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Legacy Clans

Legacy clans are the second most common structure for orc clans to take on the surface. They are formed either as a result of a seed clan losing their witch or as a group of orc forming a clan without a witch awakening. Though this change may seem slight from an outsider's perspective, it is the foundation which leads legacy clans to become drastically different from seed clans. These clans remain rare due to how unlikely they are to survive strife or starvation in the Hold of Belkzen without being able to rely on the Seeding.   However, the absence of a witch alone does not a legacy clan make. A legacy clan forms after a transitionary period of being a witchless clan, during which crucial adaptations have to occur in the orcs' life cycle and culture in order to be officially considered a legacy clan. As a general rule of thumb, if a witchless clan survives past two generations with those adaptations, it is considered a legacy clan.  

Life Cycle Alteration

Legacy clans, unlike seed clans, cannot observe ritual seeding and thus adapt their life cycle to become viviparous, carrying the developping embryos inside the body of a parent and leading to a Drethan bloom (live birth) following a gestation period of about 10 months.   Though all orcs can conceive this way and Drethan blooms occur even in seed clans, orcish biology has evolved away from a viviparous life cycle and favours practice of the Seeding as a primary means of reproduction. As such, pregnancy in orcs can often impact their physical ability and prevent them from participating in battles. This poses no problem in seed clans where the number of pregnant orcs unable to fight is low and can be compensated for. But it becomes a significant obstacle for witchless clans who may have a large portion of their fighting force unable to partake in combat.   Indeed, not being able to practice the Seeding puts a witchless clan in a vulnerable position as both the clan's ability to raid and to defend against being raided decreases when a large part of its population can be pregnant at any one time. Food gathering may be remedied to by hunting but this is not without its own dangers and can quickly be the cause for dwindling numbers as hunting parties return with low but easy yields or fail to bring back large game.   All of this means that most witchless clans end up integrating into seed clans or simply be wiped out in battle. Which are the main reason for legacy clans being relatively rare and seed clans being the most common structure for clans to take.  

Social/Cultural Alterations

Sedentary lifestyle

As the need to protect the clan become more and more important to the clan's survival, it often leads witchless clans to finding and inhabiting highly secure or otherwise difficult to access areas. This explains the presence of legacy clans across the peaks of the Kodakar Sky Islands and often in fortresses taken from the dwarves, such as The Foundry or Urgir. The Dirt Sea and the Dry Skin Lake are also inhabited by the Murdered Child and the Flayed Skull clans respectively for their various levels of inaccessibility.   The relative safety provided by the location provides the clan with the opportunity to grow in size by integrating their own offspring into the clan. This change forms lineages, which seed clans all but lack and becomes the main reason behind the naming of such clans as legacy clans. However, the restriction of the clan to one area does put additional pressure on providing resources in order to sustain the growth of the clan's population.  

Specialisation and trade

Most of a seed clan's energy and organisation will be spent into moving around to find new raiding targets and raiding said targets, legacy clans often find a trade to specialise in which enables them to enter diplomatic agreements with the surrounding seed clans. This trade is often facilitated in some way by the location. Maybe best exemplied with the Foundry, where the dwarven vaults keep reserves of ore and coal as well as the fully operational forges facilitate the development of orcish metallurgy which The Steel Eaters took on as their trade.   Other legacy clans have to diversify their trades slightly, though this often comes as a biproduct of optimising their main trade or other pressures. For example, the Murdered Child Clan specialises in the extraction and exportation of minerals from the Dirt Sea, which it is able to access thanks to developing boats to sail across the sandy waves. These boats were initially developped only to survive on the Dirt Sea but their development to enable the clan's trade also enabled the clan to offer their services to those who sought to travel across the Dirt Sea in the safest possible way.  

Social hierarchy

Whereas seed clans divide the guidance of the clan naturally between their witch and their leader, legacy clans tend to organise themselves differently. There is no universal legacy clan model of social hierarchy however, it is instead most often influenced by their chosen trade. That said, a general trend can be observed of legacy clans dividing into sub-units, which may generally be dubbed "houses" though they will be named differently by each clan.   These houses also play a role in raising individual orcs past a certain age, before which they are considered responsibility of and raised by the clan as a whole. The orc picks a house and its relevant responsibilities, they will then be brought up in the house and taught how to participate in the clan by more experienced members of the house. This is regardless of whether the orc was born of parents in the same house.   For instance, the Murdered Child clan organises in houses specifically called Worlak which make up the crews for each boat. All operating and coordinated under the oversight of the clan leader Hundrux.  

