Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Wiki

In the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, there are no large forms of goverment. Instead people are organised into Clans.

Each Clan is named after a specific living creature, the clan guardian, who often has to do with the area in which they live. For example, you have the Seal Clan, who live by the ocean, and the Red Deer Clan, who live in the Deep Forest.

It is possible to change clan. The soul-eater Seshru was originally from the Raven Clan but changed her clan soul to the Viper Clan.

It might be possible to create new clans, since the already existing ones must have originated somewere. Michelle Paver mentioned that it would never be a Bear Clan since the World Spirit forbade it.

Clans guardians are not necessarily animals, and some, such as the Oak Clan and Willow Clan, are named after other living things (in this case oak and willow trees).

Whilst not a common occurence, it is possible for Clans to die out as, simply put, they have no more members. One example of this is the Oak Clan, another being the Eagle Owl Clan

There are many different groups of Clans, named after the area they live in.

Clan law[]

All clans are expected to abide by clan law. Breaking clan law can lead to punishment or exile, or bad luck from the World Spirit.[1] There is not an official list in the series, but the following is a list of laws mentioned throughout the books.

  • Kill only to eat and prey must be treated with respect. Carcasses must be utiltized to their fullest extent to avoid wasting anything. This is the age-old pact between the clans and the World Spirit.[2] Leave a portion of your catch to your clan-guardian.[3] You may only kill a predator in self-defense.[4]
  • It is forbidden to kill hunters,[5] unless it is necessary to survive, as the Ice Clans live off seals to survive in the Far North.[6] You cannot kill your clan creature, unless you are starving.[7]
  • It is forbidden to speak a dead person's name for five summers after they've died. Instead, they can be referred by their parents.[8]
  • Do not steal. Stealing may result in death.[9][10]
  • You cannot kill a man without warning.[11]
  • Trial by combat.[12]
  • Soul-Eaters are to be outcasted and treated as if they were dead. They are to be hunted like prey. Anyone who helps an outcast will also be outcasted.[13]
  • Young man may seek out a mate once he turns fifteen.[14]
Coming Soon

Additional laws[]

  • Torak breaks the law of the Sea Mother by tainting his clothes in the Sea.[15]

Clan culture[]

Coming Soon

Clan terminology[]

  • Birthnight - birthday[16]
  • Bone-ground - dirt mounds where clans bury their dead[17]
  • Camp - a temporary or permanent place a clan can reside[9]
  • Clan-creature skin - a patch of the clan-guardian sewn on one's jerkin[9]
  • Clan-guardian - the guardian for each clan that is said to watch over each campsite[3]
  • Clan meet - an informal or formal gathering of the clans. Fin-Kedinn calls one between Raven Clan, Boar Clan, Auroch Clan, and Red Deer Clan to discuss what to do with Torak.[18] An official one takes place every three summers.[19]
  • Clan-tattoo - each clan member has a specific tattoo indicating their clan[9]
  • Dark Time - the time in the Far North when the sun disappears[20]
  • Daymeal - a meal eaten during the day[21]
  • Daywalks - how far one can travel in a day[9]
  • Death Journey - the journey the souls take to the Land of the Dead[22]
  • Death Marks - three markings on the body so the souls can find each other after death: the name-soul on the heels, the clan-soul over the heart, and the world-soul (Nanuk) over the forehead.[22]
  • Demon - a spirit without the clan-soul, and it lives to destroy all living things.[23]
  • Demon time - the time when the lights begins to turn.[24]
  • Fostering - where young members of a clan spend time in a different clan to make friends and potentially find a mate[18]
  • Great Wanderer - another name for ice bears[20]
  • Land of the Dead - the resting place for the dead where hunts are plentiful[2]
  • Long-fire - a bonfire with a entire tree lit on fire[25]
  • Mage - people who can heal sicknesses and experience visions[8]
  • Mate - a life partner[8]
  • Middle-night - midnight[26]
  • Moon bleed - menstrual cycle. Women who experience their first moon bleed have a red bar underneath their clan-tattoos.[27]
  • Naming-rite - a naming ceremony. Torak performs one for Wolf by daubing red alder juice on his paws.[2]
  • Nightmeal - a meal eaten at night[28]
  • Otherworld - world of the demons[29]
  • Outcast - exiled from the clans. Outcasts are to be hunted if they are found on clan territory.[30]

Notes and references[]

  1. Spirit Walker, chapter 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wolf Brother, chapter 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wolf Brother, chapter 5
  4. Outcast, chapter 11
  5. Soul Eater, chapter 18
  6. Soul Eater, chapter 39
  7. Wolf Brother, chapter 2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wolf Brother, chapter 8
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Wolf Brother, chapter 7
  10. Outcast, chapter 28
  11. Oath Breaker, chapter 5
  12. Wolf Brother, chapter 9
  13. Outcast, chapter 2
  14. Ghost Hunter, chapter 2
  15. Spirit Walker, chapter 18
  16. Oath Breaker, chapter 15
  17. Wolf Brother, chapter 11
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Wolf Brother, chapter 10
  19. Outcast, chapter 5
  20. 20.0 20.1 Soul Eater, chapter 11
  21. Ghost Hunter, chapter 16
  22. 22.0 22.1 Wolf Brother, chapter 1
  23. 23.0 23.1 Spirit Walker, chapter 12
  24. Ghost Hunter, chapter 4
  25. Soul Eater, chapter 40
  26. Oath Breaker, chapter 1
  27. Outcast, chapter 1
  28. Spirit Walker, chapter 2
  29. Wolf Brother, chapter 4
  30. Outcast, chapter 2