The Clearwater elves are a permanent fixture in the Tyr region. Their nomadic travels have taken them from the Lake of Golden Dreams to Bleak Tower, from Bitter Well to Walis and beyond. Clearwater traders are known for their skill at bargaining and appraisal; dealing with them takes every ounce of business savvy and guile possible.
Clearwater elders tell tales, passed down for generations, of days when the skies were blue and vast green forests grew beside deep, cool streams. Athas was not always the way it is now, they say. Water once flowed here; it is possible, they say with cryptic smiles, that it might yet flow again.
Each clan has a symbol, usually worn as a three dimensional emblem around clan members’ necks.
•Fireshapers: This group is primarily a wizardly clan, with a large number of clerics and a few warriors. As may be gathered from their name, the Fireshapers specialize in magic of a fiery nature, with a large number of elemental priests of fire and most house ceremonies involve the creation and contemplation of elemental fire.
Fireshapers sell weapons, fine clothing (usually with a flame motif), and spell components. Their steel weapons are considered sacred to the family. These are offered only as gifts to those who have served the clan or made a great sacrifice. It is known that the dwarven hero Tolkas of Ledopolus wields one of their flame tongue swords, but neither he nor the Fireshapers will say what he did to receive it.
The Fireshapers symbol is a single orange and red flame
•Graffyons: Named after an extinct species that the Clearwaters claim was once common in the mountains of Athas, the Graffyons are a warrior house that produces many elite fighters. By tradition, Graffyons do not perform magic; any clan members who show a talent for such things are allowed to join another clan where their skills can be properly nurtured. Graffyons trade mostly in weapons, although their domestic animals – kanks, crodlu, and inix – are well trained and reputed to be among the best available. This clan may sometimes be persuaded to part with one of its valuable steel weapons, but the price offered must be considerable, or the service rendered great.
Graffyon’s symbol is a four-clawed talon gripping a stone or uncut gem.
•Graystar: Along with the Sandrunners, Graystars serve the Clearwater tribe as scouts. They also scout the desert around the tribal encampment, checking for the approach of possible enemies. Graystar scouts bear the gray, six-pointed star that is the clan symbol, usually tattooed between the eyes or in the center of the forehead. Graystar elves are among the most independent and antisocial of the Clearwaters. They usually only spend short period of time with the tribe before venturing off into the desert again. While in the desert they are not above
engaging in occasional raids against caravans or other elven tribes.
The Graystar symbol is a gray six-pointed star
•Lightning: Members of the Lightning clan specialize in weather and earth magic, with large numbers of invokers and abjurers. Members wear black or blue tunics with small stylized lightning bolts on the sleeves or collars. Groups from this clan often journey into the desert to raise quasi-elemental lightning as part of tribal rituals. It is not unusual to see a circle of Lightning clan elves gathered in the wasteland, directing lightning, fireballs, and other destructive spells into deserted areas while retelling epic stories of the tribe or adopting a new member into their ranks.
Lightning elves will eagerly sell spell components. Virtually any kind is available, although costs are always high, and they sell only to those they trust. Enchanted items, such as staffs, rods, wands, and clothing, are available from these elves as well, but they will sell only to those whom they are certain will never injure the Clearwater tribe
•Onyx: The Onyx clan specializes in espionage and assassination. They also practice magic associated with stealth and concealment, and they value any enchanted items that enhance these qualities. They dress in black for ceremonial occasions, but they wear whatever color best hides their movements at all other times. Their name derives from the razor-sharp, polished onyx daggers they traditionally carry.
The Onyx rarely deal in legitimate merchandise, preferring to sell stolen or forbidden items in secret, back-alley deals. They will steal any item for a price, although they will do this only for those who have proven their trustworthiness. It is said that the Onyx are responsible for the deaths of several templars in Draj after the recent troubles there, but nothing has ever been proven.
•Sandrunners: Like the Graystars, the Sandrunners serve the Clearwater tribe as scouts, running ahead of the tribe as it travels from place to place. Their symbol is a crodlu carved of obsidian or other black stone, set in a circlet of bronze or tan stone. The Sandrunners are far more sociable than the Graystars. They are a constant presence at Clearwater feasts and celebrations, where they frequently challenge Fireshapers and Stonecutters to drinking contests or feats of skill. Sandrunners are popular in human circles. They have even performed on rare occasions before sorcerer-kings, for their singers and dancers are known far and wide as performers of unparalleled skill.
