Forgotten Ones

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“We are not born into this world. We are born of it. There are no strangers here.”

– Saying of the Forgotten Ones

There are those who have not forgotten. 

There are those who can trace their lines and beliefs back to the times before, back to when the world was younger, and the gods had names with sharper edges. 

There are those who have preserved the old stories and songs that cut through the deceptions men tell and spoke to the truth of things. 

Yet, perhaps because they are relics, or perhaps because it is simply the way of things removed from sight, the world has forgotten them.

These Forgotten Ones consider this no great loss. In fact, it is their distinct preference, and the collective amnesia of the world is preserved by design and purpose.  The People of the Old Ways desire their solitude and isolation. Unconcerned with the wastelands beyond their hidden forests and vales, they are left to tend their own business, their own practices, and their own survival. These are the children of rebels and berserkers – the unrepentant – the ones who knew that gods do not always notice when one bows to them, and if they do notice…well, may the gods help you. These are the people who know that the original gods of the world slumber, and if they wake, it is wisest to appease them; lull them back to sleep that their gaze is averted. The Forgotten know it is actions and living properly within the cycles of the world that matter far more than pretty words. It is sacrifices that matter, and giving that which is painful to part with. It is honoring the realities of this world that matters, and knowing that death brings with it new life.

The isolated lifestyle of these people has allowed them a certain semblance of peace within their hidden villages and enclaves. Rather than fight against nature and the harshness of the world, they embrace and revere it. And rather than fight the forces of the Triumverati openly, they dismiss them, choosing instead to fight a war on a different front. Mostly tracing their lineages back to the frozen steppes of the North, and verdant isles that long ago were called Dunland, these people carry a relatively unbroken tradition of worshipping in the Vecatran fashion, and honoring the true nature of man’s place within the world. Certainly there are influences of other faiths among them and some placate the Old Gods, for that is the way of the world as well, but the gods are jealous creatures, and those who openly revere one of the many names beyond creation are subject to scorn and judgment. 

The Forgotten Ones are spread out among the world, keeping to deep forests, high mountains, and other places too dangerous or troublesome for the press of outside humanity. They have their own names for themselves, and a certain amount of distinction from one another given the influences of distance and time upon communities. However, certain things are held in common, such as the conservation of nature and the honoring of the sacred within it. The motifs of wolves, ravens, and serpents are common ones – for they speak of wisdom, survival, community, and cycles. The runic and other alphabetic languages of old are in use as well, though poetry and song are considered the safest method of communication. After all, the written word has power and magic in it, and if that falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to dire purpose.

The isolated lifestyle of these people has allowed them a certain semblance of peace within their hidden villages and enclaves. Rather than fight against nature and the harshness of the world, they embrace and revere it. And rather than fight the forces of the Triumverati openly, they dismiss them, choosing instead to fight a war on a different front. Mostly tracing their lineages back to the frozen steppes of the North, and verdant isles that long ago were called Dunland, these people carry a relatively unbroken tradition of worshipping in the Vecatran fashion, and honoring the true nature of man’s place within the world. Certainly there are influences of other faiths among them and some placate the Old Gods, for that is the way of the world as well, but the gods are jealous creatures, and those who openly revere one of the many names beyond creation are subject to scorn and judgment.

The Forgotten Ones are spread out among the world, keeping to deep forests, high mountains, and other places too dangerous or troublesome for the press of outside humanity. They have their own names for themselves, and a certain amount of distinction from one another given the influences of distance and time upon communities. However, certain things are held in common, such as the conservation of nature and the honoring of the sacred within it. The motifs of wolves, ravens, and serpents are common ones – for they speak of wisdom, survival, community, and cycles. The runic and other alphabetic languages of old are in use as well, though poetry and song are considered the safest method of communication. After all, the written word has power and magic in it, and if that falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to dire purpose. That said, books and writing are produced, often with sacred or important purpose in mind, and thus generally well guarded or hidden. The honoring of nature means that most materials that are crafted with, lived with, and worn are of the environment. Leathers and furs are common for clothing, with woven items dyed by plants often used as well. Bone, horn, and antler are used for ornamentation and tools. Eschewing loud and untrustworthy weapons such as firearms, axes and swords are the preferred weapons. For if they are cared for, they can last nearly forever and are as tireless as the arm wielding them. A sword never runs out of bullets. 

A deep practicality exists among the Forgotten Ones, and they do not waste what they are offered – not because of scarcity, but because nearly everything has a use, and to discard something might be seen as quite disrespectful to the deity or creature who provided it. 

Many of the Rangers of the world come from the ranks of the Forgotten Ones, as children are taught from a very young age of the Malefic and the threats they pose. Those who seem particularly promising are often trained into the hard and lonely life of a Ranger, and the families of such children are said to mourn the loss of their still-living child. It is considered an honor to bring one into the world, but a deeply tragic honor – for Rangers are expected to dedicate themselves to the cleansing of Malefic from the world, as well as live by the code of the natural world, and their ends are never pleasant ones.

While these special births are honored, the presence of those who illustrate a knowledge of the magical arts is not well tolerated. Magicians are powerful through their own force of will, which in theory should be admired, but in exercising their abilities, they bend, twist, and warp the world around them into a shape it should not be. Most who have been exposed in some way to these arts and display aptitude are either forbidden from further study, or sent away at a young enough age that they cannot find their way back home. 

The Forgotten Ones are not welcoming to outsiders, with their tainted practices which have brought the world to ruin. Those outside inhabitants of the world beyond who have forgotten the old ways are called the Blight, and they are considered diseased, ignorant, and dangerous. But in these modern times, they are increasingly having to deal with them as more and more settlers flee from the bursting and ravaged cities, taking a chance on the horrors that await them beyond the walls, in search of a life of peace and plenty. Whereas in years past, the dark tangles of the woods and the forbidding mountains served as barricades and deterrents to strangers, now desperation and hunger has made heroes out of the most meek. The Forgotten Ones must often decide how much advancement into their territories they will allow, and for how much time. For most, the answer is none. Each outsider is a parasite, stripping the world for their selfish ends without any understanding of the consequences of what they do. And the Forgotten cannot heal the world or maintain their survival within it if they are also having to deal with the maladies and dangerous influences of blind men clearly bent on destroying the earth yet again. 

In time, the world may be ready for the Forgotten Ones, but that time is not now. Better to lie hidden. Better to be predator than prey. 

That said, books and writing are produced, often with sacred or important purpose in mind, and thus generally well guarded or hidden. The honoring of nature means that most materials that are crafted with, lived with, and worn are of the environment. Leathers and furs are common for clothing, with woven items dyed by plants often used as well. Bone, horn, and antler are used for ornamentation and tools. Eschewing loud and untrustworthy weapons such as firearms, axes and swords are the preferred weapons. For if they are cared for, they can last nearly forever and are as tireless as the arm wielding them. A sword never runs out of bullets. 

A deep practicality exists among the Forgotten Ones, and they do not waste what they are offered – not because of scarcity, but because nearly everything has a use, and to discard something might be seen as quite disrespectful to the deity or creature who provided it. 

Many of the Rangers of the world come from the ranks of the Forgotten Ones, as children are taught from a very young age of the Malefic and the threats they pose. Those who seem particularly promising are often trained into the hard and lonely life of a Ranger, and the families of such children are said to mourn the loss of their still-living child. It is considered an honor to bring one into the world, but a deeply tragic honor – for Rangers are expected to dedicate themselves to the cleansing of Malefic from the world, as well as live by the code of the natural world, and their ends are never pleasant ones.

While these special births are honored, the presence of those who illustrate a knowledge of the magical arts is not well tolerated. Magicians are powerful through their own force of will, which in theory should be admired, but in exercising their abilities, they bend, twist, and warp the world around them into a shape it should not be. Most who have been exposed in some way to these arts and display aptitude are either forbidden from further study, or sent away at a young enough age that they cannot find their way back home. 

The Forgotten Ones are not welcoming to outsiders, with their tainted practices which have brought the world to ruin. Those outside inhabitants of the world beyond who have forgotten the old ways are called the Blight, and they are considered diseased, ignorant, and dangerous. But in these modern times, they are increasingly having to deal with them as more and more settlers flee from the bursting and ravaged cities, taking a chance on the horrors that await them beyond the walls, in search of a life of peace and plenty. Whereas in years past, the dark tangles of the woods and the forbidding mountains served as barricades and deterrents to strangers, now desperation and hunger has made heroes out of the most meek. The Forgotten Ones must often decide how much advancement into their territories they will allow, and for how much time. For most, the answer is none. Each outsider is a parasite, stripping the world for their selfish ends without any understanding of the consequences of what they do. And the Forgotten cannot heal the world or maintain their survival within it if they are also having to deal with the maladies and dangerous influences of blind men clearly bent on destroying the earth yet again. 

In time, the world may be ready for the Forgotten Ones, but that time is not now. Better to lie hidden. Better to be predator than prey. 


“Do not search at night for what was lost during the day.”

– Forgotten Ones proverb

War was not something strange or unknown to the ancestors of the Forgotten Ones. In fact, it could be argued that war was something that they reveled in. The northern peoples, the Njords, were raised under some of the harshest conditions nature could offer, and the people grew to be harsh themselves. The hardened and the pragmatic were the ones who survived, and the lessons the mountains, snow, ice, and wilderness taught them were passed down to their descendants. The gods of the Njords also taught the same cruel lessons as nature: that good and evil are less relevant than sated and hungry. All must feed, and thus all must die that all must live. Man was no exception. And while humanity feeds upon the plants and animals provided to them, so too do the gods and nature feast on humanity.

To the south, on the verdant island that used to be known as Dunland, the understanding of gods and life was similar, though the difference lay in the why of it. Dunland was everything the northlands were not – it was a cornucopia of plenty: a land of rolling green hills; fruiting trees; green-blue ocean; and cool, clear lakes and waterfalls bringing water and abundant food to all who dwelled there. The Dunnick understood that life was good and abundant provided one always remembered to honor the land. Take care of your gods and your land, and they will take care of you. Reciprocity, cycles, acceptance of death and celebrations of life were the common themes of society. 

And both of these distant peoples learned what it was to lose everything should you not properly tend your relationship with the forces that surround you. 

When the Empire of the Throne of God on Earth beat at their doorsteps, demanding fealty, tribute, and devotion to their god and prophet, both regions fought back hard. The Njords had a long history with the Empire, stretching back untold generations. Some believe it was they who originally taught the Throne its knowledge of gods and letters. And this familiarity, combined with their hardened bodies and hearts, proved advantageous as they beat the Empire back time and time again. It was only through trickery, honeyed words, and the greed of man that the Throne finally had their way. The Njords, following the example of their jarls, bent the knee and donned the mantle of a solitary god. And it was then that they lost sight of who they were – and then lost more. The god of the Empire claimed their lands and their people for its armies. Njords no longer fought for causes they could see and touch; they fought in distant wars to solve other peoples’ problems. Even worse, to pay respects and sacrifices to their Old Gods was met with suppression. It was little wonder that the gods punished the northlands for their fickleness and defiance, and as the years passed gave them only hard winters, fallow fields, and silenced voices in the thrall of foreign men. The agricultural machinery, roads, and tools of the Empire meant little next to the displeasure of the gods. 

The Duns had not been prepared for the scale of conflict brought to their door. Since the Age of Heroes, their island paradise had been shrouded in mists, and some believe that it had the ability to move through magic, or upon the back of some sort of massive sea creature. Old cave paintings would seem to indicate that the island only found its final resting place when these immortal creatures or these magics somehow died. Most today believe these myths are to somehow explain why the island appears to have been relatively undisturbed during the Age of Witchkings. Accounts do exist of descriptions of the island of Dunland, but it went by other names such as Tir Deneart, Terra Aeternum, and Din Orlog. Most of these apparent accounts treat the land as a utopian fairyland – a place one searches for their whole life, or a place that changes a person if they accidentally stumble onto it. Most likely due to this protective isolation and sense of natural prosperity and resources, the ancient residents of Dunland did not need to make war as often as the rest of the world did. This did not do them any favors, however, when the armies of the old Empire – the Throne of God on Earth – came to their newly open door. A new empire needs more than just bodies and land – it needs food, lumber, metals, and a cause to be united by. In the Throne’s case, the cause was religion: the Benalian faith. They came peacefully at first, offering the same aid and technological assistance they had brought the Njords, but the Duns were not interested in agricultural improvements when theirs was a land that already provided all they needed. The chiefs, called Tiarna, declined the Throne and their dead prophet. The Benalian faith placed its emphasis on humanity and its betterment, while the Duns worshipped in the old ways – honoring the land, sky, and waters as the cradle that rocked, nurtured, and shaped humanity along with everything else. 

Their refusal earned them only conquest as soldiers swarmed Dunland like ants on a carcass – many encased in metal and bearing weapons the Dunnick were not familiar with. Both sides wielded magics and had powerful champions, but there was no real contest to be had. The Throne simply had more soldiers, more weapons, and more training at their disposal, especially with the contribution of Rogalian forces. Rogalia, being a recent willing addition to the empire, was an extremely war-torn region in need of resources. They fought especially hard during the conquest of Dunland for they knew that as the country bordering the island nation, they would likely have the first pick of the fertile holdings of the land. The forcible annexation of Dunland was the beginning of a long period of extreme control by Rogalia and the Throne over the region. The occupation meant that for generations Dunnick were forbidden to observe their cultural practices, language, or religion. Inclusion in the Empire of the Throne of God on Earth left no room for other gods or rites. To be caught in worship to another deity was cause for the Inquisition to be called, and for entire villages to be put to the torch and burned alive. The Duns could not leave their island without permission from the Throne, and their Tiarna structure was demolished.

Behind closed doors, many Dunnick taught that their occupation was a test of strength they were meant to endure and only overcome when they were ready. They were lying dormant in a time of winter, and would re-emerge stronger when it was time for spring. So, when the Njords of the north came to them allied with champions of the Old Gods and the means to overthrow the Empire with their help, many Duns believed that the seasons were changing. 

It is unclear from what little records survived what occurred in the snowy mountains of the north that mobilized so many troops after so long, but the stories of the Forgotten Ones there indicate that the Empire began using many of the same tactics on the Njords that they had used on their conquest of Dunland and encroachment into the deserts of Sha’ra. In their haste to unite all of mankind under a single banner, the Throne had not stopped to fully consider how far a people can be bent before they snap. Sometimes the break is shattering to the spirit, and sometimes…sometimes it creates a furious wounded animal. 

The Njords called a great Allthing – a meeting of the clans, and the Old Empire attempted to stop it or control it through the attendance of many of their agents and representatives. Much was debated and discussed, but towards the end, a great storm of snow and hail fell upon the gathering – a sure sign of the presence of Sveas, the Lady of Winter and Death. Perhaps fearing the goddess and seeking to appease her, or perhaps taking advantage of the confusion the sudden storm caused, a contingent of Njords quickly slaughtered each and every Throne representative, and many of the Njords loyal to them, in attendance. From there, a decision was made, and the northfolk boarded ships to sail south to Dunland to assist in its liberation and gain a nation of soldiers to carry the fight onwards.

They found an eagerly receptive people for a war to overthrow the yoke of Rogalia and the Empire as a whole, and at that point, two distant people became united as allied nations in their own right – fighting in service once more to their history and gods. It is believed that inhuman Triumverati cultists, also seeing an opportunity to work towards their own interests as enemies of the theocracy of the Throne, joined forces as well with the Njords and Duns, and this was the extra edge that was needed to take on the combined might of the rest of the Empire. 

Rogalia was the first to fall – situated as it was, closest to the island, and being the object of the most immediate rage and bitterness of the Duns. It’s most martial counties were pressed and decimated under the Triumverati-empowered invaders. The fighting was still very costly, for it is said that no one could wage war like the Rogalians, and if they were not fighting the enemies of the Throne, they were fighting each other. It is unclear how long the conflict continued, but some sources would indicate many years, as neighboring Gotha, the center of the Empire in every way, also attempted to send troops into the fray. It was the purpose of the Throne to fight the Triumverati and bring the entirety of the human race under its banner one way or another, and thus the Great War represented the greatest threat the Throne had faced since its inception. Despite the high stakes, Rogalia’s defenses crumbled and it was razed, likely due to a combination of opportunistic infighting, a lack of supplies after being cut off from Dunland, the inhuman strength of the Triumverati cultists, and two cultures fighting for their freedom with everything on the line.

At this point, many of the Dunnick felt they had played their part and grew reluctant to press onwards. They had their revenge, and their main oppressors were vanquished. Many were uncomfortable being in such close proximity to the Triumverati – for their gods were not the same as theirs – the multi-faced entity of Vecatra. The Njords, on the other hand, were far from home and could not stop until the heart of Gotha, and the Throne itself, were crippled and unable to retaliate against them for their actions. A split occurred in the forces then, with many Duns slipping away and attempting to make their way back home or into hiding. Desertion was high, and the army pressed on quickly with the Duns that remained, and a growing number of Kuarlites – worshippers of the Triumverati god of slaughter, rage, and blood. Tartys Kol, a Kuarlite warrior of terrifying strength and abilities, and Orm Three Skins, the acknowledged Jarl with the most men, took control of the armies that carved a path of oblivion towards the city of Lethia – the spiritual capital of the Throne. 

While history records they did not succeed in taking Lethia, they did eventually conquer the political center of the Empire – Fenristadt – the ancient city originally belonging to the Njords long ago before they had been forced nothwards. It was a poignant accomplishment, and a powerful one that would change the fabric of the known world. Many Njords and Duns continued to press the fight alongside the Triumverati to the surrounding holdings of the Empire, but many also started trying to create new lives for themselves with the end result being that these formerly contained peoples began to spread out and settle in pockets throughout the former Throne.

