Friday Lore Post: Sorcerer Clans

Like witches, sorcerers are organized into family units called clans. Sorcery is a hereditary trait that is passed down in families, though once or twice in a generation a sorcerer will pop up somewhere without being attached to a clan. The usual explanation for this is that they probably had sorcerous relatives at some point in their history and that the talent had simply been latent in the family for a long time, but this is only speculation. In any case, all or nearly all sorcerers live in clans.

Clans tend to be somewhat isolated from the rest of the world; sorcerers preferring to live among their own kind rather than interacting too much with he outside world. Therefore, unlike witches, wizards and mages, sorcerers don’t tend to involve themselves in the world’s affairs unless absolutely pressed. Even in regions where they have large numbers, they often end up being reclusive and isolationist. Sorcerers often marry each other, forming bonds across clans, or even within their own clans—a clan might be very large and its members therefore only very distantly related, so two members of the same clan marrying if they are fifth or sixth cousins is not seen as a taboo act. It is rare, but sorcerers do marry outside their clans, of course.

Clans of sorcerers can often have several hundred members, and often less than half at most of the clan’s members will be actual sorcerers. Non-sorcerers continue to be counted as members of the clan even if they are not born with magic, and receive all the protections and benefits of the clan unless they choose to leave formally, which of course does happen. Non-sorcerous members of sorcerer clans are statistically just as likely to develop an aptitude for wizardry or magecraft as the regular population, and when this happens, they are taken to the academy like anyone else.

There are not major distinctions between clans in terms of practice that non-sorcerers would understand. The major differences one sees are in methods of using the Forces, techniques for drawing and controlling power, and that sort of thing. Unlike witches, where each clan specializes in a different type of magic, sorcerers don’t tend to have such specializations, mostly because sorcery isn’t as subtle and complex as witchcraft, and also because sorcerers’ powers aren’t as tied to their locations as witches’ are, making regional variation less ingrained. Sorcerers also, by and large, cooperate a lot. Though there are certain things that clans are jealous over, it would be very rare indeed for one clan to develop a spell for say, curing a dangerous disease, and then not share it with others. There are some distinctions—clans in the north of Dolovai tend to excel at summoning magic and have done a great deal more research into it, for example, and clans nearer the west coast are generally consulted in matters pertaining to transportation, portals and the like.

Menechit has nine clans of sorcerers, totalling a little over five thousand members all together, with only about two thousand of those actually being sorcerers. Clans Heyjan and Nyumer live in the northeast of Dolovai, and Clans Wizche, Hylem and Vickn are spread through the central portion, with Hylem and Vickn also claiming parts of northern Kyaine as their territory. Clans Gjoil and Qeppen live on the northern and southern ends of the west coast, respectively. Clan Betchek resides in southwestern Kyaine, and Clan Cween in the east. Most people have no idea that these clans even exist, much less that they are spread out across the whole of Menechit.

There are also four clans in Yavhore: Clans Rajjar, Aandat, Mezzmer, and Nouvir. These are in less frequent contact with clans on Menechit, but that contact does exist. There are also over a dozen clans in Aergyre and at least eight in Enjon, as well as fourteen in Djyekkan, though they don’t tend to live in recognizable clan structures in either of the latter two locations.

Northeastern Dolovai also used to be home to Clan Netzer, centred in the city of Teown’s Sound. This clan no longer exists except in a few survivors, after Solomon of Clan Netzer seized the sorcerer’s leystone, normally passed between clans every two years, and slaughtered his whole clan one night twenty years ago. The very few survivors, all non-sorcerers, were accepted into other clans, and Solomon and his only child were the only two sorcerers to survive the attack, vanishing into the ether. Clan Netzer still exists in the form of Solomon’s son Samson, who currently rules as king in Ech’kent, and his daughter Sylvia, who is currently under the protection of the mages’ academy as she helps them plot to dethrone her brother before he can destroy the world. Their brother Saul is also under the academy’s protection, and their sister Sarah’s whereabouts are unknown.

The other clans of sorcerers are reluctant to do anything about the remnants of Clan Netzer. First of all, they don’t want to be responsible for the total destruction of a clan. Second, knowing that one sorcerer killed as many others as he did makes them nervous about the damage that could be done to their clans. Finally, Clan Netzer is known to have contracts with a number of powerful demons, and nobody is certain how many of those contracts still stand. The one major, obvious difference that separates sorcerer clans—arguably the reason why clan distinctions even exist—is in which beings they’ve made contracts with. A demon cannot make a contract with more than one clan of sorcerers at a time for reasons unknown, so there is no way to lure the demons presumed to be protecting Clan Netzer away. Furthermore, there is a serous concern that destroying the clan outright would mean that any demons they do have contracts with would be free to roam the earth and do as they pleased, which would be very dangerous. Because Clan Netzer’s remnants were not easy to find and were not causing serious trouble, the other clans have elected to leave them be until a proper plan to retrieve the stone can be conceived. Given Sylvia’s reemergence, the clans are more willing now to take action, presuming she proves trustworthy.

The sorcerer clans’ policy of non-interference with non-sorcerous affairs has proven steadfast for centuries and doesn’t seem likely to change. Attempts are being made to draw them out of their isolation, but time will tell if that will bear any fruit or if they’ll just return to their clans and wait out the current crises as soon as they can.

From “The Definitive Atlas of the World, Vol. 3: Institutions and Organizations,” by Pascal Tiberius Naoton Quimbell Haeverine anNatalie, published in White Cape in DN 1997.

2 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: Sorcerer Clans

  1. Teown’s Sound, huh…I assume that the synod being held at the former home of a genocided sorcerer clan is somehow Significant.


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