The Clan of Milk and Honey is a small agricultural clan founded by Mellona and Bellus in the Emberglow Hearth. It was founded as Mellona found her charge, which was making the Wastes bloom with life. As more and more dragons joined the clan, the head ambassador, Apis, organized the governing structure of the clan. The clan has been steadily growing ever since, producing prolific amounts of fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood to clans all around Sornieth.
Structure of Government Edit
As a small, agrarian clan, there is little official government or bureaucracy in place. However, there are specific dragons in charge of different facets of the clan. The structure is as follows:
- Mellona is the leader of the clan, as well as its founder. Her role as clan leader means that she resolves any disputes, as well as figuring out where to plant crops, where to let the herds and flocks graze, who works when, and she generally has the final say on most decisions. In practice, however, Mellona is not fond of administrative work, and leaves most of the nitty gritty work for Apis. As well as being the leader, she is also in charge of all the animal husbandry sections of the clan. This means ensuring each animal is being taken care of, that they are being housed properly, and overseeing all the animal husbandry assistants.
- Bellus is officially the second in command of the clan, and when Mellona is busy or away, he generally picks up the slack. His other role is the head defender of the clan. This role consists of patrolling the borders, overseeing the other defenders, and making sure the clan stays safe.
- Apis is the head ambassador of the clan. She sees to negotiating trade deals, avoiding conflict with other clans and beastclans, and ensuring the good reputation of the clan. Apis was also responsible for setting up the chain of command within the clan, and whenever Mellona needs assistance with the general upkeep of the clan, she is there to lend a paw.
- Samael was one of the first members of the clan, and she was the one who started their agricultural program, as such, she is the head of agriculture. This job consists of planning what crops will be planted where and when, overseeing all of the agricultural assistants, ensuring proper crop rotation, and heading the research team that works to improve the clan's agricultural output.
- Sanibel is the head of the aquaponics division, and helped the clan expand into that area of work. Before Sanibel joined, the clan focused only on crops and livestock. Generally, Sanibel oversees the fishing expeditions and the gathering of underwater vegetation. He and Myakka are working towards creating closed off reservoirs of water to raise fish.
Every week, the entire clan gathers together to have a meeting. This is how many minor decisions are made, such as how the clan will celebrate the elemental holidays, or who will work on which days. The forum also allows regular clan members to state their opinion on how things should be managed, or talk about what decisions should or shouldn't have been made. For example, when planting season is drawing near, Nia, the geologist, will often report on the various states of soil around the clan, this report is taken into consideration when Samael is planning out which crops will be planted where. In a situation where two clan members disagree, Mellona is the mediator who figures out the final course of action.
The clan is located in the Northeastern section of the Emberglow hearth, right against the border of the Water Flight. The climate is generally cooler than the other parts of the Ashfall Waste, due to the Sea of a Thousand Currents acting as a heat sink, this makes the climate very favorable for agriculture. The rich volcanic soil provides amazing benefits to agriculture as well, making this portion of the Waste especially suited to growing fruits and vegetables.
The clan is housed in open air tents of various sizes that are located on the edge of the cliff that drops down onto the beach. The largest tent is where the weekly clan meetings occur, as well as where Mellona and the others conduct internal clan affairs and meet with foreign diplomats. To the left of the main tent, there is a smaller tent where most of the cooking and eating of the clan takes place. Zdravka, the cook, prepares meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and throughout the day, dragons will come and go into this tent to eat and socialize during their breaks. The smaller tent located to right of the main tent is the medical tent. This is where Caldera, the healer, works during the day, tending to the injuries of any dragons or livestock that needs healing.
Scattered around these three main tents, are the small personal tents of the individual clan members. Many mates share a tent, and sometimes friends will share a tent just to save space. Closer to the fields lies a larger tent that is more open to the elements. That is where the crops are cleaned and trimmed to be ready for sale, as well as where the livestock is slaughtered. In addition to processing food, the tent also has an area dedicated to scientific experiments and research of plants and diseases.
