|The Clans and Houses of the Blood |
The twelve clans each claim one of the gods as an ancestor. For example, the clan of Crux descended from Crux Sun, the god’s female avatar, who mated with seven mudmen and bore seven sons. Each son founded a house (extended family) of the clan. The houses within a clan may differ greatly in wealth and power, though theoretically they are equal, being descended from the same god.
A man's name shows his breeding. Sire Galan’s full name is Galan dam Capella by Falco of Crux, indicating that his mother is of the house of Capella and his father of Falco. A married woman keeps her father’s name and adds her husband’s name (and clan, if she has married outclan). Kinship through women is held to be a weaker tie than kinship through men.
Each house has a patriarch who distributes lands and chattels and settles disputes. He lives in a large keep with his extended family; additional holdings, such as manors with associated villages and lands, are given to various brothers and sons, nephews and cousins.
One house usually dominates a clan, and its patriarch rules as the clan First, a living symbol of the ancestral god and captain of the clan's troops. His title derives from the god: the Crux, the Ardor, etc. The heads of houses owe fealty to him, and he to the King. The succession usually passes from a man to his brother, but it can be a source of strife within and between houses.