The Clans have no central rulership. They each are headed by a clan leader. They are almost completely independent of each other and occasionally can come into conflict over living space or hunting rights. The Serpent clan is the closest to a ruling factor there is in the Great Marsh. They are spiritual leaders and stay above the territorial conflicts of the other tribes. See their entry for more specific information.
While the individual cultures of the clans can vary greatly they do have things in common. The Marshfolk live in tight-knit social groups (clans) which are self limiting. There is little usable land in the Great Marsh for habitation and the folk live dam-like huts which can only be entered from the water (but living conditions are dry and above the waterline.). For this reason space is a commodity and when males born into a clan at capacity come of age they can either fight for dominance and force another male out, or leave the clan to fend for themselves. Males that leave will often try and join other clans (with mixed results). Other times they will attempt to start their own clan. Often they live in isolation and quickly die from lack of support. Others may leave the depths of the marshes and attempt to integrate with Utenden societies living on the outskirts.
The Alsathsans live in beaver-like damns and lodges. They are built of a combination of mud, earth, debris, and wood. They have one or more entrances in the water which lead up and inside, though they have chimneys which could be a possible entry point. There is little risk of fire in the marshes and in the event of one water is always nearby. This method of living is one of the ways they are able to avoid becoming a meal for one of the many larger predators to be found in the area.
While there are many physical differences as well as social differences between the tribes the youngest are usually very similar in appearance. They are reedy individuals with thick pale skin with a very visible pattern of green veins.
The Different Clans as follows:
- Gal’aukk (Snapping Turtle Clan)
- Rah’aukk (Croaking Toad Clan)
- Sas’aukk (Mystic Snake Clan)
- Tar’aukk (Sleeping Alligator Clan)
All of the clans share racial traits which can be found here