In the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness 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.