To understand the history of the clans, you must first understand the Earth Clan. According to the oral history it was the Earth Clan that first inhabited the wastes, cast down from paradise by the old gods for reasons either not spoken or long forgotten. The Earth Clan was once a kingdom of proud humans who lived deep in the mountains, dedicated to mining and tunneling, trading the wealth they found to other kingdoms. They defended their homes proudly and were known as staunch soldiers, unwavering in their strength to defend their homeland and way of life. Those that survived the fall found themselves in an underground wasteland deep beneath the mountain they once called home. Over the next hundred years they learned how to survive the wastes. They carved tunnels into the northern walls of the wastes and began to harvest fungi and hunt the animals of the wastes. Water was harder to come by, they set up pools to catch condensation from the cave walls. Lack of sufficient water eventually led to a steady decline in population. The stories passed down say that it was sometime shortly after this that a group of Earth Clan soldiers stumbled upon an underground temple of some kind. It apparently had an infinite water source flowing from it and had foreign statues and writings. The group of 8 soldiers, thirsty from their labor, immediately drank and swam in the pool of water. They began to change, twisting and writhing on the floor of the temple. When they awoke they were different. They had grown to over 12 feet tall, their hair no longer covering their body, their skin turning slightly blue tinted and hard. Under the guidance of Ur’Khal, the wisest of the soldiers, they hid the secret, closing and hiding the tunnel they had just uncovered. They returned to their city and became revered as gods and were referred to as “Rockborn”. Ur’Khal soon became the leader of the Earth Clan, using his wisdom to lead his people to the happiest they had been since the fall. They expanded, set up early relations with the other colonies of humans, and began to survey the wastes, the area in which they called home. Ur’Khal secretly re-found the temple, which he named the “Temple of Rebirth”, claiming that it was the destiny of his people to be reborn in the water of the temple and grow strong and powerful from the spirit of the earth. It is through this rebirth that the Earth Clan would repent for their sins and be shown the path to the surface once again. Ur’Khal claimed that he received visions claiming these things, thus he became not only the leader of his people but also a religious prophet. Ur’Khal entrusted his most faithful Rockborn, Aul’kah to guard and excavate the temple. Aul’kah would be the first of what would be known as the Water Clan; a clan dedicated to protecting and understanding the Temple of Rebirth. Aul’kah and his group of priests would excavate the temple even further and begin to discover its secrets. The population boomed under Ur’khal, but behind the scenes not all was good. Some of the other Rockborn had gained significant followings as humans began to worship them. This, combined with a lack of resources to support the newly booming population, led to a schism of sorts. Rockborn took their groups of followers away from the Earth Clan home of Ti’Nal (meaning City of Granite) one at a time over the next several centuries. It is important to note that the Rockborn had large families and many offspring. By this time in the history the vast majority of the clan populations are goliath, the mix of Rockborn and human. The 8 Rockborn spread through the wastes, learning their own cultures depending upon the area or areas in which they lived.
Goliath surnames are based on which Rockborn they can trace patriarchial lineage to. Every goliath born to a clan will have the surname of one of the eight Rockborn. Example: Al’kah Vail’kuh. Goliath that are born in captivity or otherwise not part of a clan upon birth are often not given names at all, let alone surnames. If a goliath enters clan society again at some point in their life, best is done to determine the family lineage of the individual who is then given the correct surname. If family lineage cannot be determined, the individual is given the surname of their clan. Example: Al’kah of the Water or Al’kah of the Scorpion.
All individuals and clans hold the common ancestry of their people in high regard. The pride that each goliath has for his or her history and culture is extremely important to them. Because of this mutual respect, diplomacy between the clans have always been amiable. All clans consider the Ti’Nal and the temple their first home and would do anything to protect it. Clans regularly intermarry and trade as well. Once per year ambassadors meet in Ti’Nal to discuss both domestic and foreign issues. The meeting lasts is 5 days and is met with much celebration and festivity in Ti’Nal. It is a chance for the clans to trade culture and reconfirm their ancestral bonds with one another.
It was long ago that Ur’Khal discovered the greed that many of the humans had. They seemed to desire only money and power, seeking to ever expand their territory. It is for this reason that the clans have kept Ti’Nal and the temple secret from non goliaths. The secrecy of their home and history is extremely important to all goliaths and to divulge any secrets would be considered treason and met with harsh punishment.
Traditionally, goliaths have not used currency, relying on trade only. When Ti’Nal began trading with the humans the concept and need to use currency became apparent, and thus in recent years many goliaths have adopted the human monetary system. This mainly exists in Ti’Nal where there are large amounts of merchants and businesses. The waste-clans still primarily use trade.
Tattoos are a form of pride and history for goliaths. Since they entered the wastes they have tattoo’d themselves with scripture, clan markings, and other symbols. All goliaths that are part of a clan will have some sort of clan tattoo and a tattoo in some way representing their ancestry. The waste clans typically will have more tattoos while the clans that are closely linked with humans will have less in order to remain less conspicuous.
The city itself is built into the northern wall of the wastes. About half of the city lies within the wall itself, while the other half inhabits the flat ground outside. A massive wall called the O’cherai Barrier, named after the goliath engineer that designed it, encircles the outside of the city creating an almost complete bubble around the city. Black rock was used in the walls construction in order to further camouflage the city. The wall has been designed for defense, with rows of walkways and arrow slits lining the interior. The city boasts the amenities of typical human cities and also is the home of Ur’Khal and his advisors, who live deep in the caves of Ti’Nal. The military has a huge barracks and training ground near the O’cherai Barrier, staying busy by constantly training citizens and new soldiers.
Goliaths speak their own language, said to have been passed down from their ancestors. The name Goliath was originally pronounced “Goli’tath”, meaning “Of the Rock” in their native tongue. They gave themselves this name soon after the Rockborn were made. The pronunciation of “Goliath” is actually the human adaptation of the word.