A Word on the Grounders
Trigedakru (Woods Clan): The descendants of those caught on the Earth’s surface when the bombs fell. Over the centuries, these people were able to evolve to metabolize the radiation of the nuclear fallout. Genetic mutations did occur, but the societal structure they created required any visibly mutated citizens to be cast out or killed. Any general mutations that Trigedakru possess are internal, and provide them with the ability to resist the harmful effect of radiation from all but the most potent of sources.
The Trigedakru are a Spartan-esque tribal people who honor strength of will, utilitarianism, and combat/hunting prowess. Men and women serve equally in the tribe, and honor is given to those who merit it. While all in the tribe are taught the basic ways of fighting, only the most adept will become gona (warriors) and join the ranks of their tribe’s gonakru (army).
Gonakru are deadly with various forms of primitive-style weapons (swords, knives, bows, axes, etc.). Being an adept fighter is not the only way to earn prestige. Healers, those who learn the medicinal properties of plants and their effects on the body, are revered even more highly than a gona. Those who can forge weapons, craft clothing and armor, and/or build/repair shelters are also highly regarded in the tribe.
Most of the central tribes speak some dialect of Trigedaslang amongst themselves, but the warriors of the tribes also learn Gonaslang (English), also known as Maunslang (Mountain Speech), as it is the language of their greatest outside enemy, the Maunon (Mountain Men) of Maun-de (Mount Weather or simply, the Mountain).
The Trigedakru are not the only group of Grounders. There are many tribes in each nation and many different nations spread out over the known Earth. For instance, there is the Azgeda (Ice People) to the North, the Sanraungeda (Sand People) to the West, and the Sikru (Sea Clan) to the East. There are at least 12 known nations that inhabit the Eastern half of the former United States— an area that stretches from the Mississippi River in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to past the Canadian border in the north. Most of the tribes within the region that follow similar customs and languages. Some clans have their own distinct language, most notably the Azgeda (Ice Nation) speak Azgedasleng which is a heavily evolved variant of a mix of French and Scandinavian influence, in a similar way that Trigedasleng is a heavily evolved variant of a mix of English, Spanish, and various slang from both languages.
Over the years, the tribes of a given area developed a common bond and unified to create nations or clans. Clan names are generally locationally or occupationally based. For instance, tribes of the Sandwalkers inhabit the desert-like area next to the Nou Geda (Dead Zone), which is a vast, seemingly impassable, irradiated desert wasteland. They learned to live in the sand, thriving in an area that others could not.
The River, Boat, and Sea Clans all rely heavily on their local water sources, and generally control the waters around their respective areas.
The Iron and Stone Clans have focused on developing smithing and building techniques, respectively. The Iron Clan supplies most of the weapons used by the other Clans, and the Stone Clan has helped both the Woods Clan, Ice Nation, and a few of the larger clans develop rather intricate cities.
The Ice Nation and Woods Clan are the two largest Clans in the greater area. Once a single nation, they became bitter rivals almost two centuries ago. Over the decades, the two nations have fought each other for control of the region, using the smaller clans as vassals, pawns, and/or assets in their wars for domination.
Until two years ago, not once in the last 300 years had there been peace between all the clans. Two years ago, however, the Commander of the Trigeda, who had spent the previous three years conquering the other clans one by one, finally defeated the Ice Nation, bringing all 12 clans under the Woods Clan’s rule—her rule.
As the ruling nation, the Woods Clan’s largest city, Polis, became the capitol of the Alliance of the 12 Clans or Kongeda-de. Most of the Clans embraced their near assimilation into the Trikru. They retained their clan customs, but traded and travelled freely without fear of attack by other clans.
The former rulers of the other nations—those who had survived—were made her generals, and allowed to continue ruling their clans with semi-autonomy. The major exception to this was Narin, the Queen of the Azgeda.
As a condition of their surrender to the Woods Clan, Narin was not to be killed. Agreeing, the Commander ordered her exiled, and replaced her with the captain of the Queen’s armies. Despite joining the Alliance, the Ice Nation remained a thorny ally, as did a couple of the other nations who chaffed at being vassals of the Trikru.
Two Councils of the Kongeda were formed to allow the Clans to have a voice in how they were governed. The Councils acted as an advisory board to the Commander. Their will might sway her decision, but ultimately, she held the final say in any given matter. Each year in the spring and fall the Councils would convene in Polis.
The Senid, or Council of the People, oversaw domestic issues: trade, building, agriculture, crafting, etc. This was comprised of several elders from each of the Clans. The Commander most often deferred to the will of the Council of the People, as she held little desire to debate the nuances of crop rotation and masonry.
The War Council, or Gonakrugeda, on the other hand, was comprised of the generals of each of the clans. The War Council had been the tactical body responsible for the battles with the Mountain.
The Commander focused the Alliance on fighting the Maunon, instead of each other. This provided two almost blissful years of peace amongst the Kongeda, until the fall of the Maunon at the hands of the Sky People a year ago.
The fate of the Alliance may ultimately lie with the Skaikru. As the ones who brought down the Mountain, they unknowingly destabilized the entire region. Though they have only been in play for a little more than a year and are greatly outnumbered, the legend of their fall from the sky, prowess of their commander, and brutality in defeating those who attack them has given all of the nations pause.
Some in the Chicha kom Kongeda suggest that easiest way to hold the clans together would be to declare war on those of the Sky. Others are wary of starting a war with those who destroyed the Mountain, as they had already killed more than a thousand with little more than a couple dozen.
For a year no battles have been fought. The Clans have tended to their own, as have those from the Sky. But now the peace had begun to unravel.
In the year since the Mountain fell, the fragile Kongeda-de has begun to crack. The Sandwalkers, Sea Clan, and Ice Nation did not send delegations to the spring Council meetings in Polis.
Rumors have grown that Narin has reclaimed the Ice throne after her successor was killed in the bombing of TonDC.
If Narin has returned to power, and manages to unite the Sea Clan and Sandwalkers with her against the Trigeda, they would have them surrounded, and their numbers would be nearly equal. If Narin truly has returned, it could mean all-out war.