Years passed, and wars raged on, as various shreds and remnants of the Throne fought for scraps and supplies, trying to find security and a future in the power vacuum left behind by the demise of the emperor and the sacking of the capital. These petty struggles seemed especially fruitless in the collective hindsight of humanity, as the great Calamity rolled across the world and its civilizations, changing people’s fundamental understandings of life and reality as the world tore itself apart with earthquakes, volcanos, and rising ocean waters engulfing the land. Before mankind had a chance to recover from the earth itself seeming to destroy and reject them, the ground seemed to evict even the husks and remnants of humanity. The dead clawed up from their shallow battlefield graves and the rubble of collapsed cities, and soon many realized with horror and elation that most deaths were no longer permanent. The cycle of life and death was perpetually altered, and with this change came consequences that made life far harder than before. Food grew scarcer. Populations soared and disease spread. Quality of life plummeted as death was no longer an option. 

It is believed that the Magician Guilds of the time meddled in political affairs and with spiritual forces they did not understand, and that may be what caused the rending of the cycle. It is also possible that the Triumverati finally succeeded in their rituals to call down their dark gods and make them manifest in the world of men. Some also blame the elves, who seemed to have disappeared from the earth, and their incomprehensible magics. Others say it was the dwarves at fault who built a weapon that disrupted the inner workings of the world. But the Forgotten Ones teach that the actual reason for the disastrous ruination of the world was Vecatra itself lashing out and struggling against the atrocities beyond number that defiled creation, and because of this, the ancestors of the Forgotten Ones felt shame; the Njords and the Dunnick had forgotten to properly honor the earth and their place in it in their haste to align with the Triumverati and wage war, and the world had become a much more sinister and miserable place as a result. Looking upon the turmoil, immorality, and religious anarchy that ruled the known world, the ancestors withdrew, guilt driving them deep into the forests and mountains that used to be shelter before people began calling massive walled cities home. They desired that the current world forget them and their role. They hoped that, perhaps, with enough time and isolation from the horrors they had helped forge, they could right what was wronged. Through the reverence and worship of Vecatra, and through the proper method of living in balance with world, the blighted earth could be healed. And so, these Forgotten Ones created hidden pockets of worship far away from the dense clusters of humanity herded into their giant cities and settlements by the Malefic and dangers posed by their fellow men. Some returned to their island paradise, and many created new versions in the remaining deep forests, valleys, and snowy cliffs. They may no longer have a moving island to ward off the barbaric influence of uneducated and backwards people, but they could return to a time when they were hidden – when other men did not know or understand them, and thus they were protected. There, in their surreptitious villages, they could plant the seeds for the future. There, they could soothe and heal creation using the proper methods the rest of the world had forgotten long ago. There, they could grow and nurture oases of hope, provided they were not discovered. And it is because of the desperate need the world has of them, that they will never allow themselves to be discovered and conquered again. 

Ethics & Values

“We must hate those we are afraid of loving.”

Forgotten Ones proverb

In the quiet of the wilderness, it is important to understand yourself, for you have the capacity to be either predator or prey. The difference lies in understanding your weaknesses, reactions, and advantages. The Forgotten Ones pride themselves primarily on their ability to survive without the interference or support of the outside world, and understanding what one is capable of and their place in the world is at the core of society. Self-sufficiency is more than just a value, it is a necessary part of their existence – for those who cannot survive in the world were not equipped for it, and deserve instead to return to the cycle. It is not a matter of right and wrong – it is simply an acknowledgement of the cold indifference of nature.

However, unlike the Gothic people or the Outlanders, the Forgotten Ones do not center their lives around the idea of survival. While the world may be broken and sick, filled with those who refuse to die and malefic creatures, it is still Vecatra: beloved mother, sheltering father, sacred keeper of mysteries. The world heals just as it wounds, and to be born is to also begin the process of dying. Acknowledgement of this, appreciation of this life, and working to live in harmony with the world as a whole is seen as very important. It is everyone’s duty to shift and end imbalances where they perceive them, and one of the ways in which Vecatra signals that something is amiss is the very presence of the Night Malefic. These entities are shadows of acts of violation of natural law, created when the world is thrust out of balance and the laws of Vecatra are broken and twisted beyond recognition. Cannibalism, incest, familial murder, and all similar violations of human taboos create a pain, a wound within the world, that creates these monsters. The site of a mass suicide may create unquiet spirits that whisper atrocities into the ears of the living. A home where a mother killed her entire family may attract village children to it in the middle of the night who are not seen again. The scene of a particularly gruesome torture seeps its evil into the ground and creates a ghoul intent on revenge. There is no universal form that the Night Malefic takes, but these entities are stronger at night – the time during which mankind knows to be more afraid. And the only way to be rid of the creatures that result from these acts is to somehow right the wrong that was committed, sometimes very long ago. 

 It makes sense, then, that some of the Forgotten Ones’ most powerful strictures revolve around doing anything that may cause a malefic creature. To do so only damages the world further by widening the sinkholes of misdeeds eating the world alive. It is common for the entire community to work together to resolve and banish malefic creatures, for this benefits everyone, and is seen as an opportunity – or even a gift. Vecatra has given humanity another chance to fix the situation. While a deep wrong may have been committed, it is never too late to correct it, and some Forgotten Ones see the horrors of the Night Malefic as a blessing in disguise: a chance at redemption. 

For those malefic creatures that require a special handling or extra work, however, the community has an extra resource- Rangers. These intrepid souls dedicate their lives to taking care of malefic threats, even if it means their own destruction, and are deeply honored by the communities they protect. It is considered a day of both celebration and grieving when a child is shown to be a Ranger among the Forgotten Ones – for their life’s work will be extremely valuable, but they are also doomed; as to be a Ranger is to have no real life or goals beyond fighting back the Night Malefic, and ultimately succumbing to the shadowed face of Vecatra – becoming the monster within all of us. 

While the Forgotten Ones have a strict policy of isolation and remaining hidden from those outside their society, they make one exception – if they encounter a child that is destined to be a Ranger, they do what they can to take those rare youths in, and raise them to understand their dark fortune. Most Rangers originate from the Forgotten Ones or have received their training from them, mostly because those born and raised elsewhere usually go unrecognized and simply fall quickly to their monstrous nature – becoming another Malefic tumor within the world. 

Those that make their homes in the hidden corners of the world honor Vecatra in other ways as well – primarily by seeking to alter her as little as possible. Most clans of the Forgotten Ones are masters at using their environment for shelter and defense, and live in places that offer natural protection – places surrounded by marshes, volcanic rocks, or brambles – without having to build their own defenses. If, indeed, they do build fortifications, they take care to build with the landscape rather than exerting dominance over it. Large trees, boulders, and uneven terrain will not be disturbed and instead will be incorporated into the design. They like to say that even as they are protected by Vecatra’s grace, they too protect her and do not waste her glory.

But this avoidance of disturbing the land does not mean that the clans of the Forgotten Ones are peaceful. In fact, many consider it perfectly part of the natural order to exert dominance over weaker people, clans, and cultures, and there are no Forgotten Ones who do not have fighters and hunters among their number. If one group starts to lose their hold on their territory or becomes weakened by sickness or circumstances, it is not unusual for other groups to invade and take their resources for themselves. Forgotten Ones are also more than willing to invade the settlements, caravans, and travelling groups of other cultures if they can ensure that no survivors will escape to tell others the story of what happened.

Cultural practices do vary from clan to clan, but most share the distinctive practices of Vecatra worship, and clans in a general area tend to agree on particular sacred spaces. Within these locations, whether they are groves, grottos, or mountain-top terraces, worship is bloody and raw. Pains are taken to create the ideal ritual space, though, and it is expected that any sacrifices or bloodletting that occurs within these places is weighty with meaning and purpose, and handled correctly – for it would be a deep affront to these places to create Malefic within them. There are no designated conflict-free zones among the Forgotten Ones, for violence is a part of the natural world. Humanity, however, places more meaning and weight upon the act of bloodshed, and thus must tread carefully. Any action that does create a Malefic entity is considered to be the initial responsibility of the wrongdoing or their family to resolve. If they cannot, then it becomes the community’s problem as a whole. These sacred spaces are considered accessible to all clans of Forgotten Ones, but certain clans consider it their charge to protect a space if it falls within their territory. Certain clans maintain treaties and friendly relations with some clans and are hostile to others – just as in all aspects of life. However, the rift would be deep indeed for a clan to bar another Forgotten One access to a sacred space, especially if they were alone or in a small group. Considerations must be made, however, to treat a clan’s territory with great respect and care, for entering another clan’s territory without permission is often seen as an invitation for that clan to prove just how strong they really are.


“Day and night may be neighbors, but they cannot live together.”

Forgotten Ones Proverb

The Forgotten Ones tend to their own small corners of the world as much as possible. Free from the taint of outsiders, which they call the Blight, they attempt to live as they please without interference. They could be compared to the Salgothic in their religious zeal and isolationist policies, but the difference lies in the methods and goals. While the Salgothic desire to keep the world out and away so that they are protected from its dangers, the Forgotten Ones deliberately live within the world while trying to keep the rest of humanity away. Both cultures believe they have the key to saving the world – the Salgothics through their worship of god and reverence for the prophet Benalus, and the Forgotten Ones through their devotion to the Vecatran faith. And while the Salgothic believe that their tiny kingdoms must be bastions of perfection in an abominable world to prove they are worthy to their god, and that one day the rest of the world will follow their example; the Forgotten Ones believe that they must tend to and heal their god in order to prove their worth. The rationale behind this isolationist lifestyle helps to explain why the Forgotten Ones tend to keep to their own regions and keep their interactions with other, more distant, clans to a minimum. To them, it would serve no purpose as they have everything they need where they are, and a lack of travel helps them avoid contact with the Blight as much as possible. 

These are a people who do not need outside assistance. The territory of each individual clan is expansive, and often includes multiple small villages and towns that work together to serve the whole. It is not unusual for clans to have thousands of members, and a well-developed support system to help them thrive. Neighboring clans and their areas may be in conflict or at peace with one other, but unless there is cause for interaction, each clan is designed to be self sufficient. It is taught among these people that an ideal life is one of balance, of each person giving what is needed in order to make sure that everyone lives as well as possible and that their environment can continue to support them. However, part of this balance is that everything is either predator or prey – and this is not a static thing. A child starts their life more often prey than predator, for example, and as they grow this becomes less true. There is no shame in being either, for both are essential for life. Prey feed predators, giving them what they need. Predators perform the necessary task of providing threat and population control. While the Forgotten Ones acknowledge that humans do often return when they die – this is not the ideal. In fact, most tribes treat it as rather shameful to return from the dead. This concept of duality extends to their political relationships as well, with clans seeing it as part of the natural order if a neighboring clan overtakes them because they were stronger. This is actually one of the main ways in which new blood is introduced into a population: often when a village is defeated, the people who pose the strongest threats are killed, and the children are brought into the fold of the conquering clan. If those killed come back, they are viewed with disdain, but are allowed to remain in service to the new clan. 

To the outside world, the Forgotten Ones are an unknown or a myth, and so their numbers are also uncharted. They do thrive more than other populations, due to knowledge of their small, tended sections of the world and adequate food. However, they also have a tendency to stay dead the first time they perish. Despite this, it is possible that they rival the Gothics in terms of total numbers worldwide. For while the Gothics are crushed into teeming cities slowly imploding due to overpopulation, the Forgotten Ones are spread out over vast areas none dare to venture in: an entire civilization hidden beneath the veneer of the wilds.

Geography & Architecture

“Your path may be found on the road you took to avoid it.”

Forgotten Ones proverb

When the world grew still again after the Calamity, the ancestors of the Forgotten Ones amalgamated with their fellow war veterans and found spaces throughout the wilderness where they would be safe – safe from outsiders, safe from monsters, safe from starvation and pain – and settled into them. As time passed, each region developed its own practices and culture in response to the climate and pressures placed upon them, while still maintaining some contact with others that were like them. Because of this, it is possible to divide the Forgotten Ones into rough nations, or groups. These four groups are spread out across all of the known world, but they have each found a comfortable way of life for themselves.

First, there are those who make the main island of Linne, long ago known as Dunland, as well as islands farther to the east, their home. The volcanoes surrounding the area, including the famous one by Ryker’s Gate on the Seravian mainland, both offer some protection to the inhabitants, and also are dangerous enough to remind them to continually offer respect to the land. These people enjoy warm, temperate climates, the bounty of the ocean, and rich soil in many places. The vast view of the seas, lakes, and green hills continually remind them that they are only a small part of the whole of the world. Most of the year the weather in the islands is mild and comfortable, although in the spring storms pour in and batter the islands from all sides. These Forgotten Ones tend to build dome shaped houses, supported by frames of poles arrayed in a circle and arched inward to meet in the middle. Additional poles are laid across the frame and the entire structure in covered in skins, oiled or waxed cloth, or grass – all of which prove surprisingly sturdy and dry in the storm season.

Then there are those who live within the Frozen North. In the high, sharp, and cold places of the world where one could almost believe mankind had never been, these Forgotten Ones prove that through will and adaptability, mankind can persevere. Those that live here know that no matter how dangerous the world may seem, Vecatra will always provide for her people. These lands are old – older than most can understand. These are spaces containing ruins made by nonhuman hands and that still remember the footprints of giants. And these grounds contain the remnants of each civilization that has come to rest, lived, perished, and been forgotten here, leaving scraps and unintended aid in their ruins for the next set of hands to claim ownership of this untameable territory. Many among the northern clans build structures out of stone and earth and utilize natural caves- building rock walls across their entrances and throughout the interior to make them more easily protected against threats from above and below.

The mainland clans are likely the most numerous, for the forests and mountains of the old Throne are large and filled with as much bounty as danger – tempting their people to gluttony. Here the people must exercise self-control and discipline to remain humble and hidden, for times of peace and plenty lead to complacency and forgetting the names of the gods and guardians who came before and sowed the seeds the present harvests. These tribes are at higher risk of discovery from the Blight, those others outside who long ago forgot everything, seeking their resources. The structures of these tribes are varied, depending on what protection the land around them offers, but they largely build into the ground in the form of pit houses and earthen hillside homes in order to remain hidden from prying eyes.

Then there are those of the swamplands and bogs. The musk of the earth and decay reminds these Forgotten Ones of their roots and the cycle on which all creation turns. These places are shaded, wet, and peaceful like death. Those who dwell here see the inherent beauty in their mossy, treacherous landscape – even if to outsiders this is the place where the world rots away slowly and monsters lurk in every shadow. They know that what some decry as stagnation of the fen is, in reality, a glorious explosion of life – what is a tomb to some is a birthing bed to another. Those who live here are masters of building shelters that blend into the foliage of the swamp, often building their homes into the elevated roots of the cypress trees and using the living trunks of the trees as the supports for large thatched structures, the thatch woven together by vines or thin rope. These structures often look like nothing more than a forested riverbank or natural dam, and it takes a keen eye to separate what is manmade and what is not.

Major Cities and Villages



The largest settlement of Forgotten Ones on the islands of Linne is Crowatch, and the Crowatch Clan is one of the few groups that accepts the Blight for the purposes of limited trade partially within its bounds – although there are few who know the path through the dangerous reefs and volcanic formations that surround this port. Because of this policy of cracked open gates, they are seen as one of the more liberal groups by the other clans, and those who travel to Crowatch for inter-clan trade are often warned to be careful among such dangerous influences. They are also the clan most often looked down upon due to these practices, despite being the largest. Crowatch clan believe that while it is important for their way of life to be preserved, they should reward, with fair trade, those few outsiders who have made the difficult trek to them. In this way, they can still learn of the state of the outside world, and perhaps learn of new ranger births, or even spread bits of the wisdom of Vecatra. 

Nearby to Crowatch there are other, smaller villages. Feathersfall lies hidden in the cliffs to the east of Crowatch, and they are the watchers and the warriors for Linne. They use their lookout to watch for invading Hesha or other sea-going intruders, and their fleet-of-foot runners ensure that no one is caught unprepared by possible attack.

To the west of Crowatch is Talonscove, protected by reefs and rocks and blessed by the bounty of the waves. Vast schools of fish, kelp, and crustaceans keep this village and the surrounding areas fed, and none of what is brought up from the depths is wasted. The gifts of the sea are shared freely, and in return, the other clans and villages provide shares of their own goods and offerings, as needed.

Situated on a smaller island in what was originally the heart of old Dunland, is the village of Dreihgna. Working with Talonscove, Dreihgna feeds the earth and reaps the offerings that Vecatra provides, although they are sure to never plant so much that they strip the earth and incur its wrath. The island is mountainous, and is considered the highlands of the area. Dreihgna has towers and structures of stone and boulders from the surrounding landscape to protect them from the rough winds that can buffet the area. 

Near Dreihgna is a grove of trees that whose gnarled, thick trunks and roots betray their immense age. These ancient trees form a rough circle around a small hill that has, at its crest, a pure spring of bubbling water that has long been set with stones that reflect the light of the moon. This sacred space is peaceful and said to be a portal to the land of the fae, and all those who enter it do so with reverence. 


The primary city of the Mainlands is the Oakenhold. The people of Oakenhold are known for the farming and planting that they do within their secret settlements within the deep forests, as well as the careful harvesting of wood for timber. But despite the fact that they grow and till, they are very careful to make sure that what they take is always balanced by what they give – and in times before periods of rebirth they offer blood to the lands in order to restore its vitality and to nourish it – for they are aware that the elongated death cycle of humans means that they must feed the earth something to sate its hunger until their bodies are finally laid to rest. Some years, all provide a tiny portion of their blood to the earth. And some years, the hard years, the entirety of the lifeblood of several people is given. This blood is provided from those who are deemed the strongest, and competitions of strength are held among the mainland clans in order to determine which of their warriors are the most powerful and worthy of being returned to Vecatra. In the aftermath of this sacrifice, there are surprisingly few warriors who return from this ritual. Many believe this is because they have died fulfilling their purpose as is proper, and thus rest peacefully.

