The lands north of the Northern Province of the Great Kingdom would become known as the Bone March, but had been home to the Flan for over a thousand years before the Oeridians moved into the region around -400CY. The Flan tribes that lived the March were fiercely independent, and while they had contact with the great Flan kingdom of Ahlissa to the south, they never organized into settlements larger than villages. The Flan here, like many in the Flanaess, had strong connections to the old religion, in particular the Old Faith or the Green Religion. Devoted to the worship of nature itself but not tied to any one deity. To believers in the Old Faith, even the gods themselves are aspects of nature.
As the Oeridians moved into the March, many of them were also drawn to the rugged beauty they found there. These Oeridians, too, shunned the more organized kingdoms of their kin to the south, who eventually formed the Great Kingdom. The Flan they encountered were welcoming of these Oeridians as they were akin to themselves, and the two quickly melded into a single people. In addition to the Flan and Oeridians, Suel culture was introduced to the region through trading and raids with northen barbarians.
Central to the makeup of the March throughout these times was the Druidic Circle of the March. The highly centralized areas of natural magic and powerful leylines had drawn these druids to the March long before the Flan had settled there. These very same druids would be the saviors of the Marchlanders in the wake of the Cursed Invasion of 563. The Druids of the March seldom interfered in the affairs of other nations. Even when the Great Kingdom made headway into the region to turn it into a new province, they did not interfere. Aerdy was battling against their enemies, the northern barbarians, and then the humanoids. But with the defeat of the Aerdy army in the March, powerful tribes of humanoids flooded in intent on enslaving all they found.
The druids fearing for the common folk interceded by gathering up refugees from Spinecastle, Johnsport, and the small towns and villages scattered throughout the March. A hardy people Marchlanders still clung to a belief in the old faith. So, when the druids arrived to help shepherd them and keep them safe, the adaption to a nomadic way of life was quick and mostly successful.
The druids kept the people on the move, but they were barred from fleeing across the Teesar Torrent into the North Province by North Province military. Fleeing too far west was not an option as the Countess of Knurl was a well-known evil force that would also enslave them. Fortunately, the bulk of the humanoids were concentrated in the east around Spinecastle and Johnsport. This left a large portion of the southwest from Lurglen to the Blemu Hills, and all along the banks of the Harp river open to them. The humanoids did wander these lands as well but in far fewer numbers, making them easier to avoid. Eventually, the druids formed these refugees into five distinct tribes that soon centralized in different areas of the March.
These five tribes soon took on traits influenced by the druids that led them, warriors even took up the old custom of painting their faces with markings to signify which tribe they belonged to. Unique customs and traditions evolved until each of the tribes was significantly different from one another. Today many of the members have grown up knowing nothing else besides the nomadic lifestyle. Those with memories of living in towns and cities are dwindling fast as they grow old and pass on. Unfortunately for these new clans, there has never been any hope of unifying into a new nation. The stubborn personalities of the very druids that saved them, and their petty rivalries, being the chief reason why.
The Druids, Archdruids, and Great Druids had been leaderless since the disappearance of Kalamath, the Grand Druid of the Circle of the March. At the onset of the Cursed Invasion, Kalamath had mysteriously disappeared, leaving the circle without direction. The remaining members of the circle were far too busy saving the people of the land to undertake the ceremony to select a new Grand Druid. The circle has remained fractured since then, waiting for one of their order to send out a call for them to gather at the Mound of Spirits in the center of the March.
1. The Standing Stone Clan: The Standing Stone Clan is the smallest of the nomadic clans numbering just over a hundred members. They have stayed close to the great standing stones around the Mound of Spirits relying on the guardians of that place to help protect them from the humanoids. While the clan lives close to the Mound of Spirits, the tribe is careful to not wander too far into its sacred grove surrounded by massive stone monoliths. The protective spirits of the place only allow the members of the circle to pass within unmolested.
The clan was originally formed by Mossbeard, one of the Archdruids of the Circle of the March, but who has since passed. Taking Mossbeard's place as leader of the clan was Elmspur, Mossbeards handpicked successor.
2. The Two Moon Clan: The most hated and considered no better than the humanoids that infest the land are the Two Moon clan's nomads. Addercap, the druid that formed this clan, saw the Bone March invasion as an opportunity to settle old scores and had visions of returning the lands of the March to its Flan roots. Addercap's stance brought him into direct confrontation with his fellow druids of the circle and resulted in his expulsion.
Addercap recruited as many able-bodied warriors as he could. Addercap cared little if they were bandits or mercenaries; he simply wanted the numbers and would worry about converting them into loyal followers later. Because of this, the Two Moon Clan is the largest with well over a thousand members. To this day, they raid other clans taking captives, forcing them to swear allegiance to the Two Moon Clan. Those who refuse to are sacrificed or sold into slavery. Addercap's only requirement to swear allegiance to the Two Moon Clan is that they have some Flan blood. Addercap has even taken to selective breeding those with the most robust Flan bloodlines within the tribe through arranged marriages.
While Addercap is still alive and quite robust for a human of his advanced years, he rarely takes to the field when his clan raids. In his place, Addercap relies on his two lieutenants, a warlord named Kardal, and a druid named Oaktalon.
3. The Great Cat Clan: The druid named Roak, who founded the Great Cat Clan, still leads it to this day and looks only slightly older than a man in his mid-thirties. Roak is fond of taking the shape of a large mountain lion and living like a wild beast, taking his human form only when interacting with his tribe and for ceremonies. The clan currently lives on the Harp river western bank, even traveling west across the river as the Flinty Hills before returning to the lands around the Harpo river.
Another small clan they number just over two hundred members, but they are very deadly. Roak has trained everyone, even children starting at age 8, how to kill. Despite this fierceness, Roak realizes they need allies and has begun talks with the new Count of Knurl, Count Kargus. Roak believes the new Count has shown himself to be far different and more trustworthy than ruler than his predecessors. Roak cares little for the old Circle of the March but does not wish his contemporary's ill, excluding those of the Two Moon Clan, which they will attack on sight.
4. The Serpent Clan: The serpent clan is the second-largest clan of nomads with nearly a thousand members and has been a thorn in the side of the humanoids that conquered the Bone March since 563. Lead by a druid named Thorntrunk, who looks more like a wild barbarian instead of a druid. Thorntrunk did not organize the clan in 563, that honor belongs to Sharpstone, who died fifteen years after the clan's formation fighting orcs. When Sharpstone organized the Serpent Clan, he did so not to keep the people safe and build a community, but instead to continue the battle against the invaders. But as the ranks of Sharpstone's rebels grew many warriors came to him with the added baggage of families in tow. Knowing that if he wanted to keep the warriors, he would have to keep the families, and Sharpstone made them into the Serpent Clan.
The Serpent Clan became masters at ambush and stealth, and despite having much larger numbers of civilians with them, the whole tribe moves quickly and with purpose. The Serpents have traditionally been closest to the epicenter of the humanoids control in the Bone March, ranging mostly out of the Blemu Uplands and even passing through the outskirts of the Lands of the Dread Lord Monduiz Dephaar.
Thorntrunk is on good terms with Count Kargus of Knurl, whereas before, Sharpstone despised the Counts and Countess of Knurl for their wickedness. Thorntrunk recognizes that Kargus is not like his ancestors and admires his stance of changing his land for the better. There has been much talk of an alliance between them, but nothing has taken hold yet. If Thorntrunk would slow down her constant guerilla war against the humanoids, maybe a deal could be worked out.
5. The Two Rivers Clan: The Two Rivers Clan ranges the Blemu Hills and the lands around the confluence of the Harp and Teesar Torrent rivers. Besides moving into one of the most defendable areas in the March, the Two Rivers Clan also has a reputation for being the most accommodating of the clans. The clan numbers around nine hundred members but was once much larger. Still, over the years, many have moved to other lands, especially the County of Knurl since Count Kargus took control of the land.
Two Rivers Clan is led by the most powerful of the druids from the Circle of the March, Thistlehand. Thistlehand has a powerful connection to the land and has an uncanny way of knowing when danger to the clan is near. Many think it is through her countless animal spies, but many believe he has an unnatural ability to hear through the earth itself.
With Count Kargus taking control of the County of Knurl, things have changed much in the region. Thistlehand is aware of this but has not decided to ally herself openly with the new Count despite receiving emissaries from him in the hopes of strengthening their relationship.