The On’iss kin’toni clan are a wondering clan that live on the Western coast of Taerel. They are a cousin clan that branched off from a clan that was slightly further inland. The members that make up the clan were often ones that would travel to the coast for extended periods for various reasons which over time affected their connection with the original clan. The original members and clan were changed during the Awakening age, and their split happened about halfway through the age. They did not part on bad terms, but it was evident to both sides that they were not as connected as a single clan as they had been in the past. The clan still welcomes them if they ever want to come to visit, though they are clear the welcome is for a period of time.
The On’iss have rarely gone back to visit since their formation. Once this split happened, they were content to roam the coast without any permanent roots anywhere. They usually hunted various fish on the coast, with no interest in zu’aan as prey, so they were often welcomed and allowed in the cities. They would trade the blood drained fish they caught in exchange for their temporary housing between their journeys. In terms of overall Taerel politics they were completely uninterested. The On’iss, if up to them, would have simply lived in the ocean if they could. They spend the majority of their days in the water, from just before sunrise to a little after dusk.
Unless dealing with the clan specifically many of the clans in Taerel will often ignore the On’iss and leave them to their own devices. They are not on any bad terms with any other clan or zu’aan tribe but they are often treated rather condescendingly by them if they try to have a serious talk about anything not pertaining to basic trade. Many of the others consider them to not be versed enough to speak about issues happening across Taerel and would treat them like children trying to join in on ‘adult conversations’. While annoying for them, the On’iss don’t particularly care as they try to get involved with politics or the larger world unless it would directly affect them.
Since part way into the Shattering age they’ve become concerned about the climate changes happening in the world. While not affecting their homes, for lack of having any permanent ones, they’re worried it would negatively affect the various sea plants and creatures due to the sudden changes in water levels affecting the amount of light they get. In a chance close encounter with the region’s whale like creatures one day, the On’iss have taken it as a sign to become a full time water clan. They’re in the process of learning the best way to build large oversized connecting raft like boats that will allow them to live fully on the water without needing to go back to dry land for anything other than large repairs.
They have not shared their plans with anyone beyond a small number of clans that they’re asking for information on previously built boats.
The On’iss clan is a very content and happy clan. They are very optimistic and majorly carefree which they incorporated into not only their daily function but their government as well. They do feel concern for the ocean and its inhabitants, but are still largely happy throughout their daily lives. This is not to say that they are incapable of being serious of doing what needs to be done. It is quite the opposite- they will be serious about the various tasks that they have to complete so that they can be carefree and not worry the rest of the time. Not many see this side though as it usually only comes out when they’re in ‘working mode’ once they’re far into the reefs away from other clans’ eyes.
They are very loyal and dedicated to their clan members. They are bonded in a ‘found family’ like relationship or like that seen in armed forces. Their dedication leads to a ‘no one left behind’ type outlook and action. If a member is separated, they will split up between waiting for their return and going out and searching. On the rare occasion this has happened with a newer clan member, the whole group went into a near inconsolable panic, only able to calm down when they focused on doing their part to find the member. The newer member was mainly confused during the period as they had gotten lost by misremembering directions. The days after the event every member spent time fussing over the member making sure it wouldn’t happen again.
If a member is injured they’ll make sure the member doesn’t have to work so that they can focus on getting back to full health instead of pushing themselves and getting hurt further. Their calm demeanor has at times baffled other groups as they all were unworried during all interactions- even those about the possibility of conflict. While they recognized the threat, it was their personal belief that if they took on any kind of aggressive outlook or action then the possibility would become a certainty. Their outlook was also one of the major separating points for them and their cousin clan. Their cousin clan was a constant serious stressed and work mode clan which caused tension between the two as the On’iss thought they needed to relax and the other clan thought they were too relaxed all the time.
Along with being a very family like clan, they were extremely focused on the clan’s mental health. Usually the clan would discuss any issues that the members were having during their daily to weekly meetings. During those settings it became a kind of group therapy session. Its extremely rare, but there have been times where members waited only to have an individual type session. This was usually between a member and the one who turned them as there was a factionally deeper trust and connection between the two. Its rare that there was ever an instance that there was a problem in the clan that they couldn’t figure out between the members- either to assuage the feeling or come up with a plan to handle the situation.
Initially the On’iss kin’toni were of an inland clan that was adapted to more shaded climates. Over the years as they continued to travel to and from the coast their bodies became more adapted to the beaches’ sunny and more humid climate. These adaptations were small things like their bodies not holding onto as much salts as they would start to absorb it from the air. When they would travel back to their original homes, while still part of their original clan, they would end up with painful muscle cramps across their body from lack of salt. Their skin would also dry out and become tight in the less humid climate. Over the years their continued time in the water swimming to hunt, they began to develop the beginnings of a set of fins along the side of their abdomen.
