- This article is about Clan culture. For the novel, see Bloodname (novel).
Bloodname refers to the surname of each of the 800 warriors who stood with Nicholas Kerensky during the Exodus Civil War. The right to use one of these surnames has been the ambition of every Clan warrior since the system was established. Only a maximum of 25 warriors, depending on its Bloodcount, are allowed to use any Bloodname at one time. When one of the Bloodnamed warriors dies, a special Trial, called a Trial of Bloodright, is held to determine who will assume that Bloodname. A contender must prove his Bloodname lineage, then win a series of duels against other competitors. Only Bloodnamed warriors may sit on the Clan Councils or are eligible to become a Khan or ilKhan. Bloodnames are determined matrilineally, at least after the original generation. Because a warrior can only inherit from his or her female parent, he or she only has a claim to one Bloodname.
Bloodnames are one of the more unique institutions of the Clans. When the Clans were founded and their breeding program started, surnames were done away with (after the first generation of warriors), and an ordeal called a Trial of Bloodright was established to allow eligible warriors to win the surnames of the original warriors that founded the Clans.
The surnames were termed "Bloodnames", and were traced matrilineally through mitochondrial DNA. Being a descendant of a person with a bloodline gives the person eligibility to enter in the Trial rather than the right to use the surname without winning a Trial. Each Bloodname can be held by a maximum of 25 warriors at any one time. Some Bloodnames have fewer than 25 holders, due to a process called a Reaving.
Bondsmen and exclusivity
When a Clan takes a bondsman who is then reinstated as a warrior, the warrior is still eligible for competing for their Bloodname, or may already have a Bloodname. This has caused most Bloodnames to spread to other Clans from their original Clan. However, some clans have declared some of their Bloodnames exclusive, not allowing them to be claimed by warriors from other Clans that have a legitimate claim. For example, Clan Wolf claims exclusive control over the Kerensky Bloodname.
- This article is about the Clan term. For scenario pack, see Bloodright (scenario pack).
A specific Bloodname lineage is called a Bloodright. Up to twenty-five Bloodrights are attached to each Bloodname. A Bloodright is not a lineage as we define the term because the warriors who successfully hold the Bloodright need be related only through their original ancestor. As with Bloodnames, certain Bloodrights are considered more prestigious than others, depending largely on the Bloodright’s history.
The history of the Bloodnamed warriors of a particular Bloodright is called the Bloodheritage.
The Bloodcount is the number of active Bloodrights associated with a particular Bloodname, and thus is the number of individuals that may hold that name at any given time. Traditionally, this number is twenty-five, but it may be less in the case of inferior Bloodnames or Bloodheritages found useless or unworthy. In some cases, the Bloodcount has been known to drop as low as five. The process for reducing a Bloodcount is known as ‘Reaving’, and the process for increasing it is called 'Propagation’, both of which demand an associated trial. A Bloodcount may also be reduced by Abjuration, or by decree of the ilKhan.
A Bloodname can be cut short one member through a process called a Reaving. A Trial of Reaving, if successful, cancels a Trial of Bloodright, which in turn ensures that there is no replacement for the old member. A Reaving is called if there is a perceived taint or weakness of a Bloodname, however usually their reasons are political.
It is initiated by an accusation by a third party (usually another Bloodname). The Clan Council then investigates and discusses the merits of the accusation and holds an internal vote over whether to proceed with the Reaving or not. If the vote is in favor of the Reaving, the Reaving can then be canceled by a Trial of Refusal, where the members of the Bloodline fight the accusers for the right to hold the Trial of Bloodright.
Although any form of surname outside the warrior caste is frowned upon, the Scientist caste secretly assigns surnames (referred to as labnames) to people who make great scientific contributions. The surnames are after great historical scientists (Newton, Watson, etc.) and have nothing to do with the person's genealogy.
- Bloodname, chapters 21 through 27
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 37, 38 - "Bloodnames"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p 39 - "Bloodheritages and Bloodrights"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 40 - "Bloodcount and Reaving"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 254 - "Reaving"
- Way of the Clans, chapter 28
- Falcon Rising, chapter 4
- Wolfpack, chapter 1