The Black Mountain Clans hail from the northeastern mountains from which they derive their name. Their land was never conquered by the Dracians due to the natural barriers provided by the mountains and the hardiness of their inhabitants. Further, it is an unquestionable fact that the mighty river that is the Vein originates in their land. The Clans are renowned for their ferocity in battle, along with their strength. It is not uncommon to see their troops hefting two handed swords with a sole hand while the other grips a strong shield. Their armor is equally heavy, being plate forged from steel. Interestingly, unlike the nobility of other groups, their leaders have a strong preference for fighting on foot. Their archers are far from the best in the world, but when combined with their stellar infantry and their people’s hardiness, the Clans are not a force to be trifled with. The lands belonging to the Mountaineers (as they are sometimes called) are twofold: The mountains and the land north of the mountains. The northern lands are fertile, but aside from going through the mountains, the only other route open to these lands is via the sea, and few ships bother traveling so far north. Supposedly, the Lycans established a colony in the clan’s home land, but this merely conjecture with no actual evidence having been discovered. Each clan is ruled by a clan chief with an overarching high king being chosen from among the chiefs. A chief is generally chosen by clan elders and druids from a selection of potential candidates, each being voted on by a member of the elders and druid circles, with the votes of the older members carrying more weight. The high king is chosen in a similar manner, but with the individual chiefs themselves having a vote in the matter (often due to alliances, disputes, and etcetera). Chiefs and high kings can also be chosen through a trial by combat (generally till first blood is drawn, but sometimes to the death). For chieftains, the electoral process is generally the  most used, but in regards to high kings, a fusion of the two methods is used, usually to thin the ranks of would-be kings.