At the moment they’re nonfunctional growths about the length of a finger and resemble an extremely large skin tag as the fin isn’t fully formed on most On’iss. The earliest attempted to remove the growth, but it kept regrowing or healing after they stopped cutting circulation. When all the newer members who were turned showed they too had the growths, they realized it wasn’t an accidental thing on only a few members. They also have half formed webbing that’s beginning to form under their arms as well as between their fingers and toes. They’re barely formed but it has increased their swimming capabilities exponentially. Their continued time in the water also damaged their hair follicles in a strange way.
The strain of the water on their hair caused the follicles to become damaged to where they cannot support the weight of the hair beyond the point of about bob length. Those with long hair began loosing the strands in concerning clumps initially, but it quickly grew back in the shorter length max. For a number they actually went bald as well as having the majority of the hair on their body stop growing. As time goes on that is becoming more common for the clan members. nIn a combination of training and their body adapting they managed to gain increased lung capacity. This development was one unique to them as they could hold their breath and not have any issue for over 30 minutes.
Unknown to them they also have limited capabilities to gather oxygen from their skin, though when it does happen it only adds about a second’s worth of oxygen for the effort before its capped out. This is actually a residual lingering adaptation from their cousin clan which adjusted itself to be better suited for the water. The last of the major adaptations was to their sensitivity to vibrations. Like with whales, they became sensitive to a specific range of frequencies that they can hear in the water. When they need to communicate while underwater they use a range of whale song like sounds they developed and taught to have specific meaning. To hit these frequencies underwater their vocal cords deepened overall so they speak in a much deeper baritone when out of the water.
The On’iss are a very water focused culture. They will spend the majority of their day in or around the water, and if they could, they would never leave it. During their time in the water they carved and built various buildings underwater that they forced breathable air pockets into. These areas would serve as a break and communal recreation area while away from the coast. While having a carefree attitude, they were careful that they did what was needed so that they could have more time to relax- meaning often they would work straight for the majority of the daylight hours before taking the remaining time off. Only a portion of the ‘work’ of the day is spent hunting for meals. The brightest hours in the water are spent exploring and searching to check that no creature was injured from zu’aan and kin’toni activities.
Usually it was ones that were inadvertently injured from activities that they would find, but a number were creatures that escaped from that group’s specific hunting attempts. Most of the time it was simply removing any netting or hooks that were lingering and could cause issues especially for those still growing. In rare cases they would find small tide pools or create enclosure like habitats where they would take them for a short period for medical treatment. Its not often that it happens, but as the water levels shift it has become an increasing concern for them. Those habitats would only last for about 2 months before they would break them down and release them.
The clan members more medically trained would stay behind while making sure the creature was learning proper survival skills during its treatment.Along with taking care of the creatures, its been steadily increasing that clan members would get injured from pockets of rapids like rough waters. None of the injuries are too extreme but they were enough that it would impede the member’s ability to work effectively. Because of their mentality they would have one or more members stay with the injured while the others worked to pick up the slack. Being a very communal group it was never an issue for them as they knew that if it happened to them that they could rely on the group to take care of them and do the same.
Those members would also stay close to the built habitats for the ease of the healer members. During their free time they would spend most of it playing various games in the water. For the newer members it would be more skill learning based, like a ‘Marco, Polo’ type searching game or tag meant for learning the quick movement hunting tactics they often used. The members find it enjoyable and would often add more challenging twists or rules to the games the more the lesser skilled member improved. Some were things like identifying and finding the hiding members in a specific order just by call, or not just tagging but also ‘trapping’ a member in their tag game.
The On’iss have a government purely out of the need for interacting with other clans and zu’aan. They themselves barely keep to it but will follow it for appearances with others so that they have some form or recognition of someone ‘in charge’ to speak too. They had seen interactions from clans without a leader and they were given less respect than the On’iss’ already factional amount. Because of this they appointed the best spoken of the clan as the ‘leader’ for them. They dubbed this member ‘The Speaker’. To the outsiders, it seemed as though that they had a kind of democracy set up. If there was a better spoken member who appeared over time they’d switch quietly, as though they elected a new leader- which they kind of did.
In reality though they had no more power than any other member. The clan would hold a large meeting with all the members so that they would all agree on the specific concessions they were willing to have made on various agreements. With that list in mind the member would negotiate with the other groups. Internally, away from outsiders’ eyes, everything was done in group settings. They would hold near daily meetings about issues or things that needed addressing by the group. This could range from moving hunting grounds to not over hunt an area to needing tools maintenanced, and everything in between. These meetings would usually last about 2 hours, though they would run shorter on some days when there wasn’t many things for there to be addressed.
To keep to routine though, they would often talk about any personal issues the members were having since the whole clan had already been addressed. There are a few laws that they put in place for clarity of the clan’s expectations. Most were to never intentionally harm the region or environment and listing the various acts that would do so. Another was that there should never be any killing of another clan member- if the member pleads self defense it would be investigated, but if they find or rule as a group that it was not they would be kicked from the clan. The clan – save for the killing rule- would ‘mark’ a member each time they broke the rules. It was rare, only happening around 5 times in its history.