East of Oakenhold is Mistglen, and it is this village that takes most of the wood from Oakenhold and mills it, producing parts for weapons and tools, as well as structural building materials. They also process grain for the rest of the neighboring villages. Given that Mistglen processes two very needed resources that the clans of the area depend on, the village is heavily guarded and surrounded equally by settlements of the clans, just to be sure that no one gets too greedy and decides to take over Mistglen. 

To the South of Oakenhold is Dreadmoor, in a remote field near a floodplain. This is perhaps the most undesirable land within the whole of the territory, as it is bare and constantly overcast, but the area has some of the best clay deposits in the entire known world. The structures here are burrows, buried into the earth themselves, and those who stay here overlong tend to develop a bleak outlook on their lives. Those of Oakenhold and the surrounding villages that go to harvest alternate seasonally to ensure that no one group becomes too despondent.

North of Oakenhold is a collection of small settlements within the series of mountain valleys that stretch throughout the area. These settlements make up the Valleyward, and the people that live there are primarily known for being hunters and tanners. They will frequently trade their leathers, hides, and preserved meat with the rest of the Forgotten Ones in the area. The Valleyward have a reputation for being some of the most devout religious practitioners among the mainland Forgotten Ones, and are the first to be critical and violent towards those who do not seem to be keeping their promise to the earth. 

Hollow Song

North of the kingdom of Seravia, there are several clans that make their homes within the woods that have overtaken the ruins of cities. Their territory spans from the true frozen north to as close as they dare to the lands of vampires and their thralls. Life is difficult here, especially with the long winters and short summers. The largest settlement of the Hollow Song clan is grouped around a series of valleys high within the mountains of the frozen north. Here they are somewhat sheltered from the worst of the winter storms, if not from malefic creatures and wild predators. They are excellent hunters and scavengers, and often utilize their perch high above the world to locate places of interest, prey, and foes – sending out small groups on long journeys to gather resources and bring them back up the mountain. 

Towerfall, a settlement of the Firebird clan – a loosely allied clan to the Hollow Song – is located near a great ruin with a tower at its center. A flame that has never once burned out lies within that tower. The fire is believed to be a truly living thing – with sentience. It has preferences as to what it consumes, and parents tell their children to stay far away. The Firebird guard this flame, and periodically feed it the flesh it desires. In exchange, they are shown things – some make sense, and many do not, but this pyromancy is believed to have protected Towerfall on many occasions from disaster. The stewardship of the Firebird is at a distance, however, for they have repeatedly been discovered over the years – far more than any other clan – as magicians periodically journey to this site for unknown reasons. Sometimes the clan stops them, and sometimes it does not, but the danger posed by these visitors has led to a schism within the Firebird clan in recent years. Some think they should abandon their village and re-establish themselves elsewhere, while others insist they should instead wage merciless war on any intruder who violates their sanctum. 

The far northern clans are primarily descended from the old Njord people, and carve out lives for themselves with tooth and nail. Their relationship to the other clans is perhaps the most tenuous, as they have the highest numbers among them of those who continue the practice of worshipping the Grey Ones – the old gods that possibly go back to the first people. Theirs is not the veneration of Vecatra, and is severely disapproved of among the rest of the Forgotten Ones. It is believed that it was this worship that led many of the Njords to adopt the ways of the Triumverati and usher in the current state of the world. This is, however, a topic of considerable debate, as some believe the current state of the world to not necessarily be a bad thing. Regardless, anything that is not a reverence for Vecatra is considered taboo, and those who worship anything other do so in secret. 

These clans of the north certainly do not want for challenges beyond the realm of men and their disagreements. Opportunities abound here to resolve Malefic creatures, for the land teems with them, and Rangers may be sent north to these villages to assist in the efforts. The lands of Seravia to the south, in particular, are a proving ground of sorts to the Rangers, for in the unnatural forests of the immortal Lords are myriad hungering ghouls, creatures that should not be, and echoes of wrongs done long ago. 


At the edges of the Outlander wastes are a series of mountainous ridges that stretch into the forest. The base of these ridges are pockmarked with caverns, leading deep underground. The majority of the Outlander war bands do not venture here, avoiding the caves that none seem to return from. It is here that the Forgotten Ones’ city of Blackridge lies, hidden among the rocky outcroppings and partially buried with numerous subterranean dwellings. Those of the Blackbear clan who live here are scavengers, well versed in taking from the ruins of the wastes and reusing what others leave behind. They take what the earth gives freely and have managed well enough for themselves despite the difficulties presented by the environment. The nickname of the Blackbear clan is “Rat-eaters”, though in truth they hunt all manner of game. 

To the east of Blackridge is Lonewalk, a sacred space and temple to Vecatra herself. This beautiful outcropping of rock stretches out far above the floor of the wastes below, the air cool and clear and open to the sky, and also can be followed deep down into the dark womb of the earth. Only priests are allowed to take the walk down into the depths, for it is considered a spiritually harrowing journey, and it is believed that those who are not devoted wholly to Vecatra wander in the dark for the rest of time. However, on the cross quarter days, everyone from the Blackridge clan comes to worship at the open air portion of Lonewalk. Nearby is Blackhill, a small village whose occupants have dedicated their lives to tending Lonewalk. Thorn and Blackridge both support the village, in return for the work they do tending the temple.

Thorn is located to the north of Blackridge, and is a large village situated in the middle of a massive forest of brambles and thorny bushes. They remain safe at its center and harvest berries and other assorted fruit from the brambles that they help cultivate. The way in and out of the village is a labyrinth through this dense brier, and the people here use the maze prominently in their jewelry and designs as a symbol for humanity’s spiritual journey. They also tend to be one of the more heavily tattooed clans of Forgotten Ones, as they use the sharp thorns of the protective mass of prickly forest to pierce and mark themselves as a sign of their appreciation. 


North of the marshlands in the Outland territory lie imposing mountains believed to be infested with orcs. They are indeed that, but they also serve as a home to another branch of the Forgotten Ones. Within the valleys of the hills are wetlands and jungles formed by mountain streams and rivers that in turn feed the marshlands to the south and the few rivers that still course through the Outlands. Hanging swamps, an unusual geographic feature, also form unusual curtains of vegetation off of steep cliffs and hillsides. While the Forgotten Ones here take the usual efforts to keep their interaction with the rest of humanity to a minimum, they take special pains to avoid the orcs unless they are sure it is a fight they can win. The orcs are as much a part of the world as the other animals, including humans, and thus the Forgotten Ones do not have any special animosity towards them. However, orcs do pose a very serious threat, and it would be disastrous if they were ever lead near a village. Therefore, the villages and cities in the wetlands and bogs surrounding the Outland territory and beyond are especially hidden. The city of Hollowmarsh, seat of clan McInnes, is spread out amongst ancient massive trees so thick that the light of the sun rarely reaches the black water far below. The village is lit by fireflies and bioluminescent fungi, carefully cultivated by the population here to form a sort of twilight half-light. Fires are only burned low and indoors and inside cave and rock structures. The homes here are strange, organic-looking structures sitting atop natural dams and exposed roots, with bridges and boats ferrying people between them. Hollowmarsh is known for its natural medicines, poison, and alchemical supplies- all gathered from its environs and other nearby villages. 

Eilian’s Rest is another such village, fortified and hidden deep in the marsh, where a natural hillock rises above the fetid bog. Here, venom and poisonous fluids are extracted from creatures of all kinds and processed. The snakes in this area have a particular reputation for lethality. Whether the byproduct of poisonous experimentation, or the result of natural causes, dangerous gases and smoke rise up from the earth of the swamp, and many an unfortunate wanderer has perished in confusion from wandering too close to Eilian’s Rest and smelling something odd. The inhabitants here know which areas to steer clear from, and have also taken to creating deadly traps to protect themselves further utilizing the natural hazards in their land. 

In the south lies a strange jungle island, and situated on it is the village of Cors Cimree – a place where some of the most ancient among the Forgotten Ones are believed to dwell. The inhabitants believe that they are blessed with especially long lives because for generations they have been tested by countless diseases, toxic plants, and unnaturally dangerous animals. They are now some of the strongest, and it will take more than standard threats and sickness to lay them low. It is rare for other Forgotten Ones to venture into this area, for it is difficult to reach. A boat may be used to cross the water, but many wait for the stone step walkway that only appears in the darkness of the new moon. Stretching on for miles out into the black waters of the deep night ocean, no one knows what created the strange pathway, but all agree it is an act of extreme bravery to walk upon it. Not only does it cross Malefic-infested waters, it only lasts three nights and two days. In order to make it to the island in time, a traveller needs to hurry, but there also are no stopping and resting areas so it is in their best interest to keep a steady pace and stay alert. The risks are taken because Cors Cimree sits near the site of a sacred place – a grove containing trees with openings that allow one underground – sacred in the way only the oldest and most untouched places of the world can be. But those who know of the Cors Cimree site will also tell of the madness it brings to venture too far within the grove, or to enter the gateways within the trees. Many believe that the inhabitants of the village are actually given largely extended lifespans in exchange for their care of the grove, but their minds have grown twisted, unpredictable, and warped as a result. All in all, the place tends to be avoided by all but the most desperate. 

Notable Clans of the Forgotten Ones

“Humanity is united in pain. It is one of the few things we unarguably share in common. Your pain ties you to your ancestors and forebears, and it will link you to all who come after.We are an unbroken chain of pain.”

Excerpt from the Omphalos of the Undying

Most of the clans of the Forgotten Ones can trace their history back to ancestors in old Dunland or Njordr. While many of the Njords swore allegiance to the Triumverati and carried the war to the gates of the heart of the Empire, quite a few did not. Once their freedom from the oppression and assistance of the Throne was won, many Njords and Duns stayed behind. They are the ones who did not continue forward into endless combat, and instead looked back at the faces of their children and loved ones rather than forward into the fray. They are the ones who searched their hearts and found no love for the dark Triumverate. And they are the ones who chose to remember – remember the rituals, the refrains, and the respect for the god/dess at the core of all things. So they stayed behind, and cloaked themselves in the shadows and leaves.

The below clans are some of the most well-known, but many more clans than these exist on both friendly and hostile terms with each other. It is also worth noting that the Forgotten Ones prefer to refer to themselves by their clan rather than by the title “Forgotten Ones”. This cultural name is a catch-all term for the people who have built their theocracy around Vecatra. They also refer to themselves as a whole as “Those Forgotten by the World” and “Those Who Remember What Was Forgotten”. 

The Crowatch Clan

Clan Motto: What is Useful is Valuable

The Crowatch are a relatively new clan, in that they were formed after the fall of the Empire and do not trace their heritage to earlier times. As such, they have a smattering of various heritages among them and are more open to new blood in their midst. Their founder, Ciara Tàillear, who is believed to be a MacLeod before marriage, brought disparate groups of clan orphans, survivors, and small families together on the island of Linne (then called Dunland) to keep them safe. She led them into the forests and helped them build a camp that would become a village. The songs say that in the early days she would singlehandedly protect the small settlement from harm – sitting motionless high in the trees for days at a time, waiting for the enemy to approach. She would allow refugees and those seeking succor to enter unscathed. However, if they had ill intentions, she would unleash a volley of arrows at them, and her aim was the truest any had ever seen. The Njords at the time viewed her as a hero, and she became a branded man – a sign of honor and respect – and was given the name Ciara Crowatch due to her long vigil and her signature crow fletched arrows.

Since those times, the Crowatch people have evolved and grown significantly. The settlement they built has become the Forgotten Ones’ largest city, and has been named for the clan. They have a series of outposts along the cliffs coming into their territory and are known for fierce aerial assaults if they are threatened. True to their heritage, though, if Forgotten Ones come from other areas seeking refuge, they are usually allowed to stay. They must, however, prove that they are not Blight by reciting what heritage they know or what the teachings of Vecatra are that they know. Some other critical clans whisper that they sometimes slip, though, and let in outside influences, though this may be a belief born from fear of the Crowatch practice of periodic trading with outsiders. 

Their current leaders are Halvar and Asta Crowatch. Halvar is likely the youngest leader the Crowatch have ever had at 17 years old. Leadership for the Crowatch is determined by a rite of passage set by the current leaders when they feel it may be time to pass their mantle. Those who pass may challenge the leader for their position. Halvar completed the rite at the age of 16, and immediately issued his challenge. Despite his young age, he is viewed as a capable leader, though some have misgivings that such a large area known to some Blight should be in the hands of one so young – especially if he is impressionable. Asta, on the other hand, is many years his senior. While she passed her rite of passage for leadership when she was 32, she did not challenge for the role until she felt the time was right almost fifteen years later. She has now been in the role for the last thirty years. In her youth she trained as a midwife, a practice she still actively participates in. It is said that for the last three decades there has not been a single Crowatch birth she has not been present for.

The Crowatch are identifiable to other clans by their birdlike decorations and crow feathers that they wear.

The MacMorrow Clan

Clan Motto: Persist or Perish

The MacMorrows can trace their clan history back to Dunland. They have held their territory for many, many years, stretching back well before the Calamity into the Lion Age, if not earlier. They are a secretive clan that lives in the heart of the Isle of Linne. They rarely exit their forests, except for during sacred holidays or to trade in Crowatch. Where the Crowatch are open, they are closed and insular. Their territory holds hidden structures where they keep old relics and sacred texts, and it is believed that the leaders of Clan MacMorrow have special insight into the history of the islands through their study of the protected relics. The village of Dreihgna and its sacred hill and grove fall within their territory as well. Likely because of the obvious history and mysticism of the area, the MacMorrows train many priests and rangers, which are famous amongst the Forgotten Ones for their skill. 

While they are one of the more reclusive of the clans, they are also one of the more aggressive, as they consider the protection of their territory to be of particular importance. They consistently practice wargames to hone their skills, and while they do not raid or attack their neighbors unprovoked, they are quick and brutal when defending their own. They tend to shoot first if any uncertainty is present, and will purposively maim those who cross them or try to attempt to defile their sacred places. 

Their current leaders are Carroll and Eabha MacMorrow. Carroll has a head full of white hair, which he has had since he completed his rite of passage into adulthood at 14. He is now in his early 60s, and his health is failing him. For the past year there has been talk that he may need to select a successor if he does not recover soon. He is still strong enough to lead, even if most of his orders are given from his bed. Eabha, born on the same day as Carroll, still has bright red hair despite her age. It is rumored that her rage keeps her looking young. The year she completed her rite of passage into adulthood she was captured by a group of Blight moving through their territory. The Blight tried to force her to tell them where she had come from and where her village was, but she refused. As punishment, they cut out her tongue. While she has not been able to speak since that day, she has had no trouble communicating her wishes.

The MacMorrow are identifiable to the other clans by the yellow dye they use on their clothing.

The MacLaren Clan

Clan Motto: I Am What Remains 

The MacLarens lost their ancestral homeland and territory when the Ryker’s Gate volcano erupted and the landscape shifted and changed under the flow of lava and earthquakes. Many ballads are sung to the tragedy of the MacLarens finally winning their autonomy and lands back after a great many lives were lost, only to have it all melt away before their eyes as the world roiled and reshaped itself. All that they had tried to hold in their hands was lost. All that remained was their knowledge. This, they used to rebuild, and their clan spread out along the coast and islands of Linne and the mainland.

Today they spend almost as much time in the waters along the coast as they do on land. They use small, fast canoes to fish and ferry goods from settlement to settlement. They do not have any large vessels, so they are not capable of deep sea voyages. This is likely due to a lack of interest rather than a lack of skill on the water, however. There have been many Hesha vessels over the years that have made the mistake of acting aggressively in MacLaren territory only to find themselves quickly surrounded by small canoes, boarded and quickly sunk to the bottom of the sea.

Their current leaders are Fiske and Hemming MacLaren. Fiske is known for deep sea diving, and is capable of holding his breath for almost three minutes. He will frequently dive down to the seafloor and return with the spines from venomous rockfish. He will attach these spines to spears to add a more deadly element to the bite of the weapon. He is currently in his late 40’s and is expected to lead his people for many more years. Hemming MacLaren, on the other hand, is a gentle soul. He is a seer, and seems to live his life more in other realms than in the one he walks with his feet, distracted by visions of an ever changing future. While he is incompetent for simple tasks, like rowing a canoe, his wisdom and guidance are highly respected and he is credited with shaping the future of his people. He is currently in his early 30’s, and much like his partner is expected to lead for many more years.

The MacLaren’s are identifiable to the other clans by the fishing spears they carry, the interesting fishskin leather they’ve developed, and the blue or green dye they frequently use on their clothing.

The Flamewind Clan

Clan Motto: Adversity Makes Victory Sweeter

The Flamewind are an ancient clan that has left their original holdings far behind. Their history stretches back at least to the Age of Witchkings when they were one of the northern-most clans in the known world. They are named after their founder Jurgen Flame-Wind who was unpredictable, cunning, and certainly mad. He had a penchant for burning his enemies, and their families, alive. Before the Calamity, when the Njords invaded the Throne, the Flamewind clan joined in the invasion but had further to travel. They sailed to Dunland and then surged northwards, but they were one of the last to arrive. Surviving accounts and stories would indicate that they took particularly savage glee in the attack on Rogalian House Renett, the House tasked with the often brutal subjugation of Dunland and its people. It is believed that while they held no true animosity towards the House, they were filled with bloodlust and thirst for battle, and the shores of Renett were their first real taste of meaningful war in some time, and the hatred in the hearts of their brothers-in-arms, the Duns, was contagious. They stayed for some time in Rogalia, but their conquest and travels were disrupted when Mount Ossanegra erupted violently, destroying most of Ryker’s Gate. Half of the Flamewind clan was killed in the explosion. The leader at the time, Leif Clear Eyed, claimed that he saw his clans future in the flames. He told them that the land had demanded a sacrifice and that it was now their duty to make sure that the sacrifices to the land continued.