To the south of the tent group, lies the many fields where the clan tends to their animals and crops. The fields are rotated every cycle, making sure that the soil has time to rest. To the east, past the fields, lies a small shrine dedicated to the Flamecaller. Lavaridge spends most of her time here, leading worship the Flamecaller. South of the fields, there lies several volcanoes, some dormant, some active. On the base of the largest dormant volcano, lies a magma vent, called Somnus Cave. This cave, or more accurately, this tunnel, is where Arianrhod grows her nocturnal mushrooms. The cave also houses Sueseca's pottery workshop and the forge, tended to by Kalapana and Benedict. Unlike the other members of the clan, Arianrhod, Sueseca, Benedict, and Kalapana all sleep and live inside this cave, though they often will journey to the main tent group for meals and other events. When large storms threaten the coast, the entire clan will quickly tie down the tents and herd the livestock into Somnus Cave, while they all wait out the storm together.
The Seer Society Edit
For not having many dragons, The Clan of Milk and Honey has a lot of seers per capita. Though not all of them are technically seers, some are considered prophets, they are all united in their ability to see or predict the future. After Cascia joined the clan, the five seers came together to start their own group, called The Seer Society, to work together and collaborate in order to boost the reliability of their predictions. When the moon disappears, the five seers descent into the deepest cavern of Somnus Cave. What they do or discuss is unknown the rest of the clan, except for Mellona, who receives a summary of their predictions. How they discover these predictions is a closely guarded secret. So far, nothing of import has been discovered through these meetings, but all five seers agree that something is coming soon. What this something is, though, remains to be seen.
Clan Relationships Edit
Beastclan Relations Edit
The Harpy flocks that are common in the Emberglow Hearth have good relations with The Clan of Milk and Honey. Since the clan is so small and has almost no military power to speak of, they are not viewed as a threat. The clan often exchanges plants and meat for the Harpy's art pieces and protection, which also lends to peaceful relations. Mellona and Apis have had meetings with the Harpy leaders in the area, and have made clear that their only goal is to make the Wastes bloom with life. As long the bounty is shared with the Harpies, they make it clear that they will leave the clan alone.
The Maren are a much larger threat. When Sanibel began fishing out in the Sea, he caught the attention of the local Maren schools. After the aquaponics team grew and their fishing trips increased, the Maren began to feel threatened. This almost erupted into a violent altercation, but through the quick thinking diplomacy of Apis, and the backing of the local Harpy flocks, the Maren were content to let some fishing continue, for a price, of course. The price is that 50% of the fish caught have to be split with the Maren, and when the reservoirs for fish breeding are completed, a portion of that will also have to be shared with the Maren. Though some members of the clan are very vocal about how the Maren are taking advantage of the clan, Mellona is of the opinion that even an uneasy peace is preferable to war.
The year is split into four seasons:
- The Wilting Moons (Summer) are the warmest time of the year. Less hardy plants will wilt under these conditions, but some crops are planted in the beginning of this season. Many plants that start growing in the Harvest Moons are harvested now
- The Planting Moons (Fall) begin when the weather begins to cool. In the other regions, many trees have their leaves turn red and fall off, but in the Wastes, the opposite occurs. Usually the overwhelming heat of the Ashfall Waste prevents many more fragile crops from growing, so this time is perfect for beginning to plant the more delicate crops.
- The Budding Moons (Winter) are when the weather is coolest in the wastes. Some plants are planted during these moons, but most plants are just beginning to ripen. In other parts of Sornieth, snow covers the ground and the plants die, but not in this part of the wastes. In the south, blizzards will come up from the Southern Icefields and blanket the Blacksand Annex and Molten Scar with short lived snow, but such storms never make it all the way up to the Northern tip of the Wastes.
- The Verdant Moons (Spring) are when most of the crops planted in the Budding Moons are ready to harvest, and the land itself is overflowing with life. The weather begins to get warmer, but compared to the Wilting Moons, its is pleasantly cool.
Every four seasons forms a full cycle, also known as a year. Each season takes approximately 90 days, or four moons, but every three or four cycles, a season will have what is known as a "Betrayer Moon", since it's presence alters the flow of the cycle and misleads dragons to become confused to which season it is and which festival it is. During the peak of the full moon, elemental festivals will occur, in all but the middle Budding Moon, where the land is bathed in darkness, and the Nocturnes roam. Each elemental festival lasts seven days. In the event of a betrayer moon, there is no festival celebrated.
