Children of Ben Dudlach
For those few Clans who still follow the Old Ways there is a justified dread of what lurks deep in the wild. So deep that it only surfaces when the Winter is harsh enough to strip the rich forests of food and release a hunger that respects no laws of nature. This is a force which cannot be defended against in the ordinary ways. Stone and iron alone do nothing to stop it. Only blood and the ancient power of oaths can hold against this fury.
To protect themselves these Clans would consecrate a band of sacred warriors. Each Clan had its own tradition for how the warriors were selected and trained, but ordinarily they were children born in a 7th Year, and taken from their parents to be raised as orphans, clanless. Raising them as orphans was an act of mercy, designed to spare both the child and the families the grief of familial separation, for sacrificial warriors of this nature, do not often get to know the pleasure of marriage or raising children.
To seal the warrior into their fate each Clan chose a landmark of Spiritual power. That place became the focal point of the rite of passage which forever defined the identity of that warrior. Belonging to no Clan and serving no king, these warriors became instead servants of the land itself, opposing the unnatural forces which seek to spill into the world.
For the Highland Clans one such important landmark was Ben Dudlach. Once five clans selected children to take their oaths at the summit of Ben Dudlach, but only Clan Brus still carries on this tradition. Every 7th Year Clan Brus sends seven trained warriors in their 15th year of life to the peak of the mountain to speak the oath and become Children of Ben Dudlach. These seven warriors are all that is left of a tradition most of the world judges barbaric. They are all that stands between men and darkness unimaginable.