Each Silvan clan shares a name with an animal found in their forest, such as Clan Wolf, Clan Owl, etc. This animal is the clan’s Totem. A totem is revered by all members of the clan, and as such:
1. No clan member may kill his or her totem animal. To do so is to be branded a Totem Slayer, the lowest of the low, and means instant banishment from the clan. No clan will take a Totem Slayer, so most Silvan branded as such wind up living in the other nations.
2. The meat of a totem animal may not be eaten by any member of the clan. No member of the clan may wear the hide of the totem. Bones of the totem animal are not used to make tools; they are buried if discovered.
3. Many clans raise their totem animals as pets, marking them in some way so that other Silvan know that the animal is a companion. No Silvan may kill another’s companion; it is one step down from killing your totem. The Silvan who’d bonded with the animal decides the punishment of its killer, typically a fight to the death.
4. Traditionally, shapeshifters among the Silvan learn their totem animal’s form first.