They now live along the coast of the mainland in the area around Oakenhold. They spend much of their time maintaining and carefully harvesting from the land, performing the correct sacrifices, and transporting lumber to the coast to be built into useful structures or traded to the MacLarens for fish. They use their reputation for being unpredictable to their advantage. If someone attempts to deceive or wrong them, their response might be innocuous and small or completely over the top and brutal. It is said that when the Flamewind respond ruthlessly, they are not crossed again for at least a generation, so heartless is their viciousness. 

Their current leaders are Makenna and Aoife Flamewind. Makenna trained for many years with the priests of her clan, and while she is not a priest herself, she is a zealot when it comes to fulfilling the sacred duties of her clan. Every year she holds competitions amongst the strongest of her clan to see who will be sacrificed to the land. It is considered an honor, and many compete every year. It is believed that her own children will likely be among those sacrificed in years to come. Her sister Aoife is equally driven, and believed to be even more vicious. She is rarely seen in Oakenhold proper, and instead she travels through Flamewind lands searching out Blight who have violated their territory. If she finds anyone they are swiftly captured, and much like the Clan’s founder, she burns them alive.

The Flamewind are identifiable to the other clans by the ash they smudge upon their faces and hands, as well as the red dye they frequently use in their ceremonial clothing.

The Blackbear Clan

Clan Motto: Neither Too Fast, Nor Too Slow

The Blackbear are descended from an older Njord clan called the Coldhands, a clan that primarily wanted to be left to their own devices. They only grudgingly participated in the Great War against the Empire, for while they valued their independence, they saw an alliance with the Triumverati to be exchanging one master for another. Their journey south was as slow as they could make it, and when they turned to the east, they kept as close to the mountains as possible, avoiding most of the major battles. Some accounts indicate that they never actually raised a sword against the Throne. This reluctance to fight in any conflict not wholly their own is something the clan is known for to this day. They are said to be the last you see on the battlefield – both because of the lateness of their arrival, and because of their ferocity when they finally have the battle lust upon them. They adopted the name Blackbear both for the Blackridge Mountains that they eventually settled in and for the extreme solitary nature of the bear. 

The Blackbear clan take great pride in their ability to endure all hardships and conditions. As they live in one of the harshest areas of the world, this tenacity is of particular importance. They use the extensive caves in the Blackridge Mountains to their advantage, camouflaging themselves in hidden shelters and underground dwellings throughout the mountain sides. They are more focused on their own self reliance than other Forgotten One clans, and will scavenge what they need from the surrounding area. 

Their current leaders are Calder Two Whispers Blackbear and Kari Serpents Tongue Blackbear. Calder is a sinewy man with many different stories as to how he acquired his name. He is known for taking his time with decisions and for being an exceptionally skilled hunter in the dark. It was his mother that lead before him, though leadership is not inherited by default. It was she who made the decision that the Blackbear clan needed to ensure that the village of Lonewalk was tended to, despite their independent tendencies, and Calder has continued this practice in the hopes it will continue as tradition. Kari is quicker to make a decision, though she does not voice it as her own until she has convinced the majority of the Clan that it is the best course. Considerably more political and diplomatic than Calder, Kari and Calder are still frequently at odds with one another. It is said that for each disagreement they have in public, three more happen behind closed doors. 

The Blackbear are identifiable by the heavy markings they wear under and around their eyes in the belief that it helps them hunt game in the caves they call home.

The Hollow Song Clan

Clan Motto: Gods For Us

The Hollow Song were spoken of in whispers when the Throne was young. In Njordr, they were treated much the same in stories as wild wraiths howling in the night, and many a child spent a frightened evening in bed after hearing the tales of Hollow Song. Their ancestral homes were so far in the dark and frozen parts of Njordr that their villages were mostly unknown, existing in areas that other Njords would have considered uninhabitable. Some believe they are descended from giants, and some believe their blood is mixed with far less welcoming things. While their holdings are larger and further south than in centuries past, their leader’s seat of power is always where the snow never thaws. Territory is usually marked by the bones of beasts and men, decorated with furs and appearing to resemble monstrous horrors when viewed through twilight and snow.

The Hollow Song cling strongly to their history, and it could be argued that they are only loosely considered Forgotten Ones at all. They are almost a culture unto themselves, for few desire to approach them for aid, with one notable exception. Skalds have attempted over the years to ingratiate themselves to the clan, for theirs is perhaps the greatest repository of poetry artifacts among the Forgotten Ones, and some believe that they may even hold a fragment of the world’s oldest verse. 

They have created some of the most difficult rites of passage of any of the clans, though the particulars are not often spoken of. It is known that they usually involve traveling into the bleak wilds, committing some immensely heart-rending deed, and returning. 

Their current leaders are Hillevi and Oili Hollow Song. Hillevi is of an indeterminate age, having held the position for at least 50 years. While she speaks of Vecatra and follows all the rites, there are persistent rumors that she also follows the ways of the Old Gods, adding fuel to the fires of suspicion amongst the other Forgotten Ones. Oili has a cleaner reputation amongst the Forgotten Ones, so most of the visiting skalds will attempt to seek her out instead, despite her role being a leader for internal issues. As a youth she was sent south to visit other clans during the sacred holidays. She is known for her joking nature and kind smile. However, there are whispers that her smile hides sharp teeth, and once crossed, her cruelty knows no bounds.

The Hollow Song are identifiable to the other clans by their gruesome armor and clothing decorations, which make use of bones, skulls, and tanned human faces. 

The MacInnes Clan

Clan Motto: Prepare For Life; Prepare For Death

The MacInnes have always held and clung fast to the Vecatran faith, even when it was immensely dangerous to do so. They consider the occupation by foreigners during the Lion Age to be a dark time in their ancestors’ history. At one point, their ancestors engaged in open revolt and revolution, only to be brutally put down to set an example to the rest of Dunland. Much of their sacred texts and holy sites were desecrated and destroyed and Clan MacInnes as a whole was forcibly removed from the islands and made to work in the mines far to the east in Gotha. The MacInnes did manage to save and smuggle a few of their texts and artifacts, but the ones that were hidden are considered lost, as they were stashed away in places along the forced migration through the mainland. The knowledge of Vecatran rites were memorized and passed along through story, song, and markings where they could be. To this day, many a member of Clan MacInnes dreams of attempting to retrace the clan’s steps back to the Isle of Linne and finding the lost artifacts along the way. Many believe that the mysteries of the source of the Calamity may be buried somewhere, as well as potential solutions for healing the world of its growing Night Malefic problem. 

Most the the MacInnes now call the swamplands of the Outlands their home, though offshoots of the clan have situated themselves closer to the sunken Sha’ra Sea. They routinely send out small groups to explore and search and are one of the more mobile and roaming of the clans. When they leave the safety of their swamps and pass through the territory of other clans, as a sign of good will they will spread what ancient lore and knowledge they have to the priests there. They believe that knowledge of the world and Vecatra should be shared wherever possible, and is not meant to be hoarded. After all, if their own lore had not been kept in one place long ago, perhaps it would not be lost now. Due to this, they are typically more welcome in other clans’ territories than others would be. 

Their current leaders are Kaley and Einar MacInnes. Kaley is an elderly woman who has spent more of her life as a druid than a political leader. She was sent on many journeys away from home to search for answers of the past and future, and spent a considerable amount of time in the presence of rangers. She has been training her replacement for the last five years. While she is still in good health, the MacInnes strive to have a peaceful transition, with the least amount of knowledge loss as possible. Einar MacInnes has spent most of his young life inside the swamps. He was training to become a skald and go on his first journey outside his homeland when he was selected by his predecessor, Hagan MacInnes, for training. His training was cut short when Hagan passed unexpectedly only two months after. He now spends much of his time chronicling the various sagas that his clan bring back, trying to recapture the knowledge lost when Hagan died.

The MacInnes are identifiable to the other clans by the tartan cloth they wear that incorporates the colors of red, black, and green, though variants do exist. 

The Runespeaker Clan

Clan Motto: I Dare

The Runespeakers have a reputation for being a peacekeeping clan among the Forgotten Ones, taking the position that the matters of strength and dominance can always be sorted out on an individual basis, and thus are an individual concern. The issues that should matter to the clans as a whole should be contemplation of the future and their place in it. They are taught from a young age that all of the answers and signs one seeks are obvious in the world around them – it is simply a matter of being able to notice them and understand. There is really only one great story of mankind, and it repeats itself over and over in an effort to be truly heard. Perhaps the most educated clan, the Runespeakers place great emphasis on knowing and understanding the written runic language they use, said to originally have come from the dwarves long since disappeared, and the complex array of stave designs that are believed to communicate deeper meaning to the user. 

The Runespeakers took no part in the Great War, which created a longtime reputation for them of being cowardly or traitors to their culture. Even to this day, after centuries and generations, diffidence of the Runespeaker Clan in battle is referenced in various unflattering expressions. The clan itself says that their leader had read the runes and saw something that caused him to hold them back. They allowed the other Njords and even the Triumverati free passage through their lands, but the end result was that the Runespeakers ended up fighting against their own more often than not. After several bloody conflicts, the Runespeakers consulted the guiding stones and headed south on a long pilgrimage that ended in the southern forests of Gotha. Along the way they gathered up those Duns and Njords who seemed to be searching for meaning in the midst of all the bloodshed and chaos. When the Calamity occurred, and word was received that the old Njordr valley the Runespeakers used to call home had been partially filled by massive rock and snow avalanches, the clan understood why they had been led away. Within their forested home of ash, alder, and fir, they were untouched, but capable of observing the world as it fell. They had always prided themselves on being the memory of the clans, and now they were the memory of the world.

More so than any of the other clans, their members tend to be skalds. They spend their lives learning and memorizing the stories of the people. They send representatives of their clan to every sacred holiday, and to every sacred location, to learn the stories that are told in the days leading up to them. Those who do not become skalds frequently learn the ways of the crafters, and in every item they weave or bead, there is supposedly a story to behold as well. 

Their current leaders are Frode and Sigrid Runespeaker. They became the leaders of the clan on the same day. Unlike the other clans, the leaders of the Runespeakers go through the rite of passage to become the leaders together. They are meant to guide in tandem, and when one falls they both fall. Frode is a deeply lined and wrinkled man with eyes as white as the snow, though he is not blind. His eyes lost their hue during the rite of passage to become a Runespeaker leader, and it was taken as a sign that he was capable of seeing the layers of meaning beneath the surface. He is also perhaps the world’s most talented storyteller, and hundreds will gather around him at night as he weaves emotions from nothing but words. Many say that they experience vivid dreams after hearing Frode speak. Sigrid has become hunched in her old age. Her eyes are jet black, and like Frode they darkened during the rite of passage to become a leader. While Frode stares into the past, Sigrid stares into the future. She is practical, pragmatic, and a woman of few words. With her strong tactical mind, mixed with whatever insights she receives from her visions, she has managed to keep the Runespeakers out of all major conflicts since she earned her position.

The Runespeakers are identifiable by the runic markings they decorate their faces and mouths with.

Power Structure

“Absolutely not! I can not agree with this. To take on the Kuarlites is death for us all.”
“They are a day’s walk from our village, Erik. If we do not preemptively attack, they will find us and death will be upon us, regardless. Unless they dramatically alter course, they will come right up to our eastern side.”
“We are not prepared or equipped to fight this kind of battle, and you know it, Freydis.”
“You speak as if we have a choice.”

Record of the Shardfall Winter Crescent,
found in empty village

The Forgotten Ones have leaders that serve both temporal and spiritual leadership functions, with the quality of one’s secular power considered also a measurement of their ability as a spiritual leader. These leaders are always paired- with one representing masculine essence and one the feminine. These positions are often filled with a man and a woman, but that is not universally the case, and the Forgotten Ones freely acknowledge that these aspects can be present in anyone. Traditionally, each of these leaders keep their own council of advisors and elders, depending on the size of the clan, and these two councils each make up half of the ritual circle for the clan. These halves follow a seasonal naming structure, with the feminine aspect leading the Summer crescent and the masculine one leading the Winter crescent.

These two half circles are tasked with overseeing the activities which fall within their purview. The Summer crescent is most concerned with the internal matters and structure of the clan such as agriculture, construction, the raising of livestock and children, punishment of internal wrongdoing, and gathering appropriate resources. The Winter crescent is much more externally focused, and typically governs war and the training of warriors, hunting, exploration, dealing with outside threats, and interactions with other clans and the Blight. Despite the separation of these duties, each circle will assist each other whenever one crescent finds that they do not possess the knowledge necessary for a task and work together as a whole to lead the community in the many rituals that make up the year. Consultations between the two crescent halves is common in matters that appear to affect both spheres of influence.

Becoming a member of either crescent is typically a matter of making yourself useful or proving yourself to one or another of the groups. While either leader could simply choose the members of their crescent, many prefer to keep the peace by allowing the group as a whole to nominate and vote on new members. So too is it with new leaders for the clan. While clan leaders can, and do, choose their replacements, it is expected that the ritual circle as a whole also should approve of the new leader, for at any time a super majority vote of the entire ritual circle is enough to depose a leader. 


“I do not send you away because I hate you, I send you away because I yearn for who you will be when you return.”

Harald Featherheart to his son

While there is no overall system of laws in place across all of the Forgotten Ones’ clans, their adherence to the worship of Vecatra means that they tend to have a large amount of consistency in their laws. For example, every single clan considers interacting with the holy men and women of other gods to be dangerous at best, and participating in outsider rituals to be completely abhorrent. While some clans allow their members to interact with the Blight in limited amounts, most believe that avoiding all contact with those who may serve gods other than Vecatra to be the best and safest choice. Many clans will work hard to make sure that the Blight never even pass through their territory, while others ensure that any who do set foot in their territory never leave it again.

The clans of the Forgotten Ones also punish any who disrupt the natural world without working to restore the balance, and forbid the wasting or hoarding of resources. But they also go a step farther, and believe that those who enable these actions are almost as bad as those who perform them. It is a crime of complicity to avoid solving problems for the community or assisting those in need if it is within your power to do so. As the communal rites performed by the clans are seen as a way to give back to the world and ensure that balance is maintained, it is often considered criminal to refuse to participate in the rituals of the clan.

And of course, any of those who are responsible, directly or indirectly, for the creation of malefic creatures are punished should they not take immediate steps to correct and resolve the situation, and often even if they do so, in order that they not repeat the mistake again. Such monsters are caused by horrific wrongs in the world and it is the responsibility of the community to work to set those imbalances to right.

While obvious wrongdoing by one party is assigned punishment by the clan leaders and council, interpersonal grievances are handled in a very hands-off way. If two or more individuals – or groups – are at odds due to perceived slights or offenses, it is expected that they will deal with the issue themselves. Bystanders are culturally discouraged from ever taking sides. Friends may lend an ear to allow a companion to vent, but the Forgotten Ones do not involve themselves in quarrels that are not their own. To do so invites a greater fracturing of the community and can ultimately create schisms over issues that should have been handled by those at odds from the start. And it should go without saying that the Forgotten Ones never want to be involved in the politics, rivalries, and battles of the Blight. That would be interfering in issues wholly not their own. 

If an issue is brought to the attention of the Summer Crescent and the clan leaders, the punishments are far harsher than they would be normally, as not only did the parties involved do wrong, they could not handle it themselves, and made it someone else’s problem. 

Punishment itself is incredibly varied, although it comes down to the same basic idea: correct the wrong and learn your place in the world. Small punishments for children, for example, often involve educational tasks, or sending the child to a different family in order to learn a relevant skill or lesson that drives home the reason for acceptable behaviors. Adults, meanwhile, are set punishment tasks by the crescent whose purview they fall under – warriors by Winter, farmers and crafters by Summer, for example – in order that they may restore the balance for whatever crime they committed.

These punishments do not necessarily have to be linked thematically to the specific crime, although they can be – someone who steals or hoards sweets may be tasked with finding and gathering a specific amount of honey. But what the tasks have in common is that they require effort – often significant effort – and that, typically, the wrongdoer is not allowed to return to some aspect of their daily life until they complete the task. This might mean being forbidden from sleeping in one’s home, or not being allowed to wear protective footwear, for example, until the penance has been carried out. For the worst of crimes, however, the offender is not allowed to return to the bounds of the tribe’s territory until they have completed their task.

These more serious tasks for grave offenses may range from difficult to almost impossible, but they are never given maliciously. Instead, the council circle and the leaders of the tribe work together to determine what is fair – what will balance the severity of the crime and ensure that the individual learns and grows into a better person. 

Those that are banished from their territory until they have completed their task are typically given supplies and goods with which to make their way, as well as their clan’s best understanding of the nearby world and how it works, including a knowledge of salt and which people are in power nearby. After all, nothing is learned if they are unable to even try to complete their task. Once they have completed their atonement, it is assumed that Vecatra has forgiven them and that the balance is restored, and they are welcomed back into the community.

In stark contrast to other cultures is the unusual stance that the Forgotten Ones take towards returning from the grave. It is considered a wrongdoing, and is frowned upon as disgraceful or dishonorable. Humanity alone is the outlier animal who does not always stay in the ground, and should be always striving to be part of the natural world and law. It is firmly believed that if one is returning from death, they have not died in accordance with their beliefs and have been untrue to themselves and Vecatra. In so doing, they have stepped outside of the natural cycle, leaving unfinished business behind, and have wasted the gift of life that was given to them. Some clans continue their mourning and refuse to acknowledge that the deceased has come back for a period of time as a shunning and punishment practice. However, coming back as oneself is preferable to coming back as Malefic, so the act of coming back is eventually forgiven, especially after an atonement is performed to place the person back in alignment with nature and their place within it. 


