Brynn: Clan & Curamach

The Brynn are the most ancient culture in Brittanis; their myths and legends say that they migrated to the continent of Brittanis in ancient times, warred against the Fomorians and claimed the fertile heartlands for themselves. 

Natives of the western highlands, the Brynn are hardy and energetic folk undaunted by extremes of weather or human cruelty. Their culture focuses highly on family and clan, with many festivals and holidays serving as excuses to gather, drink and find a partner. They tend to be adventurous, bold, and can carry a swagger seen as brashness or overconfidence by other ancestries.

5 Things to Remember About Brynn

  • Clans - Brynn are led, not ruled
    • To the Brynn, self-sacrifice is the core character trait of a leader. Brynn clan leadership is typically chosen from those who have the best capability of caring for those who chose to follow them. This focus on small-scale leadership means that in order to win the loyalty of other families, a potential clan Chief/tess must prove themselves capable of leading their own house before they can lead anyone else, and each family in the Clan considers themselves an ALLY to the Chief, not a subordinate. The Brynn are not ruled—that is for lesser peoples who cannot care for themselves. The Brynn are led by a person of proven wisdom, character and ability, regardless of large or small beginnings.
      • It’s important to note that “family” to the Brynn is not a term bordered by lineage or blood; same-sex parents, adoptions and oath-sworn family are just as valid family models as any other.   
  • Curamach 
    • Pronounced “KYOO-ruh-MOCK”, this Brynn word translates roughly to “responsibility” but has a much deeper meaning. To the Brynn, actions have consequences and those consequences have meaning beyond just the immediate. They believe a person is responsible for the outcome of their actions, for good or ill. Curamach covers all these ideas, as well as the idea that even the “unintended” results of an action still fall on the shoulders of the person who chose to do or not.
  • Unconquered
    • When the Tiberians landed in Brittanis, the Brynn were fierce, but no match for the Legions. The tightly-organized Imperial Legions were at a disadvantage against the skirmishing, guerrilla tactics of the Brynn driven into the highlands. The Brynn Clans were never truly pacified and their fractious, inter-clan culture was not as heavily altered as the Norn. When the Tiberians Retreated from Brittanis, the Brynn harried them every step of the way, reclaiming the fertile lands and mineral-rich hills they had held before the occupation. 
  • Clan Colors
    • The most obvious and striking feature of Brynn fashion is the use of tartan fabric woven into a particular pattern of colors. Each clan has their own tartan and colors, and the weavers and tailors of the Brynn are expert at creating dyes and weaving this iconic fabric. The use of a tartan for all members of a clan has several benefits: on a battlefield among many similarly-armed and armored clansmen differing tartans can tell friend from foe, and hanging strips of tartan cloth from a tree or wall is as good as a flag for knowing where a clan’s territory begins and ends. Wearing the tartan of a clan without permission is considered a grave offense, claiming the hospitality and protection of that clan without the offer being actually made. 
  • Names Tell A Story
    • Brynn names are constructs with deep meaning; how fully a Brynn chooses to name themselves says a great deal about how formal they consider a situation to be. Each piece of a Brynn’s name means something, and which pieces they choose to give says a great deal--if you know how to read the story they’re telling. 
      • Most Brynn have three names: Given, family, and home. Given name correlates to the first name of all other cultures. Family name usually tells you who a Brynn’s mother is. The third piece of a Brynn name tells you about their hometown.  
      • Variations on these 3 pieces tell a listener a lot about what an individual Brynn values. How a person introduces themselves, and to whom, speaks volumes. 
      • The most rare— considered both a tragedy and a cautionary tale to Brynn culture— are those with no ties to a family, dun, sept, or clan. These poor souls should know themselves only to be Brynn, but have no other ties to the people. These folk name themselves by their ancestry alone, such as “Cedric mac Brynn” and are exceedingly rare.

Brynn Archetypal Heroic Virtues

(NOTE: These are not required for a player to take; these are simply the most common virtues among the Brynn culture)

  • LOYALTY is a common virtue for Brynn because… the bonds and traditions of Clan are deeply ingrained in their culture.
  • PIETY is a common virtue for Brynn because… tales of the gods and traditions of gratitude are the fireside stories every one of them is raised on 
  • DIGNITY is a common virtue for Brynn because… they take pride in their identity regardless of where they are and where they go, their very names proclaim their place within the structure of the world

Clothing & Kit

NOTE: There are no body type, height/weight, hair color or or skin color descriptions for any of the ancestries in Brittanis. Costuming and kit are the way to demonstrate and roleplay your Ancestry. This is intentional. Play what you want to play.

