The people of the Named (known more often as Named, or also the Clan of the Named). Is the organized group of sentient Dinaelurus illumina sapiens among whom is born Ratha, main protagonist of the book series.
Family and Mating Edit
Cubs are born in spring/early summer and after some time spent nursing with the lair-mother, they're usually moved into a collective nursery (with mothers sharing the duties). Usually fathers has no role in the raising of the cubs and it's common that most of them just acknowledge of having sired a specific cub (showing just some friendly behavior once the children are mature, affections are known but they're not commonly manifested). Before the discover of the Red Tongue (fire) all the cubs were then included in teaching groups for learning the herding technique once it arrives summer. However they will be known still as young herder at least until the second year of life. With the arrival of the Red Tongue, cubs are usually split and included in herding teaching groups or to be trained as Firekeepers according the attitudes and interests shown by the cub.
One-year old Named take often full duties to protect the herd and the Clan during the time of the mating season (usually in autumn) because the older members are too busy with the courtships. It's common that young Named doesn't mate before the second year of life, but there have been some exceptions.
(NOTE: In Ratha's Creature, Ratha said that usually the Clan females goes in heat during early spring. She's said to have had an early heat, but in the following books all the females are shown to have their heat in autumn too. It could be a continuity mistake, but it's also known that females could have delays or earlier heats because of stress or other physical and psychological factors. It's possible that the changes in Named life after Ratha's Creature (that improved the living conditions) caused an anticipation of the mating season.)
Mothers that have give birth a litter in spring, could mate again in fall but it's common that they don't get pregnant. Also females that are under stress or have been debilitated, usually are temporarily sterile. The Named are social and intelligent being, sharing friendships and love. However it appears that during the mating season, personal desires can be put apart when it's time to chose a mate (is known for example that Fessran mated with Cherfan in Clan Ground, despite her growing attached to Shongshar.) It's also known that during the same season Ratha mated with one of the male of the Clan, despite the growing mutual feelings with Thakur. Such pairing seems to cause no real issue because the cubs quickly grow independent and no real parenthood is provided by the father. Young males are mostly prone to joke about themselves and boast about the amount of "love-scars" caused by the females during the matings.
Named ones are known to show friendships and affections: even if the mating urge imposed by the heat is very instinctive, females (and possibly males) has known to make attempts to choose a particular partner. This is still an uncommon event, in Ratha's Courage Ratha has stated that she would have liked to facilitate and assure that her daughter could mate with Quiet Hunter.
The Named have yet to develop the concept of Love, even if some couples (as Quiet Hunter and Thistle-chaser, or Ratha and Thakur) appears to start developing it on different degrees. At the time of Ratha's Courage it's more common at the best a sort of friendship and mutual pleasure in sharing a bond through the mating (as for Cherfan and Bira).
During Meoran's rule, has been imposed as rule to prevent new females to join the herders (thus limiting the females to just bearing and rising cubs): such short-lived practice was then abandoned and currently no differences in right and duties can be noticed among the Named.
All the grown Named has a role in the Clan, split between herders (look after and then cull the herds of beasts) and Firekeepers (keeping alive the Red Tongue, and using fire to protect the borders and torches to fight enemies). Specific role are being herding teacher ( Thakur is the only known), the Firekeeper leader (Fessran) and the clan leader (Ratha). It's considered also important the position of senior herder (as for (Cherfan). It's not exactly a subdivision, but scouts proves a growing importance in the Clan. The herder Khushi is sometimes referred as a scout: what's started as a specific mission seems to have been a more stable mansion from Ratha's Challenge but not enough to deprive the young male from his original task.
The Clan leader has usually absolute power but the leaderships may differentiate: rulers as Meoran reigned just thanks their large size and strength, regardless of the opinions of others. The previous leader Baire was known for his wisdom. The temporary leader Shongshar was a manipulator that exploited fear and religious faith for his own interests. The current leader Ratha has learned to mix strong leadership's will with attitude to listen the opinions of the other Clan members. Clan leaders behave no differently from the other Named during the mating season: this is specially true for Ratha (the first known female leader), that is courted and mated by an unknown herder or firekeeper of the Clan during the mating season occurred in Clan Ground (even if no litter was produced).
The introduction of the treeling into the Clan life, provided an useful help. At first they appeared to be useful just for pelt-grooming and eating ticks and fleas, but new discoveries were made. Because of their opposable thumbs, the treelings are able to rally better the sticks of wood and to make nodes but also introduced the species as true semi-domesticated pets for the Named. The introduction of the treeling also provided the discovery of the usefulness of creating nets and rudimentary harness to allow the Named to carry stuff on their sides or on dapplebacks's sides. Treelings are known to provide not just useful material help (both with making knots, carrying sticks and pelt-grooming) but to fulfill an important psychological value: Named ones become attached to their treelings and losing it can cause great upset.