“Your neighbor is not something separate, but a part of you. Do you charge your arm for the work of your legs?”

Hemming MacLaren

While the economy of much of the world is a relatively simple one based on bartering, the Forgotten Ones stand apart in this area as well. They do not have an economy in the same way that other societies do, based on excess, worth, and need. As the tenets of Vecatra teach, the clans are ethically forbidden from wasting resources or hoarding them, and they are encouraged to work together to improve the community. As such, they do not trade with each other in order to gain wealth or status, but rather give surplus freely to others in order that their extra resources do not go to waste.

This creates a symbiotic relationship among the clans. The work that an individual does is not for themselves, or their survival, but rather so that the clan as a whole might survive. Each individual is an extension of the community as a whole, as if it were one organism, and as such, goods and information flow freely within the clans. Between the clans is a different relationship, and is dependent upon whether or not the clans are on friendly terms with one another. If they are not, then one clan may have something the other clan needs and will take by force, as is also natural. For example, the Hollow Song clan are not on good terms with many, and they have a tendency to take indiscriminately what they need from outsiders if the opportunity presents itself. Meanwhile the Runespeaker and the MacInnis clans have a respectful relationship, despite being separated by considerable distances, and the Crowatch and the MacMorrow clans are often in open conflict. 

Even when it comes to the Blighted People, the Forgotten Ones do not trade in the same way that others such as the Nemien do. In fact, those who are lucky enough to trade with the Forgotten Ones and survive often label them as naïve, or foolish. They do not hold back from trading all of their surplus to get what they want in exchange, even if that means that they are trading an outlandish amount of goods to get those things. There are stories among the Nemien of the clans trading thousands of fish for only a set of shovels, or refusing to accept a trade of excess grain for 50 people when they only needed grain for 10. After all, they are trading things they have no need of for something that they do, and they have no desire to take on excess goods that will go to waste. Such interactions often make it difficult for outsiders to predict what the Forgotten Ones will do next, as they seem to be playing with an entirely different rulebook.

Natural Resources

“Some feel the rain. Others just get wet.” 

Forgotten Ones proverb

Given how far spread out across the world the clans are, there is no consistent set of natural resources for all of the members of the Forgotten Ones. However, their isolation from the chaos, overcrowding, and desolation of the cities, along with their carefully hidden villages free from outside influence means that they are perhaps among some of the best fed people across the continent.

Within their territories, each clan produces what they need to survive, with some villages specializing in a particular resource that is needed by the rest of the clan. Some clans, such as those on the Mainland and on the Islands, practice some forms of agriculture. The raising of sheep, goat, or domesticated deer is commonly done in order to have a source of wool and meat on hand. Some clans have even been known to raise elk and moose for riding, both in battle as well as day-to-day transportation. The food and resources available to other cultures tied to a particular region are also available to the Forgotten Ones. For example, marshes and swamps tend to provide herbs, reptiles, fish, leafy vegetables, grasses, and fruits. Forested and temperate areas may provide wood, berries, game, fungi, grains, and leather. Mountainous and desert regions provide ore and various fruits, nuts, livestock, and game options. 

They do use preservation techniques such as smoking, salting, or pickling meats and vegetables to make them last through the winters and early springs. But the main difference between the resource gathering of the Forgotten Ones and their Blight neighbors within the same region is that while others may desire to harvest resources for improvements, advancements, and stockpiles for the future, the Forgotten Ones are trying to take only what they need. They do not desire technological advancements or shortcuts; if anything, they are trying to reconnect with their past and live as they did when they world was young. For the most part, ore mining is avoided, and metalcrafting, and blacksmithing done only infrequently. While some clans may trade for metal weapons occasionally, and scavenged metal and ores may be heated and put to new purpose, destructively mining into the earth is frowned upon by all. Weapons are more often fashioned from stone, hardwood, and bone. 

While it is rare that Blighted outsiders are traded with, there is a service that is sometimes provided by the Forgotten Ones in exchange for something they need. Typically performed by exiles as they complete their punishment tasks, a Forgotten One may offer their expertise as a guide to small groups through dangerous areas of the wilderness. This allows a solitary Forgotten One a quick means of obtaining the goods and services and protection best offered by a group or community, and helps ensure that the hiring group does not go anywhere near the Forgotten Ones’ villages. Some clans regularly will send out guides to the Blight with offers of these services just for this reason – the more people know of a tried and true route through the wilderness, the more likely they will be to take it and not go wandering where they should not. 

Diet & Dining Customs

“Sow your fields with someday and you’ll only reap hunger.”

Forgotten Ones proverb

The Forgotten Ones excel at finding food in whatever environment they call home. Perhaps this is due to a large distinction between them and the rest of the world – they are settled exactly where they want to be. While some villages are more idyllic than others, all sites were chosen for their relative isolation, resources, and defenses. They are true omnivores, eating what they are given the opportunity to eat based on the seasons and the skill of their hunters, farmers, and gatherers. 

Meat is a staple for most of the Forgotten Ones, as hunting is a skill many pride themselves on. Youths are trained from a young age to take only the animals that are needed, and to control the population of game so that they do not multiply and starve. The Forgotten Ones hunt deer, elk, gazelle, various fowl, rabbits, and even bears – if the need is great enough and the opportunity presents itself. They also fish if they are close enough to the water. Some clans also raise sheep and goats for milk and wool that will give up their flesh if the need arises as well. Once felled, no part of the beast goes to waste. Their fat is kept as oil. Any marrow not eaten from the bones is made into a soil additive. Furs and skins are prepared for clothing, horns, bones, and antlers are used for tools, needles, and decorations, and everything that is edible is harvested.


Forgotten Ones add plants to their meals in two distinct ways: forest farming and foraging. Forest farming is a method of agriculture that relies on clearings in the woods as a space for planting so as not to disturb the surrounding trees. This way the people are able to have squash, potatoes, onions, root vegetables, corn, and more. Their second method, and most used, is foraging. Many edible plants, wild vegetables, and mushrooms can be found in fields and forests. Greens such as stinging nettles and dandelions provide nutrition to salads and soups, and berries like blackberries, mulberries, blueberries, and wild strawberries bring a brightness to the Forgotten Ones diet that many outside the forests would crave. Wild rice and cereal grains can be made into rough flours that make a hearty bread as well as porridges. And all rejoice when beehives and their honey are found, for that means desserts and mead are possible. 

Because of their relationship with the world around them, one would think that the Forgotten Ones would shy away from the idea of animal husbandry. However, the prey and predator, weaker and stronger dynamic is present all throughout the natural world, as is the idea of symbiotic relationships, and these are all things that the Forgotten Ones try to emulate and remember. There is a divide on the matter, however, with some clans believing that domesticating animals for their meat, eggs, dairy, and wool is still completely part of the natural order, and some clans arguing that nowhere in nature does anyone find one animal domesticating another. These more hardline clans do without things like butter and cheese, and stick to foraging wild eggs. 

Once the gathering is done, the Forgotten Ones are very generous with their food, for it is meant to nourish everyone within the clan. Large feasts will be held on holidays to celebrate their bounty, and everyone is expected to contribute to the affair, which makes for a wide variety of food to be served. For more standard meals, the Forgotten Ones eat as families or with their working groups, such as hunters with their companions or fishermen with their fellow crew. Serving and eating vessels are usually wood, large shells such as abalone, horn, or clay.

Presentation is not given much heed as the point of a meal is not to impress, but to share, bond, and hopefully eat something that tastes good

Fashion & Dress

“Nothing is ever truly lost or wasted.”

– saying of the Forgotten Ones

As is their way, the Forgotten Ones embrace their environment in almost everything they do, and trust the world to provide the things they need. Their attire is no different. They source their materials close to home, and know how to take advantage of every small gift the land gives them.

The fabrics of the Forgotten Ones are made of many things, for they tend to reflect the local resources and land they live on. Cedar bark is pounded into pliable sheets that are stitched together with sinew, while marsh grasses and flax are useful for weaving and spinning bigger swaths of material. They also make their leather from deer or other animals that they hunt. Along with leather comes fur, oft-used in the colder climates to the North, and on the coasts when frigid storms roll in. Wool is also a well-loved option, and takes dyes very well. The Forgotten Ones tend herd animals such as sheep, though not in great numbers, as large herds would require more space than the Forgotten Ones have to give. 

The clothing made by the Forgotten Ones is meant to blend seamlessly with the environment in which they live, and makes heavy use of skins and natural dyes. They consider camouflage carefully, for it serves them in both hunting and stealth requirements. A brown cloak can hide you in the underbrush of a forest, or slate grey tunic and breeches won’t stand out among the rocks. Metal is something that is avoided in large quantities – both because it requires a large amount of resources to create metal objects from ore, and because it glints and shines in the light – often giving positions away. The sometimes exception to this is weaponry, with ancestral swords and axes being highly prized. 

Many of the Forgotten Ones wear plain tunics and breeches roughly spun from cotton or wool. While simple, the collars and cuffs can be adorned with winding and interlocking embroidery, often depicting animals or intricate geometric patterns. Some women wear long tunics beneath dresses with beads draped across the bodice while men may wear jerkins. Cloaks lined with fur are an essential in the winter time. The clothing is meant to be sturdy but comfortable, with layers for warmth. 

Come festival time, however, the Forgotten Ones stray from their usual color scheme of neutral tones to those more reminiscent of far away cultures and times. They will bring out clothing dyed red or deep blue, saffron and emerald green. They will adorn themselves with brightly colored beads made from glass and bone. Their hair will be braided with ribbons and beards combed. If one is to have a day of revelry away from the toils of their usual work, it requires more than just everyday stained garments. Holidays take place within the safe harbor of the villages themselves and are considered a time to be seen. 

Normally, the Forgotten Ones wear more conservative accessories. Dulled bronze, iron, and silver torcs depicting animal designs are worn as a sign of lineage among men and women, though too much metal upon the body is considered gaudy and dangerous. Oftentimes, one will see hunters and warriors with brooches indicating the kills they have made or the battles they have won. Many wear necklaces with wooden or bone pendants, and beads that signify status and accomplishments. For example, the wearing of falcon bones would indicate that the bearer has been immensely successful in the war games often played within the clans, while beads of amber would indicate that one has ascended to join the Winter Crescent. Amulets for protection are also common, as well as jewelry bits that have sentimental significance. When a child comes of age, they are gifted a small animal carving that signifies something unique about them and their skills; one child might receive a fox for her swiftness and cunning, while another would be given a bear for his strength and ferocity. These carvings often make their way into the accessories and attire of the Forgotten Ones.

Cosmetics and other finishing touches are less common among the Forgotten Ones, although they have a penchant for staining their skin with woad and other plant-based dyes. Like the Hesha, they are fond of piercings, though they may wear slivers of bone, wood, and claw, while the seafaring peoples prefer delicate gold and silver. The overall effect of the Forgotten Ones’ appearance is meant to be sensible, beautiful, and fierce – the way nature itself is. Ideally, their clothing is hardy enough to last many years – with leather armor, jewelry, and weapons intended to endure through generations. The clans are proud of their heritage and history, and to wear something worn by one’s parents’ grandparents roots one to their place in time and reminds them of who they are. 



“You judge it cruel? The way we test our children? Pah. It is no more cruel than the sparrow or the bear. It is your way of letting them loose in the world without making sure they are ready that is cruel.”

Colm, disgraced Forgotten One guide

Those within the Forgotten Ones know what their role is very early in life, and generally they stick with that purpose for the entirety of their existence. While children are raised by their parents, and those parental bonds are seen as very important for their development, it is generally understood that no two people have all the knowledge necessary to help a child achieve adulthood. Thus, teachers and elders are held in very high regard for the necessary function they provide. 

When a child is born, the clan’s leaders will generally ask that the infant be brought to them so that they might consult with the earth and wind to see what path is best for them to walk in their life. However, the decision is often not made until the child has laughed for the first time, which typically happens at around three or four months of age. The laughter is important, as it indicates that the soul has decided to stay within the world. The most wise among the clans say that children who perish before they laugh had not intended to be born yet, and perhaps will try again in another generation or two.

After they have laughed, they are given an official name and a ceremony is conducted by the clan leaders and council to determine what the child’s role in society will be. Afterwards, they are presented to the community as a whole. From that moment forward they are trained to their place and duties, and they are constantly learning more to help guide them in their path. Those who are training to be warriors, for example, will also need to know how to work with herbs so that they can heal themselves, or how to walk silently among the forest paths. Those whose paths include ritual and religion are taught how to write in runes and staves. This writing is not used for day-to-day bookkeeping or communication, but is considered sacred and heavy with intention and meaning. Words written in this way do more than simply communicate, for there is an underlying power to this written language – and the shades of meaning of each symbol, and its relation to the symbols around it, are as important as the meaning of the whole.

The spoken language of the Forgotten Ones is closest to the tongue of the old Njordic people, though it is inevitable that with distance, isolation, and time, local dialects have developed. The end result is that while the language itself is similar, the way in which it is spoken has diverted so much that a far northern clan may not understand what a southern wastes clan member is trying to say in their particular accent and jargon. Perhaps because of this reason, there is an even greater appreciation for written records, as their care and clarity leave little room for confusion. 

How each individual is named differs from clan to clan, but generally involves a personal name that is picked by the parents and a secret name that often metaphorically describes their path in life. This secret name is the one given by the clan leaders and is meant to be known by those most intimate and close with the child in their life. To know someone’s secret name is to know what the wise ones saw as their destiny, and some even believe it is the true name of the soul.

A given personal name tends to be steeped in history or tradition, and it is common for a child to be named after an ancestor or to follow a certain naming convention through the generations. Examples of common names are Brennan, Eydis, Radulfr, Eldrid, Finley, and Dierdre. In place of a surname, many Forgotten Ones simply use their clan name, and leaders will always adopt the clan name if they had not done so already. A secret name might be Dreams of Flames, Autumn Leaves, or Mockingbird, though some clans use simple, more monosyllabic sounds that seem to come from nature such as Ulu, Kreck, and Arun. 

Medicine, Science, & Technology

“Just like every person has a purpose and a goal dear to their spirit, so too does every leaf in the wild. It is simply a matter of figuring out what that purpose is and using it as it wishes to be used.”

Siobhan MacInnes

The Forgotten Ones live their lives striving to be at peace with, and within, the natural order, and this lifestyle is especially pronounced in how they approach technology and medicine. While they recognize the immediate benefits of mines, guns, and explosive materials, they believe that they are not worth using; both due to the long term impacts on the earth, and also because these sorts of technology are a crutch that humanity has used to make up for its natural weaknesses. The Forgotten Ones instead subscribe to the idea of “get stronger or die”. Mining for ore tears into the earth, creating wounds that can take generations to heal. To process the ore would also create far more need for things like charcoal that also have the potential to be destructive. Instead of actively harming and depleting space they force themselves into as the Blight does, they build their society in the ample spaces already provided for them. In doing so, they have found ways not only to survive in the wilderness, but to thrive there as well.

There is little cause or desire for innovation among the Forgotten Ones, for they are taught that they already have everything they need to survive and live well. The world will provide the tools they need. Why dig into the earth when it forms caves on its own? Why cut down excessive trees when they will eventually fall without any interference? If they have patience, understanding, and pay attention, Vecatra will provide. That does not mean, however, that they should not work diligently for their own successes and advantages. While the world does provide caves and trees, they must still be able to find them and clear them of dangers before use. The food the world provides must still be hunted and caught. Death still waits for the unwary.

Additionally, to stay safe, they use the terrain to their best advantage. They will build their villages near marshes, brambles, or along cliff edges for natural protection. Adept at trap-making, the Forgotten Ones will also devise all manner of naturally camouflaged defenses. Using leaves and twigs, they will cover uneven ground and pit traps. Treacherous rockslides and small avalanches can be rigged to be released by a careless step. The Forgotten Ones spend their lives learning what in their territory is beneficial to their clan, and what will hurt their enemies; then they pass that knowledge on to the next generation. They know what to eat, what to build out of, and what to avoid at all costs. Through this unbroken chain of knowledge and understanding, they have become skilled scavengers, hunters and foragers. Nothing they gather goes to waste. Eventually, everything they acquire finds a purpose or it is given away to those who will make better use of it. 

The world around them also provides potent medicines. Food and medicine are sometimes referred to almost interchangeably, as one consumes plants, animals, and herbs all for a desired effect – which can range from curing hunger to curing sufferspots. Due to their isolation from the evils and influences of the Blight, as well as their varied diet, the Forgotten Ones do not often deal with large outbreaks of illnesses. They also dedicate themselves from a young age to strengthening their bodies to avoid injury. In order to avoid broken bones, for instance, they will strike heavy objects over and over again to strengthen their arms and legs. In order to avoid injury or death from venomous or poisonous things, they will ingest small amounts of the venom or poison until they are immune to its effects. When they do fall ill or injured, however, they have healers who treat all manner of ailments. They have two groups of healers, those that deal with the body and those who deal with the spirit.

Those who deal with the body use their knowledge of plants and other medicinal items to assist in healing wounds and injuries from battle and the hazards of daily living. Their methods for healing the body are practical, but frequently leave scars. Usually the body is cleansed with water, garlic, and wine in order to make the injury receptive to healing. For larger wounds, bigger than a handswidth, they will sew the flesh back together. For most smaller injuries, they may simply cauterise the wound or wrap it in herbs, honey, and bandages. Sometimes, though, an injury may be too serious to stitch up or heal. In those cases, the healer and the injured have to figure out what they believe is salvageable and what can still be put to use, even if not for its original purpose. For instance, if the bones in hand were crushed beyond repair, but the rot is unlikely to set in, instead of trying to fruitlessly set all of the bones, they might instead tightly wrap up the hand, allowing the bones to heal into a club-like shape. The hand would be useless for most things, but it is reformed into a useful weapon.

