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The Drenchen Clan was a Gelfling clan native to Sog. Its members were among the most physically divergent Gelfling, possessing gills which permitted them to breathe underwater and wings which, while too small for flying, could be used in underwater propulsion like fins.[1] Its patron tree was Smerth-Staba, and its sigil animal the Muski.

Primarily hunters rather than farmers, the Drenchen lived their lives on their patron tree's canopy, and counted an unusually high number of healers in their ranks. They ate their meals in communal eating ceremonies, and held great regard for the color blue, which they incorporated on their tools, charms and weapons.

HistoryEdit

Drenchen clan

The Drenchen during the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood

According to the Gelfling creation myth, the Song of the Six Sisters, the Drenchen were entrusted by Thra to preserve the vital water and the blue flame of life.[2] According to the song Ipsy and the Great Seed, the Drenchen had not always resided in Sog, and originally lacked gills. The song narrated how most of the first Drenchen settlers to Sog drowned in its waters, and were given gills after Maudra Ipsy planted the seed of Smerth-Staba, which bestowed them this gift on condition that they care for the newly grown Great Tree as a mother.[3]

Before the consolidation of Skeksis rule, the Drenchen were not isolationists, with at least one, Kartak, serving in the court of Maudra Carn of the Spriton Clan as an adviser.[4] After the death of All-Maudra Mayrin, Maudra Laesid of the Drenchen refused to support Seladon's ascension to the Vapran throne, offering instead moral support for Maudra Fara's doomed rebellion.[5] She later lead the Drenchen into battle during the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood.[6]

TerritoryEdit

The Drenchen inhabited Sog, a warm, marshy area in southern Skarith characterized by thick Apeknot Tree forests and freshwater lakes. About seven out of ten Drenchen lived within the trunk of their patron tree, Smerth-Staba, with the rest residing in huts hanging from its branches.[7]

CultureEdit

The Drenchen Clan counted about the same number of members as the Spriton and Stonewood Clans, but its greater remoteness made interaction with it difficult.[7] Despite its large size, it was well organized, with the Maudra having a council of elders delegated individual spheres of responsibility. Because their homeland saw little seasonal variation in crop growth, the daily life of the Drenchen was mostly dictated by the migrations of game animals.[8]

They divided their world into two categories: the High Road and the Low Road, the former being the thick Apeknot canopy where most of their lives took place, the latter being the swamp below where they hunted. As their wings were not as robust as those of other Gelfling, they learned from a young age to climb proficiently and to safely judge the strength of branches when leaping.[8]

HealingEdit

Several Drenchen had an innate ability to heal injuries, a gift not seen in other clans. Thriya speculated that it arose from Smerth-Staba itself, thus explaining the ability's absence outside of Sog. Childlings found to possess the gift were trained regularly by elder healers.[9]

Hard-TalkEdit

Hard-Talk was a term used by the Drenchen to describe speaking without metaphor or hesitation, an ability which was particularly valued during serious debates or formal challenges. Those using it were excused from whatever penalty they would normally suffer for perceived offence. This bluntness had the effect of strengthening trust in clan leadership, as even council members were not exempt from being recipients.[10]

Muski domesticationEdit

The Drenchen tamed the Muski to assist in hunting expeditions, retrieving prey brought down by bolas before they could be snatched by other predators. As a reward, the Muski were premitted to live in safety with the Drenchen within the Great Smerth. Contrary to most domesticated animals, the Muski were very selective of their handlers, typically choosing on the basis of tone of voice. Some Muski-Drenchen bonds were inherited by the descendants of the original pair.[11]

Spring FestivalEdit

The traditional Gelfling Spring Festival was held in particularly high regard among the Drenchen, as their homeland was in constant bloom. The Festival began with the Maudra's heir speaking publicly, greeting her constituents directly, and ritualistically lighting the hearth of the Great Smerth. Once it was lighted, the festivities began, with games and dances which lasted throughout the night.[12]

DrummingEdit

During the day, the Drenchen would beat drums which reverberated throughout the Apeknot canopy, to give rhythm to the daily toils of their clanmates or to act as a signal to those who lost their way in the swamp. The beat would begin at sunrise, increasing in speed until it matched the rhythm of a Gelfling heartbeat, with new drummers arriving to relieve their companions.[13]

WaterfastingEdit

The Drenchen practiced a form of meditation called Waterfasting, during which a practitioner would wade waist-deep into the water and place their hands on the surface, imitating the act of Dreamfasting in a symbolic communion with the water.[14]

BlueEdit

The color blue was a recurring feature of Drenchen art, whether it be in the form of painting or weaving, particularly in works of a mystical nature. Thriya noted that a full third of the ninety dyes she had counted among the tools of Drenchen artisans were shades of blue, with different tones being used to represent the sky, water and stones. The medallions hanging from the Maudra's chambers were decorated with blue ink sigils, and having blue eyes was considered a sign of mystical affluence. Fire was always depicted as blue, representing as it did the spirit and the third eye. A blue stone native to Sog was used in crafting sacred blue stone hammers.[15]

FoodEdit

The Drenchen diet was dominated by fish and game, though fruit and vegetables were never scarce in the constant bloom of Sog. They ate their meals collectively, a tradition called dotraba, during which the clan members would both contribute to and take from the table in joyous revelry. During dodotraba, which took place in the Great Smerth's dining hall, those who finished their meals would take over from the chefs and allow the latter to partake in the feast.[16]

The Blindfish was a staple of the Drenchen diet, and was bred in fisheries maintained below the Great Smerth. The Drenchen also harvested the Sogflower to make wine and medicine.[17]

SpearsEdit

The spear was a commonly used tool in hunting, alongside the bolas, though it also served ritual purposes. To the Drenchen, the head of the spear, made of blue stone, represented spirituality, while the wooden shaft embodied mortality. Once the shaft cracked or got bent out of shape, it was ritualistically broken and symbolically returned to Thra by being thrown into the water, while the head would be affixed to a new pole.[18]

Spears were crafted under the supervision of elders, who inscribed them with protective sigils. Spearheads were left unmarked, though the scratches incurred during use were filled with blue dye, with the spear heads of older hunters often being completely blue from many trine of use. Upon the death of a hunter, the Maudra would break the shaft and hang the spearhead among many others on the Great Smerth's canopy.[18]

Members Edit

References Edit

  1. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 204, ISBN 0593095596
  2. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 110-111, ISBN 0593095596
  3. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 206-207, ISBN 0593095596
  4. Froud, B., Dow Smith, M, Sheikman, A. & John, L. (2015). The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Vol. III. Archaia. ISBN 978-1-60886-435-5.
  5. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "By Gelfling Hand...". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  6. Age of resistance logo Age of Resistance – "A Single Piece Was Lost". Netflix. August 30, 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 184-185, ISBN 0593095596
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 186-187, ISBN 0593095596
  9. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 188, ISBN 0593095596
  10. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 189, ISBN 0593095596
  11. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 190-191, ISBN 0593095596
  12. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 192-193, ISBN 0593095596
  13. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 194-195, ISBN 0593095596
  14. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 196-197, ISBN 0593095596
  15. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 198-199, ISBN 0593095596
  16. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 200, ISBN 0593095596
  17. Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 202-203, ISBN 0593095596
  18. 18.0 18.1 Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 210-213, ISBN 0593095596
Gelfling Clans
Aureyal
DousanDrenchenGrottanSifaSpritonStonewoodVapra
Gelfling clan symbols

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