Ælven clans tend to be insular. Because of this and because of the limitations of travel, communication between realms is somewhat rare. Most clans have strong dominant physical traits, partly because intermarriage between clans is unusual.
The governing clans are the oldest clans in their realms. The founders of a new ælven realm assume its governance, with the head of the clan serving as governor. If s/he has not already done so, upon assuming this authority the governor names his or her nextkin, who will serve as governor should the current governor die or choose to step down. The nextkin is often but not necessarily a relative.
Kin clans are lesser clans affiliated with a governing clan. Some specialize in trades or skills.
The Governing Clans and their Realms
Clan Ælvanen (Governors of Eastfaeld)
The oldest ælven clan, Ælvanen, governs the oldest realm, Eastfaeld. The governor resides in the first ælven city, Hollirued, which is near the eastern shore. Clan Ælvanen are the keepers of ælven history, and are famous for their bards and scholars. They are the most likely to sail and fish of any ælven people, but because vast quantities of water are disturbing to them, even those who dwell near the ocean do not venture far upon it.
Clan Ælvanen's most common coloring is pale-skinned with black hair and blue eyes. Their clan colors are gold and white.
Clan Greenglen (Governors of Southfæld)
Clan Greenglen was the first clan to split off from Clan Ælvanen and seek their own lands to settle. They traveled as far as the Ebon Mountains and settled on their eastern foothills in what eventually became the city of Glenhallow, the principal city of Southfæld. Greenglens were the first adventurers, and mapped much of the continent between the eastern coast and the Ebon Mountains. Their Southfæld Guard is the largest and best-equipped guard in any ælven realm.
Clan Greenglen's members tend to be fair-skinned, with deep brown eyes and golden hair. Their colors are sage and silver.
Clan Steppegard (Governors of the Steppe Wilds)
Clan Steppegard split off from Clan Ælvanen and settled the rough steppe lands to the north of Eastfaeld. These lands are known as the Steppe Wilds, and are well-suited to raising horses, of which Steppegards are passionately fond. Because they like to roam more than most clans, Steppegards are often traders. They tend to be impulsive and are considered hot-blooded by other clans. Their governors reside in the city of Watersmeet.
Members of Clan Steppegard are usually golden-eyed with curling, bronze hair. Their colors are russet and pine.
Clan Stonereach (Governors of Alpinon)
When aelven realms began to suffer increasing attacks from kobalen, the realm of Alpinon was formed as a buffer between the kobalen and Eastfaeld. Clan Stonereach split off from Clan Ælvanen and pledged themselves to guard the passes of the Ebon Mountains along their western border. The governors reside in Highstone, Alpinon's largest city.
Stonereaches tend to have reddish-brown hair and green eyes. Their colors are violet and blue.
Clan Sunriding (Governors of Fireshore)
Clan Sunriding was formed after the Bitter Wars out of volunteer households from all ælven clans. Sunriding assumed control of Fireshore after the alben (Clan Darkshore) were cast out of the realm. The governors reside in Ghlanhras, a city near the northern shore.
Because of their mixed origin, members of Clan Sunriding have no dominant appearance, though many have curling, light-colored hair like their neighbors in the Steppe Wilds. Their colors are grey and orange.
Clan Darkshore split off from Greenglen to settle the tropical lands at the northern extreme of the continent, passing through the newly-formed realm of Alpinon on their way. They were adventurous and didn't mind facing the threat of kobalen raids. They took their clan name from the dark volcanic sands of their new home.
Darkshore violated the ælven code of honor by preying upon kobalen. The Bitter Wars were fought over this practise, ending in Clan Darkshore being cast out of ælven culture and exiled beyond the Ebon Mountains. The ælven declared their clan to be dispersed, and now refer to their survivors as the alben.
Clan Darkshore shared fair coloring with their Greenglen cousins, but began to show white hair and black eyes before the Bitter Wars. Darkshore's clan colors were black and red.