As merchants, the Sandrunners are canny and eager to deal (although their ¨deals¨ often leave their customers wondering how they came to lose so much money for such shoddy goods). They favor dealing in gems, jewelry, wines, and musical instruments. Enchanted instruments, such as chimes, harps and pipes, can sometimes be purchased from this clan. Some disgruntled customers claim that the Sandrunners’ magical items cease working as soon as the Clearwater tribe has left the area.
•Seafoam: The Seafoam elves boast a wide variety of skills. They are all-purpose servants of the
Clearwater tribe-warriors, wizards, scouts, traders, accountants, seers, healers, and clerics. Their trade skills are considerable, and they deal in almost any item.
The Seafoam clan’s symbol is a pyramid carved of green stone.
•Silverleaves: The Silverleaves serve the Clearwater tribe primarily as accountants and traders. They are responsible for managing and protecting the tribe’s wealth. A few are warriors, but large-scale military action is left to other houses. The Silverleaves’s wizards and psionicists are skilled in the arts of detection and stealth; it is they who safeguard the elven market from intrusion by enemies.
The Silverleaves are the most highly skilled merchants in the tribe; nearly all are of the trader class. Like the Seafoam clan, the Silverleaves can obtain virtually any item, licit or illicit, for a price. Psionicists and mages are constantly on guard for templars, informants, and dishonest traders
The clan’s symbol is a small leaf of silvery metal or shiny stone.
•Songweavers: After learning many artistic trades from the Ledopolus dwarves, the Songweaver clan went on to become the most skilled artisans in the Clearwater tribe. Many different classes serve the Songweavers, but all must possess at least some artistic skill. Songweaver warriors design, tool, or cast their own armor and weapons; wizards carve and enchant staves and wands; clerics craft their own elemental symbols and garb. Art produced by the Songweavers always fetches high prices. Some of it graces even the palaces of sorcerer-kings.
Songweaver traders deal in artwork, clothing, cloth, silk, gems, and fine jewelry. They are not particularly underhanded in their dealings, for they know that their work is highly valuable even without deception. Many of the Songweavers’ items are enchanted, in addition to being masterful works of art. The Songweaver clan symbol is a coil of green and gray material.
•Steeljaw: Clan Steeljaw takes its name from an ancient species of extinct carnivores. Metalsmiths and weapon makers, Steeljaw supplies Clearwater with its weapons and armor. Most of these weapons are nonmetallic, but a few are still made of fine steel. These weapons are highly valued by the Clearwater elves; they are rarely sold to outsiders. Elves of this house are also fierce warriors. Steeljaw wizards and psionicists are all combat oriented, using offensive abilities against Clearwater’s enemies with ruthless efficiency.
Trade is generally with other warriors, who consider Steeljaw weapons of bone, stone, and obsidian almost the equal of some metal weapons. Enchanted weapons may sometimes be bought, for an exorbitant price.
The Steeljaw symbol is the snarling head of a long-muzzled, fanged mammalian carnivore.
•Wavedivers: Wavedivers are spellcasters and Elemental Priests who specialize in water-based spells. High-level Elementalists are able to gate in water for the tribe when supplies run low, or as trade goods when visiting water-poor regions.
As traders, Wavedivers are pleasant and friendly, for elves. They sell water, vessels to hold it, and enchanted items that help find it.
The Wavediver symbol is a circle of polished stone that contains a stylized blue wave.
•Windriders: Scout riders, evokers, and clerics of elemental air, the Windriders claim to once have ridden gigantic birds into battle, before the species became extinct and the Clearwater elves forever tied to the earth. Today, their scouts and spells help the elves survive in the wilderness and help foil the plans of the tribe’s enemies.
Windrider warriors fight with bows, spears, and other missile weapons. In close combat they favor light weapons, such as rapiers, short swords, etc. Some are made of metal; these are jealously guard ed and never sold. Magical items of an aerial nature and items that convey the power of flight are particularly valued. Cliffglider-riding scouts can some times be seen traveling in the vanguard of the advancing Clearwater tribe.
The clan symbol is a blue and white spiral.