The Battle of Somnus Gap Edit
The Battle of Somnus Gap was the first battle fought in the Clan of Milk and Honey's territory. It was perpetrated by a cult of fanatic Nature dragons belonging to the Garigill Colony. The attack was motivated by the large number of Plague dragons living in the clan. Nine members of the Clan of Milk and Honey died, while none of the attackers perished. It is considered to be one of the worst tragedies in the clan's history.
The following is a first person account of the battle by the clan's scribe and ambassador, Katsura.
"Sornieth is home to many flights, and within those flights, there are thousands of different and unique clans. Each flight has its rivals and allies, and so too does each clan. But no rivalry could match the hatred between the Nature and Plague flights. The two sisters are diametrically opposed, and the constant blood spilled in their battles is proof enough. Of course, in our little corner of the Ashfall Waste, such rivalry was pointless. There were Plague dragons and Nature dragons aplenty, and in fighting is highly frowned upon. I wouldn't say the two groups got along in our clan, but there certainly wasn't any violence breaking out. At least there wasn't any violence happening in our own clan, but that didn't mean there weren't other out there planning violence against us.
Our relations with most Plague and Nature clans were terse, made out of necessity, not friendship. They didn't much like our integrated clan, and certainly didn't appreciate our non-violent outlook on the world. Despite those troubles, we kept relations with many unfriendly Nature clans, since seeds were in short supply on the wastes and the desert that was right next door. We thought the distance and the gold in their pockets would persuade them to let us be. We were wrong.
It started in the harvest season, the maize was coming in, and it was all hands on deck. Even our defenders were working in the field, every claw is needed in a small clan such as ours. This lapse in security worried our CairnBato visitor, and since he had no knowledge of harvesting, he went to keep an eye on things all by himself. It was this that probably saved our clan from a total annihilation, but even a warning was not enough to save us all. They struck at dawn, just as the harvest was being cleaned and stored and all the clan members were in the tents. Finnick raced to warn the clan, but the warning fell just as the Nature army was overhead.
The children were escorted into the cave, with Amphitrite and Varuna as their guards, while Bellus gathered all the fighters he could to protect the weak within the clan. As the largest dragons, Sancus, Strenua, Miryam, Nia, and Kuraokami used their size to block the attackers from getting into the cave, but in the heat of battle, Sancus was struck down. Maddened by grief and rage, and trying to protect the helpless who were her charge, Strenua lashed out at any dragon she could find, but the Mirror who was leading the charge cut her down. Now the two are joined for eternity in the service of the Flamecaller.
It wasn't the mirror that caused the most damage, it was the litany of Fae behind him, using their powerful nature magic to pervert the greenery around them into rising up and killing their cultivators. Samael, a Plague Fae was a prime target, and certainly would have fallen if her daughter and her husband didn't save her from the rosebushes that she had so lovingly tended. The two Fae were crushed and suffocated by the thorny branches, as Samael was rushed away by Mellona to safety. These two weren't the only casualties from the violent magic, as the cave filled with dragons seeking shelter, Lavaridge roused a force of fire dragons to try and stop the magic, Caldera, Benedict, and Kalapana joined with her and emerged from the cave to spread the cleansing flames over their enemies. The fire drove back the army, but another threat joined the battle. A gargantuan Guardian emerged from the depths, crushing the spreading flames and ripping Benedict to shreds.
Kuraokami and the other larger dragons attempted to counter the new enemy, but she was to be the least of their issues. From the depths, she called to her creation, a shambling wreck, composed of rotting Imperial parts. She had built an Emperor. Filled with disgust and hatred, Miryam and Kuraokami attempted to destroy the monstrosity, but only Miryam managed to escape with her life. Again, the more magically adept dragons attempted to subdue the new threat, but they too fell to the beast. Kalapana and Echinacea were slain by the beast, as Kuraokami's lifeless body began to be absorbed into the monster. Lavaridge looked on in horror as her friends died, slain by the whims of Nature and Fire, their dead bodies desecrated and turned into a tool of the undead. She, Caldera, and Lavandula rushed to try and save the wounded, but they were not spared from the attack. The merciless Faes, Nocturnes and Mirror brutally attacked the healers, mortally wounding Lavandula, and forcing the priestesses to retreat.
