There is always a price to pay with the Sifa.
The Sifa Clan ("SEE-fah") was a Gelfling clan inhabiting the Sifa Coast. Its members were skilled fishermen and sailors, but very superstitious, with a reputation for duplicity and avarice. Their patron tree was Omerya-Staba, and their sigil animal was the Hooyim.
The Sifa were more inclusive than other clans, regularly accepting non-Sifa within their ranks. The Sifans' knowledge of signs and symbols was unrivaled, and they counted among their members a large number of soothsayers and seers.
History[edit | edit source]
According to the Gelfling creation myth, Song of the Six Sisters, the Sifan's maternal ancestor had been entrusted by Thra during the Age of Innocence with the gift of telling the signs of the ever changing winds.
During the reign of All-Maudra Seladon in the late Age of Division, the Sifa felt neglected and disrespected by her, believing that their culture was being undermined. A significant number of Sifans thus became seduced by the words of Fenth, who proposed seceding from the authority of the dominant Vapra Clan and begin a new "Age of Sifans".
Another diplomatic crisis occurred many trine later when the Vapran princess Brea erased the memory of Sifan elder Cadia, who had attempted to prevent her from discovering the truth about the Aureyal. After the death of Mayrin, Maudra Ethri supported Seladon's ascension to the position of All-Maudra. She later lead the Sifa into battle during the Second Battle of Stone-in-the-Wood.
Territory[edit | edit source]
The Sifa were indigenous to the Sifa Coast, a frigid, icy region of Thra's northern coast which ran from the windward side of the Claw Mountains to the northern Silver Sea. Their home port was Cera-Na, situated in a bay on the ocean side of the Claw Mountains.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Due to their precarious existence at sea, Sifans typically lived for the moment, treasuring their memories and anything that brought joy. Nevertheless, their millennia of seafaring bestowed on them an unrivaled ability to read signs from the sea, the clouds and the wind, giving them an almost precognitive talent to predict ill weather. Ignoring such signs was considered a grave offense among the Sifa, and was typically punished through marooning.
Much like the Grottans, the Sifa did not overly concern themselves with personal hygiene, though unlike their cave-dwelling cousins, their lack of self care was a sign of pride in their tough lifestyle rather than simple negligence.
While their detachment from dry land left them largely untouched by the Skeksis Empire, they still respected the Lords of the Crystal, in particular skekSa the Mariner, whom the higher ranking clan members saw as a patron guide and would honor by carving her likeness on their ships' prows to attract good luck or to ward off bad weather.
Samaudren and era-ianem[edit | edit source]
[Era-ianem] was unlike anything I have ever seen before. Although I found it very peculiar, I wonder if one day such things might be an example of the Sifa's forward-thinking ways and if such boundless inclusion might become more common over time.
The Sifa were much more loosely-knit than the other clans, rarely congregating as a single unit except for special occasions, more typically traveling in small groups known as samaudren, which consisted of 4-6 ships and their crews. Much like the Dousan xerics, leadership of the samaudren was not an exclusively female prerogative.
The Sifa further differentiated themselves in their philosophy of era-ianem, which placed greater importance on individual actions over more traditional concepts of blood-ties and clan loyalty. This allowed the Sifa to be more inclusive than other clans, so it was not uncommon to find non-Sifans among samaudren.
Far-dreamers[edit | edit source]
The Sifans' way of life, connected as it was to reading near imperceptible signs in the stars and waves, encouraged the proliferation of soothsayers and far-dreamers, which were more common among the Sifa than in any other clan. Sifan far-dreamers would incorporate fire into their rituals to add the element of prophecy to their pronouncements, using burned items known as yabo.
Hooyim boat racing[edit | edit source]
To honor the migration of the Hooyim, their sigil animal, to Cera-Na during the warm season, the Sifa would organize skiff races which put their ship-building and navigation skills to the ultimate test, with injuries being common and the reward being the honor of bearing the Maudra's thumbprint on the winner's brow.
Charms[edit | edit source]
The Sifa were avid collectors of amulets, talismans, and charms, which they believed possessed enchanted properties. They came in so many different variations that Thriya believed that an entire scroll could have been dedicated to them. Sifan charms were made from any available material, preferably waterproof, ranging from splinters of decaying ships to coral. The charms were often worn on the bearer's person, interwoven with a cord whose color depended on what the wearer intended for the memories the amulet represented: a charm evoking a sad memory, for example, would be worn with a red cord representing the past, indicating the wearer's desire to keep such recollections buried there.
Day of the Rose Sun[edit | edit source]
The Sifa placed great importance on the Rose Sun, which to them represented fire and rebirth. Its passing also marked changes in tidal movement, signalling the time to migrate farther west from Cera-Na. To mark the occasion, the Sifa would trace the Rose Sun's path with candles, which would be released into the air in floating lanterns that would eventually burn up once a certain height was reached. Adolescent Sifans would further celebrate the occasion by crafting dolls in their likeness, made from their own hair and strips of their clothes, which they would toss into fires, thus symbolically being reborn.
Food[edit | edit source]
The Sifan diet consisted primarily of seafood, including urchins, shellfish, Hooyim, giant usi and kelp. The Sifans were however dependent on trade with Ha'rar in order to obtain mainland foodstuffs like grains, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, with only the larger Sifa ships having enough space for herb gardens. Sifan cuisine was noted for its strong flavors, largely due to heavy use of fire dust.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Age of Resistance – "Nothing Is Simple Anymore". Netflix. August 30, 2019
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 108-109, ISBN 0593095596
- – Erman, Matthew., Age of Resistance – The Journey into the Mondo Levidian, #9, Archaia, USA, July 2020
- Age of Resistance – "By Gelfling Hand...". Netflix. August 30, 2019
- Age of Resistance – "A Single Piece Was Lost". Netflix. August 30, 2019
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 120-121, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 121-122, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 130-131, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 126-127, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 124-125, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 132-133, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, pp. 134-135, ISBN 0593095596
- Lee, J.M (2020), Songs of the Seven Gelfling Clans, Penguin Young Readers Licenses, p. 135, ISBN 0593095596