Naming Traditions

Family names

Though the overall naming structure of legacy orcs' names doesn't differ from Seed Orcs', the derivate name most often becomes the house name, linking the individual orc to their house in the clan and its lineage. Broken down, a legacy orc's name contains:  
  • Clan name: The name of the legacy clan they belong to.
  • House name: The name of the house the orc has chosen to be raised in. Not in use until the orc chooses a house of the clan or creates their own. The name of the house is also the name of the profession practiced by individuals under that house.
  • Given name: The name given by the members of the clan to identify the individual, like in seed clans it is often a physical or behavioural descriptor.
  • A legacy orc's full name informs the interlocutor as to how to tell the orc apart from their peers, their profession and their clan.   Unlike with seed orcs' derivate names, all legacy orcs introduce themselves an each other using their given name. The house name functioning much more in the way human family names are used.   NB: Orcs, even in legacy clans, do not have a concept of bloodbonds. Instead the legacy they aim to preserve is that of their house and its reputation.  

    Other names

    Legacy clans, like all orc clan structures, know and observe the custom of giving notoriety titles to certain individuals. However the practice is less common in legacy clans where it is less required in order to spread knowledge of a clanmember's notable actions.  


    Major language groups and dialects

    Legacy orcs commonly speak Higher Orcish, which is mutually intelligible with Wet Orcish and Lower Orcish. They will also usually be fluent in one of the two orcish sign languages.  

    Common Dress code

    Legacy orcs tend to wear distinctive garbs indicative of their houses in order to be quickly identified and organised. This may be the coulours of their overall clothes or of part of the outfit such as a red handkerchief tied around their neck for instance.   Some legacy clans have tokens that they hand guests and visitors in order to identify them as such. The Empty Hand clan in Urgir also hands a particular guest token to few non-orc visitors who have been vouched for by the clan which accompanies them.  

    Birth & Baptismal Rites

    Drethan blooms are especially taxing on orcs and often incapacitate them in the months leading up to the bloom and for months after. Because legacy clans rely uniquely on drethan blooms, they've taken to easing pregnant and recently-pregnant orcs' lives to make the process as least painful and enduring as possible.   Both pregnant and recently pregnant orc live together in a bathhouse specially dedicated for them where they are provided for by the rest of the clan and are the highest priority of the clan to keep fed well even in times of duress. This bathhouse has taken to being named Didon'Dretha (Still Water aka Bath or Pool of Dretha) There, Drethan blooms occur in individual warm or hot water pools as that seems to ease the process for birthers.   The freshly bloomed orc are then taken care of by all orcs inside the bathhouse for a couple months until they can walk and talk by themselves at which point the entire clans becomes responsible for caring and raising orc youth until they choose their house.   This is even observed by the Murdered Child clan, whose largest ship contains pools of warm rainwater for their pregnant orcs.

    Coming of Age Rites

    Around age 6-8 is when an orc born in a legacy clans chooses their house. This is a ceremony which takes place mostly in private, between the orc youth and the orc in charge of the House. Every house varies in how ceremonial they make it but it at least includes the orc youth being given whatever garments signify them as members of the house as well as a house feast which includes them.   Shortly after, the orc youth chooses their mentor inside the house under whom they will study their future profession.  

    Funerary and Memorial customs


    Legacy clans also believe in orcs completing the cycle by feeding their corpses to the environment which surrounds them. They bury their dead in shallow graves particularly in wooded areas, approximately 2-3 feet or 60-90 cm deep under the ground. The body is covered in dead plant matter and other decomposing material, forming a mound above fresh graves. The grave is then marked by a stake being driven through the center and left to rest. The orcs do not disturb graves but leave animals to do as they will.   Around a year following the burial, whenever the orcs' keen sense of smell informs them the body has fully decomposed, an orc will turn the grave with a pitchfork and crush the bones when they meet them. The stake will be removes and then the grave will be left to become normal soil. At this point the grave is no longer a grave and is treated as any other ground.  

    Notable Exception

    The Murdered Child clan inters bodies into the quicksands of the Dirt Sea and leave the movements of the ground to grind the corpses flesh and bone.  

    Common Myths and Legends

    Like seed clans, legacy clans believe in the orcish creation myh of the First Seed and much of their spirituality and culture revolves around the worship or reverence of Dretha, orcish deity of birth and death.


    Beauty Ideals

    Legacy orcs value communication skills as they do not possess the spiritual connection to the orcish unconscious which enables seed orc to have instinctive unspoken bonds forming. The ability to communicate efficiently is key to the passing down of knowledge that is so crucial to life in a legacy clan and as such, legacy orcs have come to value it to a similar degree to that of physicality for seed orcs.  

    Courtship Ideals

    Unlike in seed clans, legacy orcs have more rigid courting traditions. To court a legacy orc means to show interest and respect in their craft until they return similar attention. Though they remain as frank and honest and demand no grand gesture of romantic interest, the process can be slower than it is in seed clans. In fact, orcs dislike grand gestures of romantic gestures and tend to find them irritating.  

    Relationship Ideals

    Legacy orcs are most commonly non-monogamous and rarely form exclusive relationships with other individuals, even as some may seem that way to outsiders. These unions and partnerships are predicated on the same respect of boundaries and agency valued by all orcs and can span across houses of a legacy clan or even across clans without trouble.  

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