  • Ancestry band: Brynn must wear an Ancestry band of white fabric with a green stripe. These must be worn on the left forearm and may not be less than 3 inches wide.
  • Kit
    • Styles:The most obvious and striking feature of Brynn fashion is the use of tartan fabric woven into a particular pattern of colors. Each clan has their own tartan and colors, and the weavers and tailors of the Brynn are expert at creating dyes and weaving the fabric into beautiful patterns.
      • Clan Caledonii (The North): Bright RED base Tartan, lion totem, “Blood and Fire” 
      • Clan Dumnonni (Borderlands): Dark Blue & Dark Green tartan, wolf totem, “We Are The Land” 
      • Clan Iceni (Burning Coast): light blue/teal base tartan, selkie/sea lion totem, “Look Beyond The Water” 
      • Clan Dalriada (Pale Barrens): Black/Grey base tartan, badger totem, “Give No Quarter” 
      • Clan Fianna (Borderlands): Purple base tartan, thistle totem, “Strong As Stone” 
      • Minority/Dead Clans: 
        • Clan Silures (Pale Barrens): Brown/orange base tartan, locust tree totem, “Roots Run Deep” 
        • Clan Fidach (Estmark), brown/black tartan,  bull totem, “Hold Fast” 
        • Clan Reghed (Borderlands): green base tartan, owl totem, “Wise and Proud” 
        • Clan Vasconi (Pale Barrens): orange base tartan, lark totem, “Our Harps Sing”
        • Clan Selgovae (Estmark): white tartan base, falcon totem, “We Fly True”
      • See the Brynn Pinterest Boards HERE for inspiration!
      • Brynn clothing and fashion is some of the most colorful and vibrant of the human peoples; Brynn see color, jewelry, and ornamentation as signs of wealth, prestige and prosperity and those elected to positions of authority often choose to wear torcs, arm rings, necklaces and amulets of precious metals and stones to show their skill in leadership and personal achievement. 
      • Wool is the primary fabric for tartan. Brynn use cotton, linen and leather as well in clothing. Fur can also be used in garments, especially those designed to protect against harsh highland weather.
  • Weapons/Shields: Spears are by far the most common Brynn weapon. Swords are considered backup weapons for the most part. One exception to this rule is shock troops equipped with large two-handed swords and the heaviest armor available. 
    • Brynn shields are universally tall and thin, usually oval or rectangular in shape and only wide enough to cover a warrior shoulder to shoulder.
  • Armor: Because of their focus on speed and mobility, the Brynn have perfected armor designs that feature protective pieces mounted on a softer, flexible backing. 
    • Brigandine (small plates of leather or metal riveted to a softer leather or canvas) is the most common; occasionally the armor plates will be sewn between two layers of fabric to silence the armor as well. 
    • Scale armor and lamellar styles are common as well for the same reasons.

Personality

The Brynn are a  fierce and passionate people. They fight hard, and love harder. Timid and reserved are not typically traits associated with the Brynn, as they are fiercely proud of their heritage and believe that loyalty and family are sacred. This does not mean that they are thoughtless or untempered in their actions and emotions, but rather that they believe passions and emotions should be faced and expressed, not shunned or shied away from. 

To face the wholeness of oneself, good and ill, and obtain mastery is a sign of strength. And those who possess the strength to master themselves often earn the respect and right to become leaders among their own people, for among the Brynn, respect and the right to lead or rule are things earned, not given- and those who would seek to demand such things without having first proved their worth will find their kinsmans loyalties quickly turned against them. 

Life Span 

Brynn enjoy the standard human lifespan for those who live in an age where magic exists, but likewise so do monsters. Most do not live past the age of 70.

Naming Convention

Brynn names consist of 3 parts: a Given name, a Family Name, and a Sept Name. All of these details tell an educated listener a GREAT deal about a Brynn in a very short amount of time. 

  • Given Name: The first name is a Brynn’s given name, such as Connor, Donegal, Brenna, or Cedric.
  • Family/Parental Name: “Mac” means “child of” and “ap” means “of the house of.” The Brynn are matrilineal, so the second name would typically be your mother’s name, if born into the clan. Using the examples above, “Cedric mac Laurel” means “Cedric, son of Laurel.” 
    • Very rarely you could be born into the clan without an acknowledged mother, or deliberately repudiating a mother; then the father’s name is used.
  • Sept Name: The final part of a Brynn’s full name is the sept name. A sept is a body of people larger than a household, but smaller than a clan. It is a sort of extended family of lots of households bound together by family, marriage, oaths, etc. 

Religion

Brynn faith typically comes in two varieties: the majority follow the Three Sisters, or honoring the entire White Court. 