The markings were brand like scars put on them, where if they had no space on their body for more then they would be kicked out on the last offense. This had never happened yet, but the clan put the rule into place just to be sure. The laws were formed begrudgingly, as most didn’t want any, but a small number recognized the problems that could occur over time if there was a member that decided to break from the clan norms in extreme ways. They have no jail, only the marking system, so once the mark is placed they’ll heal them best they can so the member doesn’t have issues later. To keep up appearances to outsiders though, they all agreed that there were a number of ‘made up’ laws that the speaker could introduce or share if needed with other clans to seem more official.
The On’iss as a clan do not have a large military force. In terms of an organized force they technically lack a formal one. The clan members are trained to hunt using knives, mechanical harpoons and spears, but never standard weapons. They are extremely skilled hunters and are the only known clan to be proficient in fighting underwater. They had been traveling when their cousin clan members learned to do so. They’ve never been in a conflict so this has never been an issue. While not trained they do have general procedures on what to do should there be a sudden conflict and in situations should members be separated in dangerous situations. If there should be a conflict outbreak, clan members are tasked with getting themselves and as many of their clans members that they can to the ocean.
Due to this procedure, they never go further inland than a single day’s trip unless otherwise accompanied by another clan that can offer some semblance of protection. They set up various ‘safe points’ where they would meet. These usually were in submerged caves where there were also air pockets so they could stay for extended periods. The areas chosen were extremely large and could hold the entire clan if needed. Each group, so no one was left behind, was tasked with sending a member to another close rendezvous location. If no one was there they left a message and returned to their spot. If there were, they would go back with those there. Not every rendezvous location had ‘scouts’ assigned, as in they could send someone out but they wouldn’t be a group who takes them back with them.
Only if the ‘pickup’ type locations had waited an extended period without contact would they send a scout to check if the group had already left. If so then they would meet at the secondary location. For clan members who were separated, the On’iss would designate a group to go to their secondary meeting location and wait. Those alone were tasked with going straight to the location so they could meet up with the group and have some safety in numbers. This location was also the one where the now combined cave groups would go to. The specific location is where they say that the first meeting between the whale like creatures and their clan took place. An underwater structure was built on the location as a marker.
It can also hold the entire clan and has a pump to force in air so they can stay underwater for extended periods. None of these plans have ever had to be put into use, but the On’iss will from time to time do drill test runs of the procedure to make sure that all the clan members know what they’re doing. These test round usually happen after the clan member is fully trained in hunting, as its rare to have multiple new members at once so it creates an even timeline for the clan to recognize.
The On’iss clan don’t have a religion in terms of a higher power or deity they worship. They believe in a more science based ‘everyone is connected’ type relationship with the world around them. Because of this they are extremely conscious about the harm they and the other zu’aan or kin’toni cause to the world around them. They ‘preach’ this to others by doing what they can to aid or stall the affects that are harmful that the other groups are conducting. This is mainly seen when they are aiding various animals that have been wounded or need care because of (non-hunting) things that are done by other clans- such as a number of smaller creatures whom end up injured from being stuck by large fishing boats or inadvertently in traps not meant for them.
That being said, they aren’t completely beholden to science. When a member passes they give them a Viking like funeral where they will send them off in a boat before lighting it on fire. They believe that the member will be one with the ocean once they are turned to ash. They believe that until the clan adapts to live under the water full time it’s the closest that the members will be to their future generations. The ceremony is large and grand and they will often spend multiple days mourning while the ‘boat chasers’ will follow the vessel to make sure that the member is fully turned to ash. If the member hasn’t, they’ll transfer them into a new craft and relight it until they are fully disintegrated.
A smaller subsect of the clan also worship the stars. Similar to their belief about the world, they worship more the beauty of the starts and what they see than any power associated with it. These clan members are most active at night, unlike the rest of the clan so they’re at the beginnings of a similar split like the On’iss did from their original cousin clan. This worship came from their correlation of the stars to the ocean. The area that they frequent the most has a number of bioluminescent plants that at night start to glow in similar ways to the stars. They will often find grottos in the various coasts where they inscribe various cosmic events they witnessed out far into the ocean.
Many of the On’iss worship and place the whale like creatures that live off the border on a high pedestal. The frequency that the On’iss communicate cross with those creatures and will sometimes cause the creatures to become curious. It was early into their first travels deeper into the ocean when they crossed paths. Like with the stars for some, the On’iss saw them as large and awe inspiring creatures that they came to worship the beauty of. While curious, the creatures rarely make their way far enough that they cross with the On’iss, so when that does happen they take it as a sign that fate is telling them to take actions they were uncertain on. One being their hesitancy to commit and leave the coast permanently before they fully formed aquatic based adaptations.