The fourteen noble kandar clans all trace their ancestry back to the second empire, and most claim to date from the first. The ultimate origin of the most clans is lost in the times where history fades into legend, but popular belief is that each clan is made up of descendants of the ‘Council of Fourteen’ in the court of Kalan XI, founder of the Second Empire.
Members of the clans still form the kandar ruling class. Although their power is slowly waning as the guilds become more meritocratic, the clans still wield a lot of power and influence. Most clans have power bases in specific cities, although there are others whose members are scattered all over Kalyr.
The Fourteen Clans
This southern clan has grown considerably in power and influence in recent years. There is a long-standing enmity between them and the Cenah clan, which has resulted in more than one assassination in both clans. The Clan head is Sarkan Renayra Alkaravaz of Lugzan, and clan also includes Tharn Kazil of Morkan and Tharn Alkendala of Turnuiys.
Once the imperial clan, the Alkurvils are now much reduced in power. For two hundred years, from the crowning of Ruthandar II to the death of Azthol II, they ruled the Third Empire. They almost destroyed themselves in the bitter struggle for succession after Azthol’s death, only to be outmanoeuvred by the Ardreyrs. Predictably many Alkurvils long to regain past glories, and there is some enmity between them and the Ardreyrs. Clan Head is Sarkan Enara Alkurvil of Vilde
Their status as the Imperial clan of Vohrleyn makes them most powerful clan in Kalyr. The Ardreyrs have ruled since the notorious Luzathe took power in the year 2371. They hold many (but by no means all) political positions in the southern empire. The clan head is natually the Vulan himself, Kadheyn Ardreyr
Long an influential and powerful clan, the Blerynthars have held their power base of Keylin since the days of Thukendar at the beginning of the third empire. This clan has experienced turbulent times in recent years, and has seen a number of senior figures assassinated. Other members of the clan are the prime suspects. Clan head is Sarkan Ulgoth of Keylin
Carvun has always been a power in the south, counting Tharn Neyrath of Mite as well as the Tharn of Valgar among their ranks in addition to the clan head, Tharn Zilmoran of Valgar
The Cenah clan has lost some influence in recent years, and some believe their representation at the Sarkanthan is at risk. The long-standing feud between them and the Alkaravaz clan has cost them dear. Clan head is Sarkan Rukarlan of Kesar
Although their traditional power base has always been in the north, the majority of the clan actually reside in the south these days. In recent years they have acquired a reputation as “honest brokers” in disputes between southern clans. Clan head Alkasdol, Sarkan of Ravenah is the ultimate diplomat. They retain a foothold of power in the south as well, through Tharn Alvarne of Goraz.
Tasaan is the brutal clan of the feared and hated ruler of the Konaic empire, Sarkan Vorsath. All significant political and military positions in the empire are held by clan members, most of them related in some way to Vorsath himself. Outside the empire, clan members are often shunned and don’t get invited to any of the best parties.
This clan has been associated with the frozen island of Kelbers for longer than anyone can remember. They tend be independent-minded and aloof from kandar politics. Wherever a Thanlyn might be found, he or she always regards Kelbers as their spiritual home, despite the fact than many of them never set foot on the island during their lives. Current clan leader is Tharn Vandeyr of Kelbers
Clan Tyr is very much a house divided. The very public murder of Tharn Ralkendol of Calbeyn by his son Lendor predictably sent shockwaves though the whole clan. There are still many who insist on his innocence. They are also deeply divided between those who take a more progressive line with respect to humans, and those who hold more conservative views. The current clan head is Ralkendol’s daughter Lenata, Tharn of Calbeyn.
One of the three ancient Konaic clans, the Vethils have fallen upon hard times since Vorsath of the Tasaan clan came to power in Karmork. Hereditary enemies of the Tasaans, the clan have suffered badly from purges, with many senior figures murdered or exiled. For centuries the clan held the Tharnship of Selnin, which ended with the brutal murder of the then clan head, Zalann. The current clan head, Zurguar of Selnin, now lives in exile in Vohrleyn
The Vlarangyr clan has never been one of the most powerful politically, but in recent years has become one of the wealthiest. It is said there wherever there is money to be made, Vlarangyr are to be found. Although the clan seat is the relatively minor southern city of Elbeyn, where Gulim Vlarnagyr is Tharn, there are a great number of Vlarangyr in the north, especially Narylar.
Another of the Konaic clans, the Yuthaan have fared slightly better than the Vethils, but not by much. They are largely denied political power in the Konaic Empire, but at least most of them are still alive. They have suffered from some murders, including the death of the previous clan head, Karluyn. Clan head is Gomluyr of Karmork, who still resides within the Konaic empire, although he has little political power outside his own clan.
Zadaz is traditionally a northern clan, although clan members are spread throughout kandar lands nowadays. They have only become the dominant clan in Zetatan comparatively recently. They were once the ruling clan of Filgeth, a city where they still wield significant influence. Clan head Tharn Kulbeyn of Zenatan is slowly dying, and again much interest surrounds his possible succession.
Zalyn is the most powerful of the northern clans, and members of the clan have ruled Filgeth for most of the past two thousand years. They have a reputation for extreme conservatism, which is at least partly justified, although one should not tar the all with the same brush. With the elderly clan head Sarkan Vosil expected to die within a few years, the is a great interest in who succeeds him.
Clan knights are the descendants of ancient kandar warrior orders. In ancient times they formed the primary armed forces of the kandar. Since the formation of the legions back in the days of the Second Empire, they’ve been more or less supplanted in that role, and have had to find themselves a new function.
Knights today are the armed wing of the nobility. In a way their role mirrors that of the security arms of the guilds. Knights can be found as bodyguards to high-ranking nobles, sentries for noble palaces and citadels, and patrolling the streets of the noble quarters of cities. In times of war, knights will still go into battle, fighting alongside the legions. Few knights are prepared to take orders from a freeman legionnaire, so they tend to have their own parallel command structures, something that doesn’t always help coordination on the battlefield.
Knights are trained first and foremost in single combat against worthy opponents. The one true weapon for any knight is the narvork sword, although a great many train in a variety of secondary weapons.
Clan Knights don’t have much in the way of a formal command hierarchy, and there are no ranks as such, although whenever a number of knights are engaged on the same mission, one of their number, usually but not always the oldest, will be put in charge.