The Three Sisters hold great sway in Brynn homes, and sometimes shrines to both the Old Faith and the Court are found in large households to accommodate all members. Sarai holds the Brynn people dear to her; the Archdruid of her faith is historically almost always Brynn. The ferocity and primal nature of the Wild Queen appeals to the Brynn heart, and she returns their devotion with equal fervor. 

Most Brynn shrines to the White Court are one of two types: either devoted to the entire White Court, as the Brynn are the people most likely to devote themselves to each god as part of the whole, or a small or family shrine devoted to a single god, almost always Liriel, Emrys, or Dagmar.

Hospitality 

Like all cultures, the Brynn use hospitality as a means of collective self-preservation. Knowing that you have at least shelter awaiting you at the nearest settlement, regardless of whether they end up as friends or enemies, facilitates travel and trade in a monster-haunted landscape.

Brynn assume hospitality lasts until the next dawn. Beyond that, a host is free to extend an offer of continued hospitality or expel any unwanted guests. 

To receive extended hospitality from a Brynn, one must extol the virtues of the host(s) or their Clan and/or ancestry. Sharing tales of deeds and adventures, kindness and selflessness, finding common ground in the history of Brynn in Brittanis, no matter Briton, Dwarf or Elf, all have a connection to be found. Common ground can be found, regardless of the depth one must reach.

Society 

Clan Structures

Brynn recognize the government of Kings and nobility, though in the highlands of the west only clan chiefs govern. Brynn voices are loud in defense of their personal rights and freedoms, much to the chagrin of many a town council. 

Brynn are organized into extended families (called a dun), and when several extended duns are located together, they will band together for protection into a Sept. All positions of leadership from family level up to the Clan chief are free of gender restrictions.  

The Standing

Chiefs of all levels (dun, sept & clan) are chosen in a Standing--when a leader has gathered enough support to declare themselves for leadership, a ceremony called The Standing is called wherein all assembled begin seated. Then, the potential leader literally stands up, and afterwards all the leaders in support of this Standing literally stand up in support of the potential Chief(tess). 

Standings are usually not held unless a leader knows firmly that they will succeed; a Standing is not an election where the minority must acquiesce to the will of the majority-- those who do not agree to follow the victor of a Standing are expected to either fall in line behind the new leader, or separate from the dun/sept/clan entirely, leaving the settlement and either seeking a new dun/sept/clan to swear to, or attempting the arduous task of starting their own. 

Brynn Titles

There are several titles the Brynn use. It’s important to note that ALL Brynn titles are based on merit, not heredity. 

  • Ri (Pr. REY): Chief of an entire Clan. Added to the given name of a chief, such as “Malone-ri, Dierdre-ri, etc) 
    • Luath-Ri (pr. LOO-ah REY): Sept or Dun Chief. Ex. Velcorix Luath-Ri, Owain Luath-Ri, etc
  • Tanist (pr. TANN-ist): the designated heir of a Sept or Clan Chief (duns do not designate Tanist). Because of Brynn meritocracy and the Standing ceremony, being named Tanist is by no means a guarantee of succession. It is a way for the current leader to attempt a peaceful and calm transition of power by making their wishes known and ensuring the Tanist is trained and schooled in leadership and diplomacy. 
  • Raven: Advisor and councilor to the Clan Chief (there are no Ravens of smaller groups). The Raven is designed to hold power briefly between the retirement/death of a Chief and the Standing, and as such are supposed to be neutral in matters of succession. Also can serve as ambassador or diplomat outside the Clan’s borders as necessary. Named after the ravens who carry messages from place to place. 
  • Ruire (pr. REE-rah): roughly equivalent to Briton knights, a warrior or combatant recognized for exceptional merit and service to the Clan. This is a Clan-level title, and can only be awarded by a Ri.  Ruire are expected to lead Clan warriors in battle. 
  • Briugu (pr. BREH-guh): service and merit award specifically for clan members who are not combatants, with status and responsibility equal to the Ruire. The Briugu of a Clan are expected to be exemplars of Brynn hospitality and their Clan values. 
  • Oglaich (pr. OHH-gleck): warleader for an entire Clan. Interestingly, this title is always separate from the Ri, making for a clear political-military divide between the two; even if a Clan Chief is chosen based on military experience, the Ri will choose an Oglaich and advise them. Likewise, an Oglaish will not make military maneuvers without their Ri’s consent and approval. 
    • Luath Oglaich (LOO-ah OHH-gleck): warleader for a sept; the bearer of this title is almost always require first, and shows good command and judgement in leadership while commanding small units. Luath Oglaich coordinate with clan Oglaich when full-clan military maneuvers take place. They act as company commanders in such times, commanding the ruire , who in turn command small units.   

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