Back in Somnus cave, the front line tried to counter the oncoming forces. Amphitrite tore herself away from the children she swore to protect and launched herself into the fray, her mate joining her. Together with their expertise in Arcane and Water magics, they were able to force the Emperor and its creator back into the waves. Kuraokami's corpse now joined to the beast, went with it. Bellus, Nicaea, Finnick, and Red charged after the two veterans, and Fought off the attackers for hours, never letting them get into the cave. Outnumbered by the swarm of powerful Faes, the clan could not hope to win, but the natural defenses of Somnus cave prevented the attackers from breaking through. At a stalemate, the attacking forces finally relented.
Of the wounded, Zdravka, Aow, Mimica, and Samael pulled through. Many were lost. We remember Sancus and Strenua, fierce protectors of all the poor and oppressed, who fought valiantly alongside each other to make sure the weak could make it to safety in time. We remember Chidagni and Nenkal, who sacrificed their lives to save Samael. It is through their bravery that she lives on. We remember Kuraokami, who gave his life and his afterlife to our clan, dying in order to stop the Emporer from destroying any more lives. We remember Benedict and Kalapana, who used their gifts of fire to fend off the Nature attackers, leaving the safety of the cave in order to protect their home. Finally, we remember Lavandula, who gave everything in order to provide healing, and Echinacea, who came together with the other magic users to defend the clan, and lost her life in the process.
We have lost too many today. This clan was never supposed to know war, we only ever wanted peace. How can we continue our mission when so many of our family has died? Varuna and Amphitrite thank their gods that their daughter was away when this attack happened, but how will she react knowing her best friend perished in the attack? How can any of us recover from this?
I never hoped to write such tragedies."
-Written By Katsura Windsong on the Eighth day of the Moon of the Lightweaver in the Wilting Moons of the 72nd Cycle of the Fourth Age
The clan is a small, self sustaining community, home to few dragons. Most hatchlings leave the clan when they come of age, though some choose to stay and help out the clan. The around 30% of the clan's population is Plague and Fire, the two most common elemental allegiances of the clan. Arcane, Shadow, and Light are the second most common, while Lightning comes in third. The least common element is Earth, with only one Earth dragon in the entire clan. The most common breed in the clan is Coatls, which makes sense, as Coatls are the native breed of the Ashfall waste. The second most common breed is Tundras, then Nocturnes. The least common breed is Pearlcatchers, with only a single Pearlcatcher residing in the clan. The gender ratio is fairly even, with 53% of the clan being females and 47% being male.
Clan Members Edit
- Mellona (Leader/Head of Animal Husandry)
- Bellus (Second in Command/Head of Defense)
- Samael (Head of Agriculture)
- Sanibel (Head of Aquaponics)
- Myakka (Aquaponics Assistant)
- Apis (Ambassador)
- Arianrhod (Nocturnal Plant Specialist)
- Katsura (Assistant Ambassador/Teacher)
- Amphitrite (Defender/Nanny)
- Belissama (Agricultural Assistant, specifically, pest control)
- Lavaridge (Priestess of the Flamecaller)
- Varuna (Defender/Agricultural Assistant)
- Nicaea (Seer/Aquaponics Assistant)
- Sueseca (Sculptor/Potter)
- Uahikaula (Seer/Animal Husbandry Assistant)
- Tzaraat (Prophet/Animal Husbandry Assistant)
- Aow (Tinker)
- Aomikan (Forager)
- Pitahaya (Forager)
- Chidagni (Botanist)
- Nenkal (Tailor/Weaver)
- Caldera (Healer)
- Cecil (Wannabe Flamecaller Devotee/Bringer of Shame)
- Mimica (Butcher)
- Feronia (Builder/Carpenter)
- Isidore (Messenger)
- Zdravka (Cook)
- Cascia (Seer)
- Cytagal (Beekeeper)
- Amestris (Beekeeper)
- Sansho (Historian/Teacher)
- Chantal (Wandering Spirit)
- Caleb (Wandering Spirit)
- Red (Defender)
- Cymbidiella (Defender/Fugitive)
- Calantha (Scribe)
- Fakahatchee (Steward of the Wild)
- Bunyip (Steward of the Wild)
- Curare (Poison Maker)