ruarc’s clan centers around the mythos of the ageless tree, or the tree of fortune, an incredibly large (almost unusually so) yew tree nearer to the forest coast in arcady. though they are nomadic, they tend to select areas where pilgrimage to the ageless tree takes but a few days.
as a rite of passage, children climb the ageless tree to tie a hand-made gift of their own to the tree, usually in accordance to their family’s craft. herbs usually signify well wishes for marriage and health. trinkets left at the bottom of the trunk are usually a merchant’s way of wishing safe passage or better/stabler luck with upcoming trade. the grander or rarer the gift is on the tree, the greater the fortune it is to give.
the clan does not view the tree as a symbol of worship. rather, it is considered the very heart and symbol of the clan. only the noble family is allowed to mark the tree, with predecessors marking dead members to it with their name. if anyone else is caught marking the tree, punishment follows, and depending on the severity/obviousness of the marking might be exulted from the clan. if someone is caught stealing from the tree, the punishment is even greater. members of ruarc’s clan also tend to leave insignificant trinkets to passing yew trees, as well, if they are feeling particularly in need of better luck.
(the surrounding forest is based after the killarney national park, where native irish yews reside en masse. the irish yew tree is also incredibly poisonous, and is strongly associated with immortality and concepts of death. it is unable to poison deer, it can live for a terribly long time, and are generally planted around graveyards. the ageless tree itself is a male tree, so it produces cones instead of berries, which clansmen are allowed to take on their birthdays and tend to carve.