From the book Clan Ground, the Named started to develop the concept of religion, with the Firekeeper especially found to the idea of worship the Red Tongue. This cult at first grow without restrain and was exploited by Shongshar as tool to gain power. Following these events, Ratha restricted the dimensions of the allowed fires but didn't forbade the worship, being aware that she had to allow a religious faith to the ones that needed it.
Sport and Games Edit
The beginning of a sport play has been explored in Ratha's Courage: young herders has been known to make attempts to ride dapplebacks, mostly for the thrill of the play. With the introduction of the treeling, protections of leather can be knotted to the sides of the dapplebacks, allowing the rider better stability and reducing the risk of claw's wounds to the beast. Rules of the riding games are simple: the first rider to fall on ground, loses. After a first match between Ashon and Mishanti using the new protections, has been decided to adds as rule that falling against a tree or high bushes doesn't count as being "safe" because the rider has not materially touched the ground. Matches can ends with draw (as happened for a second match between Ashron and Mishanti during a display for the Tribe of Hunters).
The Named are said to practice the burial of the deceased underground. They express deep mourning for the losses of their Clan mates: feelings of sadness has been expressed multiple times also toward Un-Named ones or Hunters.
History of the Named Pre-Ratha's Creature Edit
The origin of the Clan are mysterious and it's only in Ratha's Courage that are revealed. Thakur learned the secrets of the past from his mother and revealed them to the Clan: long time before the Baire's leadership the Named were still sentient but more violent. There used to be many Old Clans with young males exiled each season: these males rallied in groups and fought battles to conquer a Clan. Once the Clan was conquered, the older males were killed or exiled and the cubs were murdered in order to not waste the energy of the mothers in raising the previous litters and allow the newcomer to mate and sire their own progeny.
The sudden arrival of the Un-Named (previously unknown to the Named), caused great losses of lives and the Clans unified. In front of danger and losses, the old rules were abandoned and mating seasons turned less violent, allowing the Named to develop feelings of friendships, sympathy and love.
In unspecified time the Clan started to develop herding skills rather than hunting for food. At first the Clan captured and herded only dapplebacks horses.
It was under the rule of Baire (a wise leader) that due Baire's discover, the Clan managed to herd a new species: the three-horns deers.
Once Baire died, the leadership was gained by his older son, Meoran.
History of the Named into Ratha's Creature. Edit
The leadership of Meoran is strict and oppressive. He managed to protect the Clan from the Un-Named raids but seasons after seasons the attacks turned more bloody. Meoran proved to be a misogynist, forbidding the new young females to became herders.
During this period the young herder Ratha discovered the Fire and learned to tame it, calling it the Red Tongue.
However Meoran wasn't ready to accept a new discovery and he exiled Ratha. Such decision proved a terrible mistake and the Un-Named organized a massive attack during winter exterminating most of the Named and conquering their lairs.
Only a small group of Named survived, yet Meoran proved to be once again close to accept Ratha and her discover: a battle for the future of the Clan lead the downfall and death of Meoran and the rising of Ratha as the new leader.With the Red Tongue, the Clan managed to turn what could have been the last stand against the Un-Named ones into a decisive victory, killing scores of enemies and breaking the spirit of the rogue Un-Named coalition.
History of the Named into Clan Ground. Edit
In Clan Ground, the Named are shown to have established an organized system to take care of the fire. Selected ones, known as Firebringers, doesn't herd the animals but tends the fire (to protect the territory and the herds, fight off enemies and predators, etc...). Fessran has been appointed as leader of the Firebringers. For the first known time, the Named Clan accept a sentient Un-Named that exposed his will to accept the laws of the Clan, this stranger is renamed Shongshar. During the mating season, Cherfan make an additional discovery for the Clan, befriend the first treeling and bringing her to the Named. Because of the decision of Ratha to exile the cubs sired by Shongshar (due their believed lack of will), a conflict erupt into the Clan. Shongshar becomes a Firebringer, and after his growing influence over Fessran, he manage to create a status of dissent. He built a religious cult of the Fire, dividing the Named ones and causing a rift between Firebringers and Herders: this eventually cause the exile of Ratha and others and almost deadly wounds to Fessran. Shongshar assume leadership, strengthening the cult of the Fire and abandoning the original duties of the Firebringers that quickly turns into his followers. The reaction of Ratha and other loyalists manage to defeat Shongshar, even if with an unnecessary number of deaths, and after the death of the usurper, the peace is restored in the Clan. Ratha realize that she can't forbid the religious faith toward the Fire, but she put limitations and bring back the Firebringers to their duties.
History of the Named into Ratha and Thistle-chaser. Edit
History of the Named into Ratha's Challenge. Edit
History of the Named into Ratha's Courage. Edit