The Clans - Overview
There are those who enjoy the blessing of luck, of fortune, who tread their paths with ease and grace. There are those with the will to claw their way through every obstacle, wielding fury and pride to earn their place on the pedestal. There are those who see the patterns, the threads that bind our lives, plucking and tugging to herd the universe to their own ends.
To possess any one of these traits is to be destined to rule, to warp this world as you see fit, to spite the ambitions of the weak or foolish. The blood of the Seiro’tah has an unquestionable affinity with the third, Councilor. It always has.
But it would not be presumptuous to suggest that Lahkel may be gifted with all three.
- Message to Na’Hesit Councilor Jahl’Uden from Marl Delmoth, Camalan diplomatic liaison.
Few within the Grusto would argue that without the initiative and guidance of the Seiro’tah, the planet’s most powerful and influential clan, Camala would be but a shadow of its former or current prosperity. Fewer still would question its control over the colony’s affairs, not simply for the nature of its rise to prominence, but for the political and economic systems it has established to bring power and credits to of all the clans. Unmatched among the clans in wealth and political clout, it also boasts the support and protection of the Batarian Fleet, as well as control over the majority of Camala’s supply of element zero, and wields tremendous influence in the distant Terminus.
And all this can be attributed to the clan’s infamous leader (and greatest asset): Lahkel Seiro’tah. Mastermind of the rise of post-war Camala, the strategist behind his clan’s current and nigh-unassailable position, and architect of the Terminus Amnesty, Lahkel stands as one of the most powerful individuals in the Confederacy. It was through his genius and charisma that the Grusto was formed, that Camala became the economic capital of the Confederation, making him a man feared and respected throughout the Kite's Nest and beyond.
Even so, rumours abound that only the force of Lahkel’s will that holds Camala’s unorthodox government together, keeps the eezo moving, and prevents the colony’s long-predicted descent into anarchy. Having effectively established himself as a crucial pillar of the new batarian society, it is said he has rendered himself virtually untouchable within the Confederacy, enemies and allies alike unwilling to risk the fallout of his death. The disintegration of order on Camala could have dire consequences for the fledgling Confederacy, a possibility even the fundamentalists of the Khar’Shan Ascendancy are unwilling to ignore.
Yet for all this power and influence, Lahkel and his clan have not seen fit to seize full control of Camala from the rest of the Grusto, something well within their means to effect. Instead, they have allowed the other clans to retain independence, influence the colony’s governance (to a point), and even establish control over most of Camala’s secondary market sectors.
The Seiro’tah are a paradoxical entity at home and abroad, at once magnanimous and manipulative, the greatest reaches of their might untapped, leaving friend and foe alike guessing as to their plans. For now, the motives behind Lahkel’s relative passivity are little more than rumours and conjecture, and only time will tell of his intentions for the Grusto and Camala, and the galaxy beyond.
"No, we’re not going to lace the Chorrk! What-...WHAT?! I told you two fucking days ago! ‘Don’t fucking tamper with the Yothad product’ I said! They’re Adekian druglords! Y’know, the steamy shithole over in Untrel? Toughest motherfuckers in the Nest, but professional as shit, so it’s all good so long as we don’t fuck with them!"
"Toss it, right fucking now!... I don’t give a shit, that’s comin’ outta your cut!... Why? WHY?! ‘Cause I don’t wanna be dropped in the desert with no arms and your head crammed up my ass, that’s why!”
- Overheard at Normaz’ Bar and Fry.
The Goron-Ta'Sann ('The Shadowed Sons')
"We see all."
- A Son, when asked to describe his clan.
An Upper Grusto clan whose favored contraband is decidedly not physical. If information is power, then The Shadowed Sons are powerful indeed. Originally an alliance of families seeking to protect themselves from religious persecution, over the decades they became an extremely influential alliance of crime families with various vassal clans working under it.
Professional, organized, and largely faithful to the goddess Ta’Iaim, if there was a secret on Camala, the Ta’Sann would know it. Preferring blackmail, extortion, and scandal as opposed to open violence, they held their place in the Grusto through a mix of holding evidence in hand and having needed information for other crime rings to run smoothly. Primary businesses for Shadowed Sons members consisted of information-brokering, and a number of other activities in the vein of freelance espionage. Several rumors persist that a number of the ranking members were originally Hegemony State Intelligence, keeping their faith hidden among the ranks of the Hegemonic intelligence apparatu. No hard evidence has surfaced, but the proliferation of espionage training among the Shadowed Sons’ field agents suggests some element of truth to the claims.
Post-war, the Sons have kept up appearances of being fairly quiet, falling into business as usual. This is a carefully tailored ruse to lull rivals into complacency as they continue to build their information network past the Kite’s Nest and into the wider galaxy. Carefully choosing who to send to settle among displaced batarian communities, which information brokers to strike up alliances with and treading lightly to avoid the ire of the Shadow Broker and government intelligence agencies as they establish themselves.
"Its existence is the worst-kept secret in Indris, its whereabouts the best. I understand the latter is one of the few things that will get you a flustered Son. I’m sure that pleases Tanolt to no end".
"It’s the bloody prize of the system, is what it is. The thing Tanolt Lormak would try to take to his damned grave if he didn’t think he was invincible. Would probably fuck it if it shat out more kids for him".
"The largest shipping fleet in the cluster, a host of Terminus connections, a place in the Upper Grusto. All with this ‘invisible fortress’... Hmm? Well, no one else has ever seen it, yet none are willing to lay a hand on them because of it. Best of all, they’re only going to use it for their funeral pyre, the consequences for Camala be damned, so forget leveraging it beyond defense at this point. Still, Tanolt’s made the best of it, kept himself from stagnating. It's certainly more than Forvess can say.
Tanolt’s endlessly aggravating masterstroke, simply put.
- Excerpts from anonymous commentaries on the 'Lormak Asset.'
"You cannot move us, we will not be moved. You cannot break us, we will not be broken. Attack and shatter your teeth on our walls. Devour us and choke.
We are Forvess.
We will not be moved."
- Forvess clan oath
The Grand Surge
"Great Zortavar looked upon the Jaleo Valley, the legions of Harak the Purest barring the way to Haomar. ‘Wise Zortavar,’ his men cried, ‘the Purest holds Bar’Eyt Span, and the Athalun rages for many days more! Our stores dwindle!’
'Your faith falters,’ said he, ‘yet our five-hundred brave souls are now eight-thousand, with the rise of our cause. Our grand surge did not waver on the Plains of Vasen, nor at the silver walls of Reras, nor still before the Sand Queen’s wrath. It shall not wither with Harak.’
'But Great Zortavar,’ they clamoured, ‘his blades are fivefold ours, the Twin Giants in his grasp! To cross is death!’
'Harak’s hordes are oafish, blind with arrogance and false prophecy. Cunning shall prevail, not the weight of bone and flesh, as it always has. Like the mighty Athalun, we shall rend them asunder, and sweep the land clean.
'Gather close, my children,’ he beseeched the loyal masses, ‘and I shall spell unto thee the doom of the Purest...’”
- Excerpt from ‘Sal-Akaetu Marok,’ The Tales of Zortavar
"Guard your Strength. Feed their Fear. Take by Force. Purge the Weak.
These are the Four Pillars given to us by the Number Five, by the Kaastam, one who sees all. By these Pillars we’ll live, and we’ll die."
- Pact of the Kaastam.
Disaster! Arrogance! Doom!: A few changes in management.