The healers that deal with the spirit are usually called in to deal with mysterious illnesses or injuries that will not heal. In these situations, it is believed that there either must be an outside force at work that is preventing the patient from becoming well, or they are sick in their soul. The patients that they deal with are moved to a private shelter to prevent the negative essences from infecting the rest of the clan. The healers will then prepare their bodies to go and combat these energies. They have a cleansing ritual that they perform, using sweat, water, and incense to become purified. Having thus protected themselves, they are fit to guide the patient to health. Depending on the nature of the illness, there may be specific foods, teas, or smoking preparations they offer the patient, or they may perform a similar purification rite on them that they themselves did. After which, they may paint the patient’s skin in a red clay paste that will harden and draw out the illness. These are only a few examples of the forms that healing of the spirit can take. Many do not bother telling their patients what they are doing. It is not important for the sick to understand what makes them better, just that it does.

On very rare occasions, the efforts of the healers do not work. Perhaps the injury is just too severe, the malicious spirit or curse too powerful, or perhaps the patient’s soul is too heavy with loss or pain. When all efforts have been exhausted, they will send the patient into the wilderness to find their own cure. If they are meant to survive, they will find it and return healthy. If they are not, it is their final hunt. However, since they die performing this sacred ritual it is believed that their spirits will die in peace and they are able to appropriately pass on.

The Forgotten Ones believe that man has always been well-equipped to interact with the forces of nature, but we were never meant to harness or command them. This is perhaps the underlying reason why magicians are distrusted at the least, and often despised. Magicians warp the world around them, often wreaking havoc if they miscalculate their own limits or abilities. They also require distasteful and taboo ritual items in order to fuel their egocentric powers. Earth magicians in particular have the audacity to bend the natural order into their own twisted shapes and desires. The Forgotten Ones will harbor no magicians, and any that are found somehow practicing such arts face exile unless they immediately abandon and recant such studies.

Overall, to worship Vecatra is to acknowledge the three-faced nature of the world. Forces of nature create and give life, destroy and kill, and there is a deep mystery to the intricate ways in which everything interacts. Like fire, which can harm or heal indiscriminately, one must appropriately respect those forces they would wish to yield or use. To describe something as wild is to acknowledge its unpredictable nature, and as much as man may delude himself, it is not something that can be tamed. 


“My lady came unexpected, as I walked along the sea
She came from shadow, and of light, and I fell down to my knees
Her eyes did then regard, from her faces, numbered three
She spoke a terrible voice, and she spoke it just for me.”

– My Lady Has Three Faces

Like all adherents to religions, those who make their home within the bosom of Vecatra know that they are part of something bigger than themselves. It is taught by the elders that Vecatra is ancient, older by far than any of the cults and small gods that others in the world worship. For Vecatra is not of the world; she is the world.

Vecatra was not made nor born. She simply is. She is the scales upon which all things are weighed, and she is ultimately what all must answer to. Thus, those that worship Vecatra believe that the most important thing that one can do is to serve the balance of the cycle of the world. It is in the design of reality that all things follow a pattern, a path, and it is the responsibility of humankind to be the guardians of that cycle and to ensure that the natural balance is not broken. The overall pattern may be too complex, or have too much variance for most human eyes, but it is there for those who have the sight to decipher it.

She is often given a feminine pronoun, but that is only one of her aspects. In fact, Vecatra is worshipped in three forms and aspects: the feminine face, the masculine face, and the other face. 

The male aspect is the face of warfare and facing outward, meeting external challenges. This is often exemplified by the activities of hunting monsters and Malefic or aberrant creatures, and is driven by the desire to procreate and create new things. It is closely associated with the warrior arts, and those who follow this aspect are often called to make their mark on the people and world around them, to claim and strive and push beyond that which has been done before. This aspect is tied to the bright light of the noon sun, to the flame that drives off the darkness, to the sound of a blade as it cuts through a thick cord – and those who follow this aspect tend to use those symbols in their worship. 

The energy of the other, meanwhile, is that of the wild night and those creatures that hunt and prey off of humans. It is the energy of death and dread, mystery and the blade itself. Those who follow this aspect know that for the world to remain in balance, death is a necessary gate that all must pass through – even though we may mourn and fear it. The other is the aspect of dark and inescapable knowledge, of distancing oneself from the world and those that tie you to it, and to embracing the animalistic nature that lies in all of us. It is tied to the dark of the thickest woods, to the half-light of the will-o-wisp, the claws and howls of the wolf, and to the pooling sound of blood as it soaks into the earth.

The energy of the female face is that which ties these two aspects together. It is the responsibility of this aspect to ensure that neither of the others becomes dominant and that the balance of the three aspects are maintained, and thus, that life has room to grow. It governs sustainment, ensuring that the wilderness is not too encroached upon or losing what it cannot afford to give, while also standing vigil against the darkness that it may not swallow the light entirety. The feminine aspect is tied to blood, to bleeding, to the experience of pain and loss that ties all souls on this world together, and with the sacrifice of giving yourself up to a cause that is greater than yourself. It is the aspect most closely tied to farming and growth, and to know its face is to understand the ever-changing moon, ripples expanding through a still pond, the sharp pain of a healing wound, and the warmth of the hearth fire that pulls everyone closer together. 

Upon becoming an adult, each person chooses which aspect of Vecatra that they will follow, although it is unusual that a path is chosen that was not given to them at their childhood naming by the village circle. Most of the Forgotten Ones choose to follow the feminine or the masculine form, as those who choose the Other may not live within their village and home. Instead, they must head out into the darkness of the woods to seek those of their kind and their own circle, and spend their days as a source of fear and scourge of humanity. 

Vecatrans, at their core, teach that all of us are a part of the cycle and have our part to play. Some teach that humans are not at the center of the wheel – they are a spoke upon it – neither inherently good nor evil, but rather a force of nature with consequences to their actions. But even as humans are part of the cycle, it is also obvious that they are something more as well. After all, animals do not return to life after being slain, and Malefic creatures seem to mostly form from the deaths and actions of humans. Many believe and teach that there is something special about humans which makes them precious to Vecatra and worthy of her gifts. But there is a cost that comes with those gifts, and in order to be worthy of them, one must also take responsibility for maintaining balance in the world, observing the taboos, and living in accordance with the path. 

All those who follow Vecatra mark the turning of the seasons and the changes that nature makes along its way with rites and rituals designed to connect themselves to the spirit of the world and the sacredness of the whole. These rituals take place both in their own territory and in sacred spaces around them in which they believe they can communicate more effectively with Vecatra and the spirits of nature. 

The runes and staves that represent the Forgotten Ones’ holy writing are often found encircling these sacred sites, carved nearby, or used in ritual objects or charms. They are believed to be the language of the world herself – created before humans, and before time. These runes must be used carefully, as it is believed that they can easily have devastating effects should they be used with negligence. Like a fire tended poorly, they can unleash destruction and bring unintended misery, misfortune, and death. 

There is danger in worshipping other spirits and gods, for the Forgotten Ones’ history speaks of the ruination that was the Calamity and the ultimate upheaval of the natural world when their ancestors turned to the Triumverate for succor and aid. Other religions enslave. One only need review the bleak period in history when Dunland and the North were claimed by the empire of the Throne and their Benalian faith to see this. For Vecatra to be appeased and the world to be healed, there must be no distractions, and no other gods – for it is taught that all are inferior shadows and fragments of the ancient force of Vecatra. Of course, there are always whispers of those who have devoted themselves to gods or spirits other than Vecatra, but such an action would be heretical, damaging, and forbidden. For just like you cannot love only one part of a child or drink only the water from the wine, you cannot worship only one small portion of the whole. 

Far to the north, and in small communities elsewhere, some of the clans of the Forgotten Ones have made just such a dark bargain, and worship the Old Gods, the Grey Ones – hungry spirits which epitomize the suffering of humanity. One example is Sveas, the lady of winter, wind, and the frozen death it brings. In the remote mountains and valleys of the north, the winter cold can seem all-powerful, ravenous, and without mercy, and one can see the rationale behind the desire to appease such a deity. The crucial part of the betrayal, however, is that these worshippers treat Vecatra as merely one god among many, rather than acknowledging her as the whole or overarching force behind all the gods. Even worse are those who devote themselves to another god exclusively, omitting Vecatra entirely. Their focus on the personal gain they may receive from such worship is an act of selfishness that endangers the world at large. Those who worship the Old Ones without serving the greater balance are called Grey Thralls by other Forgotten Ones, and are removed from the cycle of the world wherever possible for their crime. Those that follow Sveas offer warm sacrifices to her in cold regions. These vary from the relatively small, such as burying roaring fires in wet snow, to heartbreakingly large sacrifices such as offering up a beloved human companion to die by abandonment and exposure in the freezing snowbanks. Her followers tend to wear all white, and braid their hair with sparkling glass beads and cold, dull metal.

The other Grey Ones that are most popular in the north are as follows: 

Aufvalder, who is sometimes considered analogous to the masculine aspect of Vecatra. He is a god of stories, wisdom, and problem-solving. He is also a trickster, and his gifts when he answers prayers are almost always double-edged and cut sharply both ways.

Ura, the dreaded Hearth Mother. She is considered the most demanding of the Old Gods, craving to be fed in exchange for fertility of the soil and womb. It is she who is believed to rule over childbirth, harvest, and comforts after toil. To be in her good graces is to be cared for and warm. To anger her is to invite starvation, barren fields, stillbirths, and illness.

Ulfrandir, the Berserker, is worshipped as the most primordial form of human – wild, strong, and a creature of instinct. Ulfrandir represents inherent knowledge that cannot be taught and the drive to survive. Worshippers of Ulfrandir hone the ability to turn themselves over to the purely instinctual part of their mind, and can enter into a furious battlelust that many claim they do not remember when it is over. In these states, they seem to be untouchable and to kill indiscriminately for the joy of it, sometimes not separating friend and foe. 

Other, more philosophical cults exist among the Forgotten Ones as well. One such cult is that of the Hooded Flame. They firmly believe in Vecatra, but also believe there is something that the Forgotten Ones have missed or misunderstood – something that the world is trying to tell them. They believe that something has gone wrong with the cycle, and thus with Vecatra herself. The stories of the ancestors did not speak of this return after death, and humans alone seem to suffer from it. After all, while death and rebirth are natural, this undeath – this inability for those who perish to fulfill their place in the cycle of things – that is not natural, and is something more often seen in Malefic creatures. They have dedicated themselves to understanding death in all its forms and the reasons why humans return and lose touch with themselves and their minds in the process. It is expected that those who follow this cult will experience death as much as possible. Some say that the cult treads too closely to the paths of the Triumverati, specifically Lazarolth, but those of the Hooded Flame argue that they only seek to understand their strange knowledge and do not follow their false gods. Their symbols are candles, the colors grey and purple, and wings. 

In the mainland clans there is another cult that is tied closely to the aspect of the other. They worship a spirit known as Haugway, the creeping death of the burial mound. Those who follow Haugway believe that it is their responsibility to punish those who allow gross disruption of the natural world or who disrupt the balance. They are the scourge to those outsiders who settle in new places or who damage the land, and are known to stalk and hunt their prey – driving them out of their mind with fear before finally ushering them to their final death. Their methods may produce more Malefic, but they feel confident that such wrongs can eventually be righted, and in the short term, the presence of more Malefic will keep the Blight away. Their symbols are thorns, the monstrous cat eye that they carve into their foreheads and decorate their kills with, as well as the strange limbless dolls that hang in the trees around their camps. 

In addition to the different clans and cults, there is another group that has significant power in the religion of Vecatra: The Rangers. These so-called paladins of Vecatra are tasked with restoring the balance of the world that is twisted with the creation of malefic creatures and monsters. They hunt, solve, and consume malefic creatures and use their power to become even stronger. 

Rangers are born with the gifts of Vecatra already marking them, although they typically come into their power around adolescence with a series of disturbing dreams. Their power to deal with malefic creatures and their curses is unmatched; however, their interactions with the malevolent side of the world taint them, and as they grow older and more powerful they also become colder and more bestial. In seeking out the darkness, they become it themselves over time. This inevitable progression is illustrated by the seasons, and has become a way of identifying where a Ranger is on their doomed journey. For example, while a newer Spring Ranger may not have the power of an experienced Winter Ranger, she is also quite a bit closer to her own humanity. The oldest Rangers are said to be some of the most monstrous and terrifying denizens of the deep, wild places, and many believe they have become Malefic themselves somehow. For this reason, when a Ranger passes into Winter, many either request the release of death, or it is given to them involuntarily. 

Folklore & Superstition

“There are seven cursed stories which eat away at those who hear them. A book with seven seals locks them away, but they have scattered on the tongues of the world, all the same.”

Introduction to the saga
The Oracle With No Mouth

As the Forgotten Ones spend their lives deep in the wilderness, they learn at a young age how to navigate deep forests, overgrown marshes, and cold wastelands. And in their day-to-day lives they see signs that they are not alone or the main predators in the wilderness. They find evidence of malefic creatures, other humans, and even the fae folk. Thus, they have learned the cumulative wisdom over successive generations of how to put to rest, avoid, or placate the other inhabitants of the wild. The following are just a sample of the various pieces of folklore and superstition the Forgotten Ones tend to believe. 

Fairy Portion

 It is believed that at all times, just out of sight and on the other side of our realm, there are fairies. However, there are places where there are gateways and holes between our worlds, and they can interact fully with humanity. The fae folk can be cruel and malicious if provoked, and it takes very little to provoke them. Their rules and manners do not always make sense, and a small, unintentioned slight can result in curses that vary in strength from the loss of hair to a gruesome death. In order to placate them, it is common for hunters and gatherers to leave a small portion of their bounty behind for the fairies. For the majority of the year this keeps them satiated; however, during the Flower Moon, the Fae are particularly active, and they will play many cruel pranks if they are not properly distracted. During these weeks, the Forgotten Ones will take a small portion of every meal and leave it outside for the Fae, as well as creating flower wreaths that they hang in trees. The circular shapes are intriguing to the fairies and keep them far away from the Forgotten Ones homes.

Corpse Candles

Spectral candles seen by the roadside are an omen of death. They mark a place where someone will die in the coming nights. Large red lights indicate a man will die, small blue lights indicate the death of a child, and large white lights indicate the death of a woman. The lights themselves are not dangerous, they are merely a sign of things to come. Simply avoiding the area is not enough. Chance and happenstance will guide the victims to the location unless steps are taken to prevent it. The most common way to prevent the death is by placing rowan twigs above the doorway of all of the potential victims. Rowan trees are associated with the cycle of life and are frequently used in protective charms.

Cursed Skins

Killing a mother wolf or a mother bear is considered unlucky. They feel extremely protective of their children, and their rage can leave a mark on the world. The fury they feel seeps into their flesh, and their skin can become cursed. Anyone who wears their skin becomes possessed by the spirit of the wolf or bear and flies into a blind rage attacking everyone in sight. They become very strong and take on aspects of the animal, and in extreme cases can even shapeshift into beasts. The only way to stop such a creature is to remove the skin and burn it. If the skin is not burned, it will inevitably end up in the hands of another and the cycle of violence will continue.  


In the northern wastelands there are stories of humans that became trapped by the snow, or caught in a labyrinth of bogs, and were forced to eat one another. The evil deed opened a wound inside of them which allowed a spirit of hunger to take control of their body. These former people have become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. They spend the rest of their days stalking those who travel into their territory and consuming their flesh. Because they were once human, they can still make human sounds and can lure people away from their groups. If you hear someone calling for help during winter, be sure to look for their tracks. Wendigo are always barefoot and have long talons for toes.

Solo Magpies

If you see a magpie that is alone, it is considered a bad omen. Magpies are social birds, so when they are seen alone it is interpreted as a sign of sorrow to come. While it rarely signifies death, it is frequently associated with other losses – like a great illness or separation of a couple. It is believed that you can stave off the sorrowful times by greeting the magpie and providing it with a piece of food.


Runes are considered deeply significant and mystical. When drawn onto an item the runes give that item power. This can be used for a wide variety of things, from helping mystics predict the future, to assisting warriors in combat. It is common for warriors to have runes of strength, luck, and courage carved into their weapons or armor. Before important battles they will sacrifice an animal, and redraw the rune lines in blood. They believe this gives additional power to the runes, and that the power of the sacred words will be on their side.

Touch of Urram

On the battlefield, there is sometimes more honor to be gained by showing that you could have killed an opponent and then didn’t. Among the Forgotten Ones, warriors can gain prestige by touching their enemy with their hand or bow and escaping unharmed. The more times a warrior accomplishes this task, the more capable and skilled they are considered by the clan. However, to the person being touched, it is a devastating occurrence. The person touched is considered to have lost all standing within their community, and is now considered fully prey. What’s worse, they will remain in this status until the person who touched them dies – and they cannot be the agent of that person’s death. They lost their chance for that on the battlefield. One option that is sometimes taken is to serve the person who delivered the Touch of Urram as their servant. In this way of acknowledging the predator-prey relationship that has developed through the Touch of Urram, the prey can slowly regain their standing.



It is believed that, once upon a time, the first Raven had white feathers. The Raven flew far and wide, and its wisdom and knowledge of the land was unparalleled. The Raven knew where the world ended. When the first creature died, the Raven was chosen to guide it to the afterlife. The Raven agreed and flew the creature’s spirit to the edge of the world and beyond. When it returned, the Raven’s feathers were black. Since then, they have acted as intermediaries between the physical world and the spiritual world by guiding lost souls into the afterlife. Due to their role, the Forgotten Ones will not kill a Raven, because it is never known when they are guiding a spirit on its journey or simply watching.


