaim raiders coming through the middle kingdoms and as part of an army raised to resist Rovers entering Ard Rhasse. The second and third sons of other houses were quick to take up the mantles left by Ynr Lords. The Gefeohtan in particular took many of the old Ynr estates.
Their fortunes in Udas seemed secure however. The Ynr were the dominant ilin clan in Pinath and West Udas and had now large estates and a promising future. More of the Clan’s leaders gained Djanne and part elven brides. Even when the goblin invasion came the clan had it’s successes and it’s boar’s head banner was feared by the desert goblins as it had been by the orcs of the Pomarj nearly 400 years before. But the goblins were legion and in 2900 the King of Perrenland, Burrucal II, who was visiting his ilin, the Lords of Udas, was targeted by the Goblins and slain. With him perished a large part of the Clan Ynr’s ilin. Clan Ynr had been accorded the honour of providing the bulk of the emperor’s guard for the duration of his visit, as fitted their status as primus inter pares in Udas.
The new King of Perrenland, Angborn II, decided that an example had to be set. He had to impress upon the empire that allowing the emperor to be killed was not a good thing. So in 2902 he ordered all the remaining ilin of clan Ynr to be executed and forbade any of that clan from ascending to ilin-hood thereafter. The boar, their symbol for 500 years, was forbidden to be used by any high born clan. Their lands were seized by the emperor directly and re-distributed to his favourites.
The remaining bulk of the clan, the women and children were displaced and sundered in the maelstrom of the wars in Udas, in which the imperial presence was almost cast back into the sea. In the re-building many found themselves in the households of the new hedge lords of the principality. Doubtless some remained in isolated pockets.
As the news travelled before the order for the executions the Ynr Lyio released their ilin to their non-Ynr neighbours before dutifully submitting to the emperor’s justice. The Lords of Udas many have hidden some of the Ynr in monasteries and distant outposts. Other Ynr ilin may have simply abandoned their identity and joined the steady flow of hopefuls who are always heading to the fringes of the empire to make their names. Given the standing of the Ynr in Udas, if they had remained united and made a stand, even given their losses against the goblins, then there would either have been open rebellion in the empire of the principality may even have split from the rule of Veluna.
The Ereval originated from a Leodhata Captain marrying the daughters of the Chief of the Ckaeo and Chief of the Dre. Their sons also made good matches and by 2490, Clan Ereval formed up in Northern Veluna as a separate entity within the Celebrinoth. Their badge was three interlocking horse heads.
The Ereval were part of the Beän led Viking Column that eventually managed to box much of the Nyrondal army into Rel Mord. The clan took heavy (50%) losses during this phase of the campaign.
The last Clan Ereval ilin died Uleck in combat with orcs of the Pomar in 2679. The last full blood member of the Clan, by now an old woman, passed away in Jorassë in 2706.
Clan Irien emerged when an ilin named Polm (daughter of another ilin and one of the Gwaithor) married a son of the Yla (whose grandfather had been Sindalië). Their sons also made good matches and by 2490, Clan Irien formed up in Northern Veluna as a separate entity within the Celebrinoth.
Clan Irien formed the backbone of the Viking column led by the Gwathlo that swept into the eastern Flanaess after the Battle of Chondal. They won great renown therein and remained part of the Gwathlo retinue until the Dagor Tarsil. After this they bargained their way into peaceful lands in the middle kingdoms. The Clan retained Baklunish as it’s first tongue.
Alas, after several attempted invasions by the Baklunish kingdoms of the Pynaims, there were a series of hedge wars and only fifteen years ago, Clan Irien quit the Flanaess wholesale. Seriously depleted by the hedgewars, half of the clan went to Teddin and half to Udas. The clan is re-learning Perranic Flanne on a wholesale basis. Kuvan, the head of the Clan, now resides in West Rythym. Their badge is a swooping hawk.
