The Danu are the swift hunters and stalkers of Clador’s northern reaches. An isolated people, they rarely have contact with non-Aldman peoples, and display a hesitation to do so. Despite this, they are unfailingly kind to those who possess no threat, often helping those who become lost north of the Lightning Ridge.
The Danu people are the smallest of the Aldman, standing only a little taller than an average human, and possessing a lithe yet muscular build. Danu tend to have straight or wavy hair in shades of brown, black and wine red, and eyes of brown, green or hazel. Their skin is usually a light tan color, but can range from pale to chocolate brown. Body-paint is a common sight amongst Danu, camouflaged or otherwise. Danu who have completed their Spirit Walk bear a tattoo-like mark that represents their patron animal spirit.
Society and CultureEdit
Danaan is the Danu’s home city. Said to be the remains of a city built by ancient fey long ago, Danaan is a wondrous sight, with dwellings of gleaming crystal hanging between trees, hidden deep in a lightless forest where no sun enters. They say Danaan is impossible to find by oneself, that one can only be led by somebody who knows the way.
Danu society is highly egalitarian, with castes being virtually non-existent. An exception exists only for those whose patron mark is that of the linnorm. These individuals invariably become the leaders of their community, for better or for worse. Lacking this however, decisions are often made by community consensus, with the most clout held by the oldest and wisest members.
The Danu believe that each person has a patron animal spirit within them who provides them with strength, guidance and inspiration. Upon their fifteenth birthday, Danu youths head out into the wilderness alone in order to find their patron in a pilgrimage known as the Spirit Walk. This journey can take months, even years, with some Danu never returning to their home villages. These self-exiled Danu are known as the Lost. Once a Danu has found his patron animal spirit, an event that usually comes in the form of a frenzied epiphany, a tattoo-like mark bearing its form appears somewhere on his or her body. This mark is known as a patron mark.
When Danu attain great age, they leave their communities once more to go on another Spirit Walk. However, this time they do not intend to return, instead going out to see the world once more and finally join the patron spirits when time is up.