Atruaghin Clans (Territories of)
Location: Along southern shore, west of Darokin and the Five
Area: 46,380 sq. mi. (104,355 sq. km.), with 19,172 sq. mi.
(43,137 sq. km.) on the plateau itself.
Population: 230,000 humans. (On the plateau: Bear Clan:
45,000; Elk Clan: 30,000; Horse Clan: 70,000. In the lowlands:
Tiger Clan: 60,000; Turtle Clan: 25,000. )
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
Government Type: Numerous independent tribes, each led 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, human, male, F10), Tulabal Shadowfall (Elk Clan Chief,
human, female, F4/T13), Hovar Duck Watcher (Elk Clan shaman,
human, male, Pr14 of Atruaghin), Eyela Moonstalker (Horse Clan
chieftainess, human, female, F10), Naravipa Dagger Tooth (Tiger
Clan chief, human, male, F17), Eelsha Spider's Kiss (Tiger Clan
cleric, human, female, Pr10 of Atzanteotl), Talinguk Rolls-His-
Canoe (Turtle Clan chief, human, male, T13).
Flora and Fauna: Horses, buffalo, 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 rumor of a huge green
dragon lairing somewhere in the region.
Further Reading: GAZ 14 - The Atruaghin Clans, AC1010 - Poor
Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, and
Description: by Ryuk-uk Tshaa
It is with grave misgivings that I submit to you this
chronicle of the way of life of the Atruaghin peoples. The study
of human cultures, tribal though they may be, is not my field of
scholarly interest. Even were it so, I fear that to attempt to
condense the cultures of an entire people, particularly one so
wonderfully diverse as those of the Atruaghin clans, into a few
paragraphs, is a tragedy.
For a more comprehensive treatment of these folk, however, I
refer you to the writings of my colleague, Hoo-ti Ruk, who has
done extensive ethnographies of the Atruaghin people. [Attempts
to contact the above mentioned Hsiao were unsuccessful. He was
last seen mounting an expedition to Davania in 1013 AC. Ed.].
The predominant feature among the lands of the Atruaghin
people is the great Atruaghin plateau. An immense natural
wonder, rivaled in stature only by the Adri Varma plateau to the
northwest of Glantri. Such is the majesty of this plateau that
the Children claim Atruaghin himself raised the plateau in
ancient times, using his powerful magics.
It is atop this plateau that the majority of the Atruaghin
peoples live. To the northwest, where the plateau dips
downwards, live the peoples of the Horse clan, on a combination
of grassy plains and soil rich lake regions. To their east live
the Bear clan, in large pueblo cities built in the side of the
plateau. Bear clan farms line the upper ridge, catching the
rains that blow northwards from the Sea of Dread. South of the
Bear clan, in thick forests, live the tribes of the Elk clan.
Below the plateau, to the east, live the deadly tribes of the
Tiger clan, in their thick jungles. On the lands south of the
plateau, along the shores of the Sea of Dread, live the Turtle
clan, plying the seas in their canoes.
Outland scholars have long divided the Children of Atruaghin
(as they often refer to themselves) into five major cultural
traditions- the Bear, Elk, Horse, Tiger, and Turtle clans- though
such distinctions are broad generalizations that do not do these
people justice. In any event, the Children themselves do not use
such terms to identify themselves, and regard outlanders who do
The Children are largely tribal in nature, though the extent
of their social organization varies between cultural groups.
Individual tribes of the Turtle and Elk clans, for instance,
primarily consist of small bands of extended families, that
seasonally come together as a tribe. Leadership among them is
very informal, and it is only in instances of great necessity
(such as war) that the clan acknowledges one overall chieftain.
Such a system suits these peoples well, as their hunter/gatherer
lifestyle does not accommodate itself to more than a
semi-sedentary means of living. [They move around a lot. Ed.]
The Tiger and Bear clans, on the other hand, have very complex
social structures. These people live sedentary lifestyles,
building large cities and relying heavily on farming as their
means of subsistence. They are very much like modern nations,
with very formal leadership - the Tiger clan in particular
denotes itself as a kingdom (a fact which seems to have slipped
by outlander scholars, so keen on presenting them as 'primitive
barbarians'). Both nations also have organized religions as
well, as opposed to the largely shamanic ways of the Elk and
Turtle clans. It is interesting to note that, whereas the Bear
clan priests complement the role of the chieftain, the Tiger clan
priests seem to wield as much (if not more) power among those
people than the monarchy.
The peoples of the Horse clan deserve special mention, as they
have perhaps been most wronged by outland scholars. My
observations show that there are really two separate, but closely
connected, groups that make up these people. There are the
plains tribes, which roam the steppes on their horses year round,
and the village tribes, which live a largely agricultural
lifestyle around the lakes on the northern edge of the
plateau. Both groups interact closely, which undoubtedly has led
less observant scholars to assume they were one and the same. As
to their religious activities, the village people have more
formal priestly organizations, while the plains folk rely
predominantly on shamans.
Additionally, I must note here that the Horse clans do in fact
have spoken languages. Many tribal dialects, in fact. They do
not use their spoken language with outsiders, however, only
amongst their own tribes. In dealings with others, they use the
sign language they have become renowned for. The nonsense about
the plains folk not using bows in hunting is untrue as well.
They use the bow and arrow most often in hunts; it is only when
performing acts of bravery to improve their status, or impress
outsiders, that they attempt to take down buffalo with close
The Atruaghin region was largely unaffected by the Great War
years ago, primarily due to the sheer logistic improbability of
an invading force being able to take and hold the plateau.
A group of Alphatian mages, fleeing the sinking of their
continent, arrived on the plateau and subjugated the various
tribes of the Bear clan, in 1010 AC. They were driven off by the
Children of Atruaghin by the following year, though the World
Elevator that connected them to Darokin was destroyed.
Recently, maps of trails through the interior of the plateau
have allowed Darokinian merchants to resume trade with the
Children. I should note here that, while visiting the Bear clan,
my keen vision espied activity at the base of the plateau where
the World Elevator once conducted commerce. I can only presume
that Darokinian merchants are perhaps seeking to repair the
enormous contraption. What effects this might have amongst the
merchant houses of the Republic are certainly beyond my ability
to comment on.
Last year, Eelsha Spider's Kiss was confirmed as the Tiger
Clan high priestess, following the death of the former high
priest. In the subsequent months, she has apparently utilized
her influence in her position to spur the Tiger clan to vicious
raids on Turtle clan tribes and nearby Darokinian towns in the
I noted during my brief stay among Bear clan cities a
surprising degree of outland clothing (notably Sindhi and
Darokinian) and trade goods. It would appear that Old World
merchants are beginning to make great inroads into this
previously isolated region of the world. I am unsure if that is
a good thing or not.
Additionally, while asking about the Bear clan manner of
building cities on the side of the plateau, I was mildly
surprised to learn that there were legends of a time when the
Bear clan lived on the ground below the plateau. Bear clan
priests tell of large cities, thriving centers of commerce
between Bear clan peoples and those of other peoples in the
surrounding areas (I suspect these people must be early settlers
of the Darokin region and perhaps Tiger clan people, in the days
before the split between clans). There was a disaster of some
kind that destroyed the cities and drove the survivors to return
to their home on the plateau, though what sort of disaster is
unclear. The tales speak of wars and invasions, from Tiger clan
peoples or some other, outside force. It would be interesting to
see whether any record of these cities may exist in ancient
Darokinian scrolls, or even if remnants of these cities still