Generally a clan has some unifying feature, for example a philosophy. In many clans, most of the nobles are related to eachother somehow, whereas in other, newer clans, the relation is between fellow adherents to the clan's philosophy. Noble rank in one clan means nothing outside of that clan, as the clans have never been able to agree on a unified "standard" by which to judge eachother. A noble of one clan is likely to treat a noble of another clan based on their clans' relations, not out of any preconcieved notions about the other's rank. Thus, a low ranked noble of one clan does not automatically defer to a high ranked noble of another.
The Nine Great Clans that hold the seats of power in Chel'el'sussoloth and rule over the drow race as a whole; they often have strained and constantly shifting alliances. Information on the relations between the Great Clans can be found on the Clan Relations page.
Val'Sarghress - A Clan made up of united mercenary groups.
Vel'Sharen - The ruling Clan.
Val'Sullisin'rune - A Clan of powerful abilities, and decadent tastes.
Vel'Vloz'ress - A Clan born from the nether cults that studied demonology. Mostly insane or dregs of society.
Val'Beldrobbaen - A Clan in its twilight, having suffered great tragedies.
Val'Nal'Sarkoth - A Clan known for its ties to the surface and great trade.
Val'Kyorl'solenurn - The drowussu Clan; religious fanatics, they are opposed to Nether summoning and tainting.
Val'Illhar'dro - A Clan of artists, renowned for their spellsinging, a technique whose secrets they guard jealously.
Val'Jaal'darya - An all-female Clan, skilled in manipulating life, and shrouded in mystery.
Val'Dutan'vir (defunct) - A Clan of moderate drowussu and dowussu-drowolath halfbreeds. Once loyal protectors of the Imperial Queen, now considered dead.
Minor Clans and Guilds
Lesser Clans that occasionally rise to power, they rarely last long or grow strong enough; most often they are absorbed by one of the Great Clans
Kal'yntra - A clan specializing in golems.
Nidraa'chal (defunct) - The first clan to consist exclusively of ver'drowendar, the Nidraa'chal attacked the city of Chel'el'sussoloth and the Sharen in a battle that lasted for weeks. The rules of war, followed by every clan for practical reasons, were completely ignored as the Nidraa'chal razed parts of the city itself. The clan is believed to have been behind the massacre of teachers at the Orthorbbae on the eve of the Nidraa'chal war, an event which triggered the council meeting where Diva'ratrika failed to gather any support against the tainted ones. This clan no longer exists.
Tei'kaliath- A clan risen from the ashes of a city on the outskirts of the drow territories, it is currently a group of refugees led by the youngest daughter of their former home's ruling Ilharess. ((This is the clan featured in Path to Power.))
Siksa'santi - A clan of warriors formed after the Sharen/Sullisin'rune war hundreds of years ago.
Svart'elos - A clan of opportunists with a less-than-favorable reputation. They rely heavily on mercenaries for protection.
Vei'visa (defunct) - A merchant guild that was economically threatened by the Svart'elos; attempting an assassination of a decoy Svart'elos Illhar Rhinnelos, they engaged in battle with the Tei'kaliath clan and sustained heavy casualties, leading to their dissolution.
Guild of Flowers - The Guild of Flowers is an clan open to entertainers. While it originally formed to protect prostitutes, it opened its ranks to others in the entertainment business.
Qin'dalasque - Several centuries ago, the Foxes of Val'Raveran rose from the ranks of both commoners and former nobles, to form a clan shrouded in secrecy. The clan has survived the strife that followed their uprising due to their cunning, and the secret personas their members hide their true identities behind. ((This minor clan is available for play in the DT rpg))
Vir'reska - Formerly a loose congregation of nomadic tribes, the Vir'reska still carry the hunter's predatory air about them. They waste nothing, and have a great distrust for strangers. ((This minor clan is available for play in the DT rpg))
Stone Company - A caravan that trades between the Surface and the Underworld, it is affiliated with the Illhar'dro and the Alstrats, a family of Halmes that have worked with the Stone Company for over a century.
Siyah'khorshed - Called The Black Sun after their symbol, they a clan that did not migrate to the Underworld for several centuries after the fall of the Moons Age. They consider themselves more honorable than other drow because their nation stayed to fight the demons while the others fled. However, they rely on attacking settlements for survival and most civilizations consider them as vultures. They came from the same dark elven nation as the Illhar'dro; the Great Clan and the nomad clan representing two very different sides of the same coin.
Val'Duae'niss - A clan that is in a dispute with the Illhar'dro over the rulership of the city Chel'rioske.
Dvara'ka - A clan with ties to the Sarghress and Illhar'dro, known for placing high taxes on their tribute payers. They were destroyed by the Tei'kaliath.
Val'oggir - A radical anti-Val group that formed after the most recent clan gathering in Chel'el'sussoloth. They call themselves The People's Clan.
Blue Banner Guild - A guild of relic hunters.
Houses are a family unit that has grown large enough to warrant recognition. Not large enough to be a minor clan, these are usually middle class groups such as merchants or vendors with more than one business. These are frequently absorbed by clans, or destroyed.
For clans that are not an official part of the Moonless Age Manga.
Val'ley'gurl - The pink menace.
Val'Egan'dar - In a Daydream story about the origins of the Sarghress as a Val clan, this was the clan that they replaced in the council. However, given the non-canonical nature of Daydream, this bit of information should be taken with a grain of salt. Their ill'haress was Laisa Val'Egan'dar.
Val'Kashyra - Another Daydream-exclusive Clan, this is the clan that drove the Nal'sarkoth from Mimaneid and currently rules the city. Their illhar'ess is Halira'maa Val'Kashyra, a brutal warrior with empathic powers.
Val'Jaal'indra - The original form of the Jaal'darya in a Daydram story, they fled their own city when it fell to demons. The Daydream story in which they appeared was based on early rumors about the Jaal'darya, so it is unknown if this Clan changed its name later of if its name was simply misheard by the storyteller. Their illhar'ess is Seli'malika, the grandmother of Asira'malika (named Asira'sima in the story).
Rajada - A Clan that allied itself with the Kashyra against the Nal'sarkoth.
Sindri - A Clan that allied itself with the Kashyra against the Nal'sarkoth.
Liwar'aje - A Clan that allied itself with the Kashyra against the Nal'sarkoth.
Val'Chaithioc - A member of this Clan, Sal'bara, was a classmate of Mel'arnach's in a Daydream story. Sal'bara describes her Clan as "stuck in strife, always at each other's throats" and says she does not trust any of her Clanmates.
A war between two clans is rare, but when posturing and subtle manipulations turn into a full-scale war, there are, or used to be, rules. The Nidraa'chal war broke all the rules, and may have set precedence for wars to come.
These unofficial rules are rules of convenience, not followed because it's the law, but because it is most beneficial for the clans to do so as they would incur the wrath of all the other clans if they did not.
- A war must not affect the city and its inhabitants. The commoners and their livelihoods provide the clans with resources and services; damaging the city hurts all the clans. Wars are held outside the city walls, and have even been spectator events, with people watching from within the safety of the city.
- A war between two clans is their business, not ours. Of course, noone can stay truly neutral as time passes, but initially the struggle is between two clans, and their allies, if they choose to get involved. The other clans are reluctant to enter a struggle between two clans for a few reasons. It may not be beneficial for them to declare allegiance with one or the other of the warring clans. They may be otherwise occupied. Maybe they're waiting for the perfect opportunity, or watching for signs of who is going to win, before joining the struggle. A war also weakens the clans who fight, which could mean that a clan which stays outside of the fight might be stronger than the participants after the conclusion of the war.