Deiseal means “May it go right.” It is considered auspicious to do everything in a left to right motion. It corresponds with the course of the sun and the direction of time. If you can perform something in a left to right direction, it should be done that way. Screws are turned clockwise, runestones are placed in that direction, and when scouting it is considered best to do everything from left to right. If you do something in the opposite direction, it is believed to create negative energy that will work against your goals.

Midnight Water

At midnight, when the moon is full and clear in the sky, it is considered auspicious to find a bullaun stone with its cavity filled with water. On nights like this, if you touch the stone, anything you say will come to pass so long as you drink the water from inside the stone and leave an offering in its place. It can be used to bestow blessings or curses. Many use the bullaun stone to support or restore health.

Music in the Woods

Outside their standard superstitions, the Forgotten Ones also have many stories that they share. They have a strong oral tradition, and when not sharing sagas, they like to share ghost stories. These stories are never spoken loudly; instead, they are whispered over dying embers. The less the listener can see the better. The dim light and noises in the night lend well to the stories, instilling fear and wonder in the young.

One of the more common stories involves a woman hearing beautiful music playing deep in the wilderness. The woman, upon hearing the music, decides to follow the sound. She wanders further and further away from her clan until she finds a handsome man singing and dancing in the woods. He twirls, leaping gracefully, his footsteps leaving a circular pattern upon the ground. Entranced, she approaches and he stops his dance. He turns towards her and bows, holding her gaze with his golden eyes, and asks her to dance with him. In the tale, she always says yes and will enter the circle. They dance, and dance late into the night. The music will not let her stop. No matter how much she wishes to rest, she continues to dance until she collapses from exhaustion. When she awakens, the man is gone and a large amount of time has passed since she entered the circle. In some versions of the story, it is just a single moon cycle that passes, and in others she has been gone for a year or more. When she returns to her village, she continues to hear the music. No one else can hear it, for it plays for her ears alone. For nine months she hears the music, and at the end of the nine months she gives birth to a golden eyed child. With the child’s first cry, the music stops. In some tales the woman dies, in others the child goes missing. They all end in heartbreak.

Gods' Court

Another tale heard often is the story of the Gods’ Court. It is shared to teach the youth why it is dangerous to seek out the Old Gods. It is said that in the Northlands that there is a place where the Old Gods’ eyes settle most often, for it is their favorite sight. The most popular version of the story begins with Ivar of clan Runespeaker (though the tale substitutes all manner of other clans) traveling into the frozen north to complete his rite of passage to become an adult. He is supposed to find a specific story to bring back and recite. Ivar has spent his youth training to become a skald and has always found the stories of the Old Gods fascinating. Instead of going straight to the runestone he is meant to memorize, he instead attempts to find the Gods’ Court, thinking it will perhaps give a new or better story. He stumbles in the darkness for many days until he finds a small depression in the earth. The snow is piled high around the pit, while at its center it somehow remains clear of snow and frost, despite the cold. This allows him to clearly see what lies at the center – a small dais with a black stone table. Ivar, curious, climbs into the bowl and approaches the table. As he touches it, icy, frost-covered men rise out of the snow and surround him. A chant begins, the men whispering over and over again “fórnin er komin”, or “the sacrifice has come”. Ivar attempts to flee, but the men grab him and hold him. Forced down onto the dais, he cannot escape. The men continue to chant, and as Ivar watches with horror, a large man emerges from the group, covered from head to foot in thick blood-stained furs. The man pulls out a blade and cuts into Ivars chest. Ivar watches as his heart is removed and is held up to the sky. As he dies, the cruel faces of the Grey Ones can be seen in the clouds above. Because he died so far away from home and so far from his purpose, he does not stay dead. Instead, he rises, now heartless, and joins the men as they hide in the snow, waiting for the next sacrifice to arrive.


“We are grown and gathered and bound, and the binding is well.
We are fixed at the hip and the hand, and the head and the heel.
We are planted beneath the land, forever to wheel.
As the earth and the sun are wound, on a golden reel. 
As the ripening grasses stand
And pale and fall.”

Excerpt from the Crone’s
Book of Words

The Forgotten Ones view the year as a four spoke wheel. At each of the connection points rituals must be performed to have the seasons change as they should. Their major holidays occur at each of these connection points: the vernal and autumnal equinox as well as the summer and winter solstice. Failure to complete the appropriate rituals can disrupt the cycle and result in a season lingering on longer than it should, which can have a cascading negative effect. A long winter, for instance, can disrupt planting times and the ability to hunt, which can cause more hunger and more death. These holidays are celebrated in every Forgotten One settlement, even if they are too far north or south to experience all of the seasons. To them they are not only merely a spiritual expression for the practitioners; they are necessary for the world to thrive.

Vor Geata

The Vernal Equinox, or Vor Geata in the old tongue, occurs on the Full Worm Moon. It is the beginning of spring and symbolizes the renewal of life. In the days leading up to the celebration, the clans will gather at sacred open air locations at the highest peak within their territories. For the coastal Forgotten Ones, it is an easy trek, but for those who live in the north, the mountains are tall and thick with snow, and it can take several days or weeks to climb depending on the health of the climber. Not everyone can make the trek to these sacred locations. If they are unable to, they are still expected to travel to a surmountable height nearby.

As the Forgotten Ones gather, the skalds will tell sagas and sing songs to entertain those who have arrived early. A favorite is the story of Bodil the Wind Catcher. As the story goes, an unnamed clan was beset by a soul eater, a being that could mimic a person and, once close enough, would suck the soul from their body, leaving an empty husk behind. Bodil built herself a special shield made of mirrors, and when she tracked the soul eater down, she tricked him into consuming his own soul, thereby vanquishing him and saving the clan. The story can either be short or very long depending on how many obstacles the skald choses to share with the audience. The longest recital ever reported was by Nessa Limnahl, who told the story over seven days with only breaks for sleeping.

The official proceedings begin at dawn on the day of the equinox. The celebrants will rise in the dark before dawn, climb to the summit, turn to the east, and greet the dawn as the sun crests. The priests of Vecatra lead the ceremony that begins with a chant into the wind calling for spring and the renewal of life. As the priests chant, they will sacrifice a rabbit and then scatter flower buds that were preserved from the spring before. Once they have greeted the sun, they will go back to the camp, slaughter more rabbits, and have a small feast to celebrate new beginnings. Depending on the year and the bounty available, the celebration can last either a single meal or several days as people eat, drink and tell stories. Associated with awakenings and fresh starts, Vor Geata is considered an auspicious time for planning and proposals. 

Somar Dag

Somar Dag, or the summer solstice, occurs on the Full Berry Moon. It is the beginning of summer and considered a time of great fertility. Much like Vor Geata, the clans gather together at various sacred locations throughout their territories. On this day, they go to flat open areas that receive direct sunlight. Plains, meadows or particularly large clearings will do if they are unable to make it to one of the sacred spaces.

In the days leading up to the summer solstice, they will sing songs and tell stories as they collect hundreds – if not thousands – of flowers. With the flowers, they build flower chains or small charms that they wear for luck throughout the celebration. Common stories that are shared are of Hagan the Firebrand, who faced down a powerful magician to bring fire to his ailing wife, or of Dagny, who single-handedly saved the daughter of a clan elder when she was kidnapped by the Blight. The stories told leading up to this day are heroic and usually end with marriage, or saving a loved one. It is a day where families and new relationships are celebrated.

On the morning of Somar Dag, every single fire inside the local village and encampments are put out. Not a single candle or hearth is left alight. At noon, when the sun is the highest in the sky, the priests of Vecatra will lead a procession to the center of their sacred grounds. They face south and light a bonfire. Once the fire is lit they will chant, beseeching the sun to continue on its journey. They will then throw lavender or other strong smelling herbs into the fire and dance around it as they sing to the sun and the sky, asking for good weather and ample fruits of the earth. Once they have completed one rotation around the fire, the spectators will join in and dance in a ring as they sing to the sun. Those who are hoping to start a new relationship or to expand their family will toss their flower charm into the fire. It is believed that this will bring good fortune for families.

The dancing may continue off and on for the remainder of the day, as the mood tends to be celebratory and mead is shared freely. Music and singing add to the festive mood, and foods tend to be light – such as fruit and salads. Once the sun has set, the families will come forth one by one and light a branch, which they will carry back to their homes to relight the hearth. This connects all of them together through fire and song. Somar Dag is a popular day to attempt to conceive children, as it is believed that the chances of success are best during this time. A child born from a coupling on this day is also believed to have a very long and full life.

Haust Geata

Haust Geata, or the autumnal equinox, occurs on the Full Harvest Moon. It is the beginning of the fall season and a time to be thankful for the bounty the world has to offer. The clans gather at the bases of special ancient trees. Each region has its own location that the Forgotten Ones travel to. For those who are far away from their homes, they will still stop on this day and pay homage to this time of transition at the base of the oldest tree in the area.

In the days leading up the Haust Geata, seeds and grain are milled and baked into bread. Usually this bread is shaped into various thematic forms such as a tree, a wreath, or intertwining vines. Ideally, no one should be grinding and baking alone, as this is a social time of remembrance – especially of friends and family who have passed from this world. Every clan has a few historical figures that are frequently brought up on this day. For instance, the Quinn clan will usually share stories of Fergus Quinn, one of their ancestral founders. They claim that he had the strength of ten men. One day, while traveling with members of his clan, a great downpour began. The rain was so thick that they could barely see past the ends of their noses. They retreated to a nearby cave to wait the water out, but it ended up raining for days. As the ground became clogged with water, the hillside above the cave began to crumble and slide apart. The resulting landslide caused the roof of the cave to collapse, trapping them inside. As the story goes, they dug and clawed at the muck until they discovered a giant rock blocking their path. Try as they might, they could not make it past the rock. Fergus came forward and he lifted it. His entire party escaped out from under it, crawling along their bellies to make it out. Once on the other side, they could not lift it for him, so he ended up trapped inside. The stories they share leading up to Haust Geata are much like this one, one of individual sacrifice for the greater good.

On the day of the equinox, the priests will slowly build an altar at the base of the sacred tree. It is best to be barefoot during this ritual, so that one’s skin is in constant contact with the earth. At sunset, they will face the setting sun and give thanks to the trees, the plants, and the soil that grow their food. They will then place the first offering on the altar, usually a small piece of bread, which is then repeated one by one as all gathered give their thanks and sacrifice in turn. Once the entire congregation has given their thanks they will walk in silence back to their encampment or village. This is a time of quiet contemplation and reverence for the deaths and sacrifices that feed others, and acknowledgement that for one life to live and eat, another must die. Once returned, it is common to embrace loved ones and thank them for the work they do. As it becomes darker, they will light a fire and eat the remaining bread, along with fruit and vegetables that have been harvested recently, and game such as boar and fowl.

Vetra Soldag

Vetra Soldag, or the winter solstice, occurs on the Full Long Nights Moon. It is the beginning of winter and is a time for hope. The clans will once again gather at their sacred spaces. For the winter solstice, it is important to be underground if possible. They will gather in caves, tunnels, or even rocky overhangs or grottos. For those who cannot make the trek to the sacred spaces in the earth, even a dug pit will do. The celebrant needs to be surrounded by as much dark earth as possible.

In the days leading up to the winter solstice, the Forgotten Ones will spend a great deal of time hunting or reviewing their kept animals for those that are old or injured. The winter is harsh, and not all animals will survive the cold. They carefully cull the herds, so they strongest will outlast the conditions, and the weakest will not drag the rest of the herd down. As the hunters scout the landscapes, the rest of the Forgotten Ones come together and craft small toys or trinkets. As they work, much like their other holidays, the skalds will tell stories. For Vetra Soldag, the stories typically revolve around heroes that traveled into the darkness to overcome great odds and returned. They are hopeful stories of perseverance, and rarely involve the hero’s death.

When the day arrives, the hunters return with their bounties, or the villagers finish their selections of which animals will be slaughtered. Throughout the day, the animals are butchered. All cuts of meat are saved, including the blood, which is mixed with oats, barley, and onions, and made into blood sausage. Large basins of clean water are gathered and placed at the entrance to the ritual space. At dusk, large fires are lit. These fires burn all night until dawn, chasing away the darkness pressing upon the gathered people from all sides. The butchered animals are cooked over the fire, with some of the best cuts prepared for consumption that evening, but most of the meat is dried over the smoke of the fires to make jerky.

Large rocks are also placed in the fires to become hot. Just before midnight, the rocks are removed from the fire and placed in the basins of water that wait by the entrance to the cave, so that the water is warmed. The priests come forward, face towards the Northern Star, and lead the congregation in prayer and chant over the water. They will speak of washing away the misfortunes of the last year and entering into a state of internal growth, contemplation, and preparation for the future. As they chant, they will scoop hot water from the basin and ritualistically cleanse themselves. Once they are clean, they will make a pledge or resolution for the coming year. The pledges done by the priests are usually tasks that are for the good of the clan or that will help repair the damage that has been done to the cycle. After they have completed the ritual, the congregation will come forth and perform a similar task in their own basins. They will wash themselves, and then declare a pledge or oath to world, though theirs may be more personal in nature. Symbolically, like the seeds slumbering in the dark waiting to have their potential released, everyone emerges from the cave clean, new, and full of renewed purpose.

Once everyone has cleansed themselves and rededicated themselves to their paths, they will then feast on the blood sausage and other meats that have been slowly cooking all evening. They will give each other small gifts, and then socialize and sing until dawn. It is important to stay up all night and greet the sun, as its rising is a joyous occasion. The Forgotten Ones will loudly cheer and celebrate the light as it crests the horizon. It is the end of the longest night, and the cycle has started anew.


“Only the dead bury the dead.”

– Saying of the Forgotten Ones

One need only observe the world and our lives within it to see that everything follows patterns and cycles. The cycle of the seasons. The cycle of life. The cycle of the world, as everything in turn affects one another. When one lives their life in accordance to the teachings of Vecatra, the cycle is maintained and their life serves in the preservation of the delicate balance of the world, which continues as it should. When one falls out of touch with the cycle, or are disconnected, it is damaged, and work must be done to repair it. Through ritual and adherence to the teachings of Vecatra, the cycle may be restored from such damage. While there are slight variations region to region, a few traditions have formed over the years to cultivate that connection and balance.

Rites of Passage

One of the primary ways the Forgotten Ones create and maintain their connection to the cycle is through rites of passage. These rites create the liminal spaces of passage, of gates, that one passes through as they journey through life, just as the world’s wheel turns. There are several different rites of passage that they must go through in their lives. The first, and arguably the most important of the rites of passage, is given to them by their clan elder during their first Latha Ainm, also known as Name Day. Their first Latha Ainm occurs within a few months after their birth, and it is the day they are presented with their name, both public and private, as well as life path and which face of Vecatra they shall be dedicated to. There are many malicious spirits in the world that attack the weak and unwary, and a newborn is certainly those things. It is believed that these spirits can only attack someone once they have a name, so to protect the young, they are not named until their Latha Ainm when they are believed to be strong enough to withstand an attack. Before that the children of the Forgotten Ones are frequently just called Nei Andlit, or No Face, and referred to as “it” or “the baby”.

Adulthood is not something that happens automatically at a certain age within Forgotten Ones society; it is something that is achieved, and achieved at great cost. When a child approaches a state of maturity, the Summer Crescent will begin discussion internally on what their rite of passage trials for adulthood will be. These trials typically number three, and are often exceptionally difficult to perform – no matter the clan or tradition. They are also incredibly personal, and are tailored to the individual, their strengths and weaknesses, and their role in society. Examples might be being tied to the top of a palm tree for a week, building up an immunity to three different poisons, being sent out in the woods without food and water until they find the answer to a riddle, facing a deep-seated phobia head on without flinching, or keeping gloves made of stinging nettles on their hands for an entire day. To be an adult is to face hard decisions and actions, and there can be no flinching in the face of what is difficult. Achieving adulthood through trials that truly mean something also means that the community does, indeed, respect your voice and the power behind it. It is expected that the child will need a fair amount of time to prepare and execute their trials, and so there is no set deadline for completion. 

However, until a child manages to pass their trials, they are still seen as a child, no matter their age or how difficult the tasks that were assigned to them. Those who never manage to pass their trials at all live a strange half life, where they are not allowed into dangerous situations, not able to build relationships with people their own age, and where their opinion doesn’t carry weight with the rest of their society. Many of those who do not pass their trials eventually choose to leave their clans rather than remain in such a situation. Some attempt to join other clans, but this usually results in the same treatment or worse, as a solitary Forgotten One usually means they are an exile or otherwise disgraced. Some attempt to live alone and apart, and some turn their back on their lives completely and try to live amongst the Blight. 

The final rite of passage the Forgotten Ones observe is through the gate of death. As returning from the dead is taboo, they do everything they can to ensure that everyone is living and dying in accordance with their purpose. The most common way to die is in battle or on a final hunt, but sometimes death occurs without warning. If there is time, a priest of Vecatra will perform a ritual that brings peace to the dying, allowing them to make final arrangements for things they held with high importance, and to be content with what they have accomplished with their lives. Unfortunately, if one dies and returns, the assumption is that they must be out of sync with the world through their own doing. They did not live their life according to the plan, and thus something went wrong. The only way to become reconnected is through completing a rite that is both an atonement and a rejoining with their former life in order to achieve synchronicity with themselves and with the world. 

