In the world of the Telepathic Clans, the descendants of the ancient race that once ruled Europe live in a shadow society, hidden from the human world. Their society is based on an ancient clan structure. Indeed, the word ‘clan’, or sometimes ‘cla’, is the same in all European languages.
Never large in numbers, the ancient Clans ruled Europe through the strength of their Telepathic Gifts. Viewed as sorcerers, they controlled their human subjects through a system of feudal fealty. Their priestesses maintained the society as representatives of the Mother Goddess, through whom all offerings to the Goddess were made and who communicated the Goddess’ will.
The rise of Rome, and the later Teutonic invasions, decimated the Clan civilization. A relatively few strong telepaths were no match for the massive force of the Roman legions. Over time, the Clans withdrew from humans into enclaves. Only in Scotland and Ireland, