The Malpercius lineage is not one to have persisted naturally. Like all long-standing bloodlines, true descendants of their cursed heritage follow strict tenets and practice isolationism. Even with the rise and fall of Mormegil, only a fraction of Malpercians migrated unto thence, being those who craved freedom - perhaps safety - from the brutal and traditionalist lives left at home. There are only three clans, all containing purebloods... full-blooded Malpercians cannot be found outside of their reclusive tribes. This triumvirate of dark vestiges formed at the fall of the Tenebris Aurora from the fragments of their former host and have remained on the edges of Valmasia since the 300's. To this day, youths flee their clans on occasion, whether out of ambition to use their powers or yearnings for a gentler world.
The tenets shared by all clans decree that one is never to leave their ancestral grounds without the full blessing of their village, that it is forbidden to bring a non-Malpercius home into one's clan if they are permitted leave, and that ultimately it is one's magic power and nothing else that defines birthright. Defiance of these pillars leads to the offender being Sacrificed.
There is no true marriage in the clans. One breeds as is demanded by superior clan magi, or as they wish. The weakest magi are not permitted to breed in the clans unless they defeat their superiors in mandatory annual dueling.
Frostvalian Clan Edit
Placed within the most inhospitable mountaintops of the northern mountains reside a tribe of prominent Malpercian magi. Living in shacks of wood salvaged from abandoned wagons, draped with scaly hides and lined with Yokai leather to mitigate the frigid tundra's icy winds, frostbite is an inevitability of life there, where only Yokai and dragons may tread safely. It is through the power of Sacrifice that the Malpercians living there work around the utter scarcity of all food there. Appendages lost to frostbite are regenerated through this power; Sacrifice becomes more than a way of life, it becomes the continuation of life itself.
As early as six, children born there are made to guard paths to the tribe's tiny, closely-packed village. Only a single mountain is inhabited, and it is purposefully the most steep and treacherous one amidst its igneous neighbors, prone to devastating avalanches. These children are tasked with killing all who wander the mountain, usually outlaws or exiles, but mostly Yokai. They are purposefully not instructed as so to force them to learn by instinct instead, as all Malpercians are born with a measure of Occult knowledge; it is their destiny.
The adults and adolescents of the clan research and practice dark magic inside the village itself. Often, they will go and hunt Yokai en masse, summoning them in a horde to be Sacrificed gradually for months as nourishment. There is very little food apart from this and it is reserved only for children who have not acquired sacrifice. Cannibalism and Sacrificial absorption of lesser Malpercians is encouraged as punishment for weakness.
Notable Members: Magister Malpercius
Deadlands Tribe Edit
Placed within the miasma-swathed bogs of the foulest marshes on Valmasia reside another clan of Malpercians. Like all others, they reside in a location that is specifically impossible for normal humans to inhabit where Sacrificial absorption is a necessity of life. The Deadlands tribes have placed themselves past pits of tar and quicksand, where only overgrown masses of ancient swamp trees grow in a venemous land littered with skeletons. Bones jut from every yard of warped ground. The presence of dark magic there for centuries has warped the surrounding vegetation.
The Deadlands tribe inhabit a realm more dangerous than any of the other clans. At any time, Crelli or Yokai are potentially lethal threats, and while children are entrusted with making outsiders disappear here as well they are placed in groups rather than individual patrols. A patrol consists of five child occultists - and in the event of a death, a fallen member is not replaced. Other groups are forbidden from interacting with one another, and it is forbidden to speak at night. All forms of artificial light are forbidden as well from dusk until dawn. Partly to elude nocturnal predators, partly for tradition, this ritual silence is sacred to their village.
Deadlands Malpercians are required to learn nature magic immediately after they become adept in Occultism. This is a necessity because they must separate natural poisons from drinking water and crops, and their particular methods include using arcane flora as a means of filtration. Fungi are a commodity of their diet. Though there are many poisonous plants about, food is plentiful here. One doesn't starve in this tribe.
However, biting insects and parasites are abundant, as are a vast array of wicked diseases that plague the swamps. To avail themselves of these, the Malpercians of this clan must Sacrifice many victims, preying on traders, bandits, Crelli and errant Yokai from the Bygonegrove. Their taste for human flesh is greater than other villages of their blood, however; they are the most eager to Sacrifice a fallen comrade for the sake of preserving their knowledge and strength.
The Deadlands tribe will hold annual dueling throughout their village as do the others. Their structures are mostly tents, canopy-like structures and simple wooden fortifications, all made to be easily replaceable if destroyed in the fighting. The one to defeat all others in the clan is revered as their greatest magi then for one full year, enjoying greater freedom and a certain measure of authority over all others within the clan. If the same Occultist wins this tournament three years in a row however, they are honorably exiled from the clan and sent into Valmasia, with the goal of spreading their lineage upon the mainland.
Island Villages Edit
As is the case with all the remnants of the Malpercius bloodline, their vestiges remain where normal humans cannot, both as a means of purifying their gene pool and distinguishing their ilk from lesser humans. Apart from the two mainland clans, notably much larger than any island dwelling pockets of their society, there are many smaller clans scattered about the more inhospitable islands of Valmasia. There, life is more closely tied to the oceans, where Sirenia are typically the most sought after victims for Sacrifice.
The island clans were once a single village spanning over multiple islands. However, jagged rocks jutting between the islands themselves and fierce storms posed too much danger to these already autonomous islands, thus the single main village divided into the anomalous chain of island settlements it is today. These Malpercians only inhabit islands where Yokai are the dominant forces and exotic beasts prowl about. Life in these tightly packed jungles is quite difficult, facing dangers of disease and consumption alike, for predators are abound. Yet Malpercians of this clan are skilled in the art of summoning and controlling Yokai, though this precious asset is also their greatest fear in life. A single Yokai of potential kept too long might turn on its master with a single evolution.
Communion is held with the Kaor where they appear on the islands. The goal of the dark magi is coexistence with the dark race, claiming kinship with Yokai lords whenever possible. In return for their aid, the Kaor personally instruct young magi of these clans, albeit only for short times and with great disdain. The island clans are unique in that they have come to vary greatly from each other over time, though they cling to Yokai worship and thaumocratic practices universally.