This rite varies from death to death. Almost all clans, though, will treat the returned individual as though they are still dead while the rite is assigned and undertaken. They will continue to mourn and grieve the passing of the person and will not acknowledge their presence. The only people who may interact with them are Vecatran priests, clan leaders, and seers who specialize in communication with the dead. If the individual returns and is much the same, having only lost a small piece of themselves or their memories, then the rite is usually something simple like going to a sacred space and completing a task. If they return and they have lost much of who they were and what they know, the tasks required are much more extensive. Sometimes they are assigned tasks that are described in the sagas of a clan. In this way, their rite re-aligns their life with the clan’s history. These rites can be especially difficult though, as the sagas specifically detail out occurrences and deeds that are legendary. For instance, one may be tasked with fighting and killing an eleven foot tall brown bear. Not only is killing a bear of that size difficult, finding one of that size is almost impossible unless one has the fortune – or misfortune – of hunting in the Outlands. Until the rite has been completed, however, the supplicant cannot return home, and the village will continue to treat them as though they are dead. 

Courtship and Weddings

While the Forgotten Ones have a lot of freedom over who they court, they rarely court someone from outside their own culture due to their insular nature. They spend a great deal of their lives interacting with people from their community, so marrying someone from the same village or city is most common. However, during the holidays the clans will gather, and multiple villages, settlements, or cities will congregate at sacred locations. These meetings happen multiple times a year, so it is relatively common for friendships and romantic interests to develop.

The courtship ritual begins with the interested party presenting a gift to their intended. It is usually something practical like a blanket or a pair of shoes. That night, the interested party will then go close to their intended’s home and sing or play music. If the intended is interested in a romantic relationship, then they will light a candle in their window. Regardless of reciprocity of interest, the gift is kept. If no romantic relationship is initiated, it is considered to be a gift between friends. 

The length of the courtship varies from couple to couple. There are many different considerations to make before a wedding can take place. Much like a rite of passage, weddings are a ceremony and ritual designed to support the community and the continuance of life. It is believed that when a person is single, they walk alone with only an understanding of their own path. When they are married, they share their paths with their partner, and thus their understanding of the world is deepened by experiencing two paths as one. Pairings are the ingredients for new life, and thus are encouraged among the Forgotten Ones. This is not to indicate that only male and female pairings are encouraged – merely that a bonding of two is recommended. The marriage rite allows them to merge their paths, so they can walk it together. Before they take this step, though, they first speak with their clan leaders to confirm that their paths in life are compatible and good for the clan as well as themselves. Marriages do not occur without the blessing of both clan leaders. If they are deemed compatible, they will then go to the Summer Crescent to inquire about an auspicious date. Once the date has been set, the preparations begin.

For weddings to take place, the couple must be able to feed the guests. Specific auspicious foods are sought after that are believed to be aphrodisiacs, including strawberries, figs, asparagus, maca, oysters, celery, acorns, apples, salmon, walnuts, and pomegranates. Most will also search for honey and fruit that they will brew into a special drink for the day. In the two to three days preceding the wedding, the couple will separate and perform cleansing ceremonies. The cleansing ceremony usually begins with a small rite of achievement that is in line with the individual’s life path. The most common examples are that one person must retrieve a weapon from one of their ancestors. The Forgotten Ones’ weapons are typically buried at the site of their grave, so locating an ancestral weapon is not considered difficult. The other will build themselves a flower crown, sometimes with very specific flowers. Each of these processes takes 1 to 2 days to complete. Once the weapon has been retrieved, and the crown built, a small bath is heated with hot stones, and the couple ritualistically cleanse their entire body. This cleansing is seen as the washing away of the former singular path and all of its missteps, so they can prepare themselves to form a new one with clean, solid footing. 

Once the cleansing ritual is completed, they will dress in special new garments for the event. Bright colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows, are common choices. The couple then leaves their respective homes at the same time, and walks to the center of town where a goat or similar animal will be waiting in front of a bonfire. The goat is sacrificed, and a circle drawn around the fire in its blood. The couple will then close the circle around themselves, so they do not have to step over the line to complete the next steps. The community will gather around them and join hands, creating a second circle around the fire. Once the circles have been closed, the hunter, if there is one in the relationship, will present their weapon to their intended. The gatherer will place the crown of flowers upon the head of their intended. They will then join hands and tie them together with a piece of string. With their hands fastened, they will take steps together around the sacred fire. With each step, they will give a vow. The steps will take them all the way around the fire, until they are back where they began. This journey symbolizes them merging their cycles, so they can travel together in spirit. Once the steps have been taken, and the circle has been completed, they will step over the bloodline together and remove the string tying their hands.

After this simple ceremony, the sacrificial animal is butchered and cooked. They will then eat, sing, dance, and drink the special ale they created late into the night. At the end of the evening, they will return to their now shared home and begin their new lives together.

Funeral Rites

For the clan, it is important to remember where someone died. It is believed that deaths, especially violent ones, can leave a wound in the world because of how deeply it can affect the hearts and minds of those left behind. If grief and memories of death are left to fester, it can lead to many negative issues, even if the result is not a Malefic. Therefore, the Forgotten Ones believe that proper funeral rites are of great importance. If it can be helped, after death the body is not generally moved. If, however, the place of death is not safe to hold the funeral rites, the clan will go as a group, collect the body, and properly cleanse the site of death at a later date. The clan’s leaders and councils typically oversee the rites to makes sure that everything is performed correctly, but the entire community bears witness and participates. 

They assume that every death is to rightfully be a final death, and will proceed with the funeral rites as soon as possible. Ideally, on the day of the death, the body is cleaned and wrapped in a white cloth. Upon the second day, a temporary structure is built around the body. The type of structure built varies clan to clan, with some building a pyre, others a tent, and so on. For the next two days the community will stand vigil around the body. They believe that after death the soul lingers for a time before moving on, and they do not want their loved ones to feel lonely. Those who were not close to the deceased will at least stop and pay respects, but those who were related or were very close to the deceased usually spend the entire time by the body’s side. They will spend their hours telling stories of the deceased, so that they remember who they were in death. Mourners will typically dress in white.

On the final day, a clay pot is placed on the deceased’s chest where the community will come forth one by one and place items for the deceased in the bowl. These items are frequently useful things like small pieces of food or tinder for fires. They also place items that were of sentimental value to the deceased, in order to give their spirit a sense of peace and a reminder of the full life they have lived.

Throughout this multi-day process, a runestone is carved. It will tell the story of the deceased’s life, their death, and provide their name for future skalds to read. Once the runestone is completed at the end of the three days of mourning, the lead priest or skald will approach the body and announce all of the accomplishments of the person’s life to both the assembled and the deceased – so that both may remember, and the dead may have an easier time finding their way to their final rest as part of the cycle. The temporary building is then burned with the body inside. Once the embers have died down, the deceased’s favored weapon or tool is wrapped in oiled leather and buried underneath the spot where the ceremony occurred. A runestone is then placed above in remembrance of the fallen.


“Do not allow the sun and the moon to blind you into thinking you are running out of time. The world is a wheel in all ways. What is joy will turn to despair, and what is despair will turn to joy. Our role is to follow the path of the wheel and trust that, at a certain point, we will find ourselves back at the beginning.”

– Excerpt from runestone
next to the Morriaine Sundial

The image the Forgotten Ones typically use to represent their calendar is a wheel with four large spokes supporting it. They will frequently decorate with this symbol, either wearing it as a pendant around their neck or sewn with beads into blankets or other items. Each of the four spokes represents the beginning of a season. It is believed that if these spokes, these progressive gates, are not reinforced through ritual, the wheel will break, the cycle will be disrupted, and the world will suffer for it. Humans are keenly aware of the passage of time, and cannot help but track it in some fashion. Most of the Forgotten Ones only focus on the major intersections or holidays, and just count days or moons between them, though there are some that use a more robust calendar for their work.

Typically there are three full moons between each equinox or solstice. Occasionally there is a fourth moon, commonly referred to as the Blue Moon, that occurs between the spokes. This fourth moon operates on a cycle of its own. It appears every two to three years, slowly working its way through the seasons. For those who track this moon, their calendars will include two circles, one with the four spokes rotating slowly inside a much larger circle. At certain points the circles meet in such a way to indicate a fourth moon will occur.

The full moons occur in the same order every year, except for when the sequence is disrupted by the Blue Moon. That order begins with the Long Nights Moon, which is the first full moon of winter. This is followed by the Spirit Moon and the Hunger Moon. The first full moon of spring is the Worm Moon, followed by the Egg Moon and the Flower Moon. The first full moon of summer is the Berry Moon, followed by the Thunder Moon and the Fish Moon. The first full moon of autumn is the Harvest Moon, followed by the Hunter’s Moon and Frost Moon.

Much like the major holidays, marked by the beginning of the seasons, each of the moons are celebrated in some small way to acknowledge the completion of the moon completing the turn of its face. These celebrations are usually small, and are marked by a simple ceremony. For the Spirit Moon and the Hunger Moon, a small pot of clear water is heated and is used to clean sacred objects. This is also a time for repair and maintenance of tools and homes that may be in need of it. For the Egg Moon and Flower Moon, they scatter seeds into the air. For the Thunder Moon and Fish Moon, special incense is burned. And for the Hunter’s Moon and Frost Moon, small gifts are hung in trees as a present to the earth. The Blue Moon does not have its own rite, per se, and serves more as an amplifier. They will perform the rites appropriate to the season it appears in; however, instead of a small, simple ceremony they will make it larger. Instead of scattering a handful of seeds, they will scatter entire a bagful. Instead of just burning incense, they will light a bonfire and throw entire sprigs of herbs into the fire. Some clans teach that the moon is the eye of Vecatra – sometimes watching, sometimes resting – but the Blue Moon appears when she is extra watchful and is the time when her other eye is open – the one usually closed. While that gaze is upon the world and the people within it, it is always wise to be on one’s best behavior and pay greater respects. 

Art & Recreation

“Do not forget that the earth also longs to feel the warmth of your bare feet. Do not forget that the winds delight in playing with your hair. Do not forget that the sea desires to embrace you.”

Maeve Crowatch, skald

As the Forgotten Ones do not let anything go to waste, anything they have hunted or foraged that they cannot eat or wear is turned into useful or beautiful items. Most of their creations are constructed out of durable materials like stone, wood, ivory, bone, and occasionally metal. Leather and fur are also common mediums. Belongings are ideally both functional and beautiful, as a way to honor the materials used. Thus, elaborate designs are often carved into everyday objects or they are painted with colorful dyes, stains, and pigments. The decorations also serve as a way to imbue more meaning into the routine of every day. The art used captures individual history, that of the clans, and of the world. Everything has a purpose, or else it would not exist, and the Forgotten Ones take great care of their belongings with this in mind. The beauty and aesthetics of the objects also help them remember who they are as a people. While they may have been forgotten by the other civilizations, they have not forgotten where they have come from, nor why they are here.

Traditional Art

The Forgotten Ones rely heavily on their traditional art forms to preserve their history. One of the primary ways of ensuring it is received by the next generation is through their strong oral tradition. Every clan has at least two skalds, one apprentice and one master (though many have far more), that memorize the stories of the clan. On most evenings, the Forgotten Ones seek entertainment, socializing, and an opportunity to unwind by gathering around the fire and listening to the skalds perform sagas. They are spoken rhythmically, and are frequently accompanied by either a small handheld drum or kantele. The manner in which they are spoken is designed to enhance the abilities of the audience to retain the story. Each saga varies in length, from a few minutes to several days, and tells stories of the clan and the world around them. The stories are usually embellished and filled with symbolism. Some say that there are layers of meaning to the stories and songs, especially some of the more ancient and better preserved stories. The shorter ones are shared in the evenings over a fire, and the longer ones are typically only shared in the days leading up to major holidays or gatherings of the clans.

Runestones are another way the Forgotten Ones pass along their histories. These are large pieces of stone that are carved and painted with intricate patterns. Animal figures, plants, spirals and interlocking knots are common motifs. These symbols are used to describe an important event, remember a life, or record crucial information. The skalds are trained how to read the patterns, and pass on the stories from generation to generation. Priests also must be adept at reading and configuring the runes appropriately. It is said that the priests create and the skalds consume. Runestones are placed at locations where important events have happened, like the death of a clan leader or to mark the site of miracle. To remember where all the runestones are located, a master runestone which is housed in the center of every village gives the locations of all of the runestones that are important to that village or clan. For some areas that have longer, more complicated histories, one master runestone is not large enough to list all of the possible locations. They instead have circles of stones which detail the locations of the other runestones. The markings on the runestones are not a direct written language, and can only be deciphered by those who are trained.

While the sagas and runestones are the purview of the skalds, there are other traditional art forms that are practiced by both skilled artisans and casual practitioners. The most popular are basket weaving and clay sculpting. Materials such as grasses, reeds, clay, and branches are available the world over, and take well to being formed and decorated. Creating artistic vessels that are also sturdy enough to be used everyday combine the Forgotten Ones’ love of both form and function combined into a practical object of beauty. Additionally, all manner of materials can also be worked into beads – bone, antler, glass, metal, clay, teeth, shells, wood, and so on. If scraps of foraged materials cannot be used in other ways, making beads out of them is a wonderful way to incorporate them into jewelry and clothing. Crafters may spend many hours to many days or weeks on a single item, covering it in beadwork. Another item that is frequently beaded, especially by new parents in the months leading up to their child’s birth, are dolls. Dollmaking is considered a special occasion craft, and they are made with the intention of lasting a very long time. Children’s dolls are very detailed, with their bodies shaped out of leather and wood, and faces carefully painted on. They are usually dressed in hides and fur, sometimes with every inch beaded. It is believed that crafting these dolls focuses the new parents’ energy, and that their children will be healthy because of it.

Sometimes scrap metal cannot be used for much besides jewelry, since one cannot make very effective weapons from gold and other soft metals. For special occasions, torc necklaces, bracelets and armlets may be worn that have been fashioned from these sorts of metals. Much like the runestones, artisans will fold the metal into intricate, interlacing pieces that will later be carved with other symbols. Knotwork, spirals and animals figures are especially common motifs in all forms of artistry.


It is through the Forgotten Ones intimate understanding of the landscape they live in that they have not only survived, but also prospered in some respects. That understanding comes from the distilled wisdom of many generations and by starting education at a young age. Children have to spend many hours of their lives learning about their environment, and the easiest way to create lessons that stick is to turn them into a game. For example, foot races can allow runners to become familiar with the paths hidden between the trees. Scavenger hunts teach them what is safe to touch and to eat, while also teaching them tracking skills. Children and young adults may spend hours practicing drills, and playing war games, and these recreational pursuits are still very useful and enjoyable in adulthood.

One of the favored war games is capture the flag. The clan will separate into teams, and one will disappear into the woods, or up the rocky coasts to hide their flag. The home team will hide their flag somewhere in the village. They will then send out scouts to spy upon and try to steal the other team’s flag. Stealth is the preferred method of acquiring the flag, however sometimes physical confrontations are required. In those cases they use blunted weapons coated with dye to attack each other. These games teach the young how to use their environment to their advantage, and how to move within it unnoticed.

The Forgotten Ones have a great love of pranks as a way of showing both affection and skill. Sometimes these pranks are elaborate and take a very long time to set up. But nonlethal traps, camouflage, and extreme patience are often involved in the setup against the unsuspecting target clanmate. Even in these playful displays, lessons are learned and taught. 

Not all of the Forgotten Ones’ games are strictly about studying their environment. Some are used to teach teamwork or other useful skills. A game they frequently play to teach teamwork, as well as hand-eye coordination, is lacrosse. The game is a team sport played with long wooden sticks with baskets at the end that they use to pass a ball up and down the field. The goal is to shoot the ball into the goal at the end of the field. It is played with two teams of ten, and is full contact. The young are generally not considered big enough to play, so instead they will play other games that help with memory, coordination and balance. A common game for the children to play is stick the tail on the racoon. A racoon skin will be placed on a tree, the child will get to memorize its location, and then be blindfolded, spun, and told to attach its tail to the skin. The child that consistently gets the tail closest to the right spot will be allowed to participate in the next round or age bracket of war games.

The View of Others

“You do not need to let go of your anger and outrage, no. But also do not let it seep inside you until it poisons your bones. Rather, keep it on the surface that it may serve as armor.”

Halfdan Ironhawk

Among the Forgotten Ones there are only those who are from the clans, and those who are not. Those who are not like them, who do not follow Vecatra, and who burn and destroy the natural world are called the Blight. There are different types of the Blight, but the worst are those that hole up within the accursed corpse of the ancient Throne, those that lock themselves away in the cities like so many rats trying to escape a flood. These Blight are infested with the cults of the dark triad as well as those of the white lion, and are not to be trusted, no matter how sweetly they speak. 

Then there are those Blight who travel. Those who keep to the sea are flamboyant warriors who are eager to steal whatever they can lay hands on. While they often have wonderful treasures from beneath the water, they also are often in service to dark gods. Those who travel the lands are sometimes useful for the things they bear for trade, and they leave behind caches in the earth that can be raided for supplies that are hard to come by. In addition, the Blight that travel the land have been seen building beautiful gardens that are well-tended, even if they are a bit alien and overly structured. Thus, the travelling Blight seem to be least odious to interact with, if one has to. 

There are also those Blight who are born with the marks of the third face of Vecatra, those others who make their home in the deserts and marshes. These Blight are hardy warriors and make use of what the world gives them, even if that is very little. They could perhaps have been allies once upon a time, if they were not so fractured and divided in their misguided spiritual beliefs that lead them to try to control the land rather than honor it. 

Last, beware the Blight who serve the darkness – those in thrall to monstrous lords who rip the fabric of the world asunder like the most monstrous of magicians, and who twist humans and nature to serve their bloody appetites. It is best if these Blight are destroyed, for they come bearing the night within their cloaks.