Mua Goulèd was a leader of a ‘wide patrol’ in the Gûl led viking column in the Eastern Flanaess. He was an able leader but fell out with his Gûl masters and left the campaign at it’s height, travelling the length of the hegemony to join the ‘third army’ in Bissel.
By 2870 the descendants of Mua Goulèd achieved enough mass to deploy as a Clan. They campaigned extensively in Uleck and settled there in number. Many of them joined the Teddin adventure, hoping to gain a seat on the imperial council for themselves. That did not happen and they again clashed with the Gûl this time over land rights. The Emperor Angborn II ruled in favour of the Gûl and the Goulèd considered them selves wronged thereby.
Ironically they have flourished across the rest of Teddin whilst the lands denied them provide comparatively poor yields. They carry an amount of Frunze ancestry from the campaigns in the Eastern Flanaess. They speak Perranic Flanne almost exclusively. Their badge is a white hart, possibly derived from the reindeer that sustained the Celebrinoth in their fighting against the Frunze.
The Traveyen originated in Udas. They were drawn from the Frunze descended adventurers who followed their Quasi Djanne masters to a new land in search of fame and fortune. Traveyen is a Perranic attempt at a Djanne sounding name. In 2890 one of these individual ilin married a daughter of the Nhi, her sister was the founding mother of the Sukarno. During the long siege of the city-port of Udas, they consolidated their position and manoeuvred into a position of strength. By the time the empire broke out and re-established it’s territories, they were one of the leading Clans of Udas, going some way to filling the void left by the Ynr.
Their symbol is the lion, a mythological creature of Udas resembling a manticore, but being noble beast, rather than an evil monster. They have a reputation for steadiness in battle, a by-product of their long campaigning history in the northern deserts. Another trait they publicly flaunt is their generosity, there is no false modesty in Udas. They speak Perranic Flanne almost exclusively.
The Sukarno originated in Udas. They were drawn from the Frunze descended adventurers who followed their Quasi Djanne masters to a new land in search of fame and fortune. Sukarno is a Perranic attempt at a Djanne sounding name. In 2890 one of these individual ilin married a daughter of the Nhi, whose sister was the founding mother of the Traveyen. They have consolidated their position since the empire re-established it’s territories, they are now one of the leading Clans of Udas, although disquieted by the popularity of life in the order of Lammasu amongst the Clan’s daughters.
Members of the Clan speak both Perranic Flanne and Frunze and will use words from both in the same breath. The have been known to ride their horses to exhaustion on occasion, something the ilin Clans of the Flanaess would never consider, although they live in a much more forgiving environment. The Sukarno are also known for being rash and impulsive on occasion. They see themselves as swashbuckling romantics. Their symbol is the elephant, an immensely strong and large animal that lives in across much of Udas. The apparent clash between their chosen symbol and daring self-image does not bother them.
Larnay Nabrish was the son of a Càma ilin and a Mura woman. He rose to be the leading general of the armies of Teddin in their fight against the Hurgilin. In 2950, Benès Lomin, Lord of Diaton, declared that the house of Larnay Nabrish was now an ilin High Clan. This was an unusual event, it had never happened before, Clans simply ascended or were very old. But the lack of form went unnoticed amidst the fog of war.
Clan Nabrish have come to be viewed as the pre-eminent Clan in Teddin. They speak both Perranic Flanne and Muri with equal facility, those closest to the seat of the Clan still learn Sindarin, a fact that allows Benès to keep Sindarin as the language of his court. Their symbol is the Leopard, a creature from Mura mythology that hunts in the jungle.
There are other groupings that are recognised locally as ilin clans. These could vary from one extended family to perhaps a considerable force in one area. (ie There are five of varying sizes in Teddin.) However even though they may be pre-eminent locally, they confine themselves to one or two nation-states and could not be considered ‘pan-imperial’ like those mentioned above. It is obvious that fortunes rise and fall and so watching the ‘great game’ between the houses is never going to be boring.