Crane Clan Village

The Crane Clan's village is located several week's south and west of the Keep, in lands far more temperate, but no more hospitable. These lands are known to some as the Lands of the Seven Clans and to others as the Cantons. The terrain is hilly to mountainous, and two of the clans hold lands on the western coast of the continent. It is a place of solitude, as the people keep to their own. They do not spread out seeking dominance of the land, they turn inward, looking for the path to greatness and wisdom. The proper way to access this wisdom is at the heart of many of the Clans' disputes, and they have been known to influence each other by force or manipulation. These lands are not part of the Empire. The disputes of the previous age have left the land bereft of any large strategic value. The Dukes of adjoining Empire lands are satisfied with levying modest tribute from the Clan leaders in exchange for relative peace.

Crane Village became what it is now during the Time of the High Lords. It was a time when the clans were more populous, highly structured, and militaristic. High Lord Oda of the Crane was not only a strategist, but an artist as well. Not only did he lay the philosophical foundation for the Crane Clan's code of preservation and defense, he commissioned engineers to create a beautiful and impregnable system of earthworks that looked as if were crafted by the Gods themselves. The village lay in a high vale between the mountains of Condor's Eye and Sapphire Peak. The maze of earthworks are confusing and planted with native plants, over the years they have become part of the landscape. Seven roads lead from the heart of Crane Village, the Wind Temple, one that leads toward the lands of each clan. The road toward the ruined hold of Serpent's Cliff, the castle destroyed by Oda himself, is overgrown and home to many clever traps and perils.

During Oda's time, it appeared as if the Crane Clan's alliance of Three Clans would rule these lands, but the plagues that came from the battlefields decimated the Crane Clan. Oda fell victim to the sickness and the clan adopted a more extreme form of Oda's isolation and defense. Some claimed that the plagues came as a parting shot from the less-than-human sorcerers of the now homeless Coiled Serpent Clan.

The Crane people remained watchful, but pursued a more relaxed lifestyle of farming the hillsides and thinking about the grand themes of life. The monks of the Wind Temple became the leaders of the village and the swords of their warrior elders were hung up as revered curiosities of a bygone age. The village became gradually more serene and sleepy. From time to time, people from the lands to the east would hear of the wisdom of the Crane folk, and would leave orphans to be raised in the peace of the valley. Even less often, a monk from the clan would venture out for a time, looking for wisdom beyond the simple solitude of Crane Village.

As the seven clans recovered from the difficult years following the plague, trouble would pop up from time to time. The village remained strong behind Oda's old and sturdy earthworks, but the occasional violent pestering was troublesome. An unknown monk of extreme age then founded the Wayfarers, a small group that would travel from the village and seek to avoid the problems that the Crane Village's neighbors would seek to visit upon them. It is said that he still lives, and leads the Wayfarers from behind the scenes.

The Crane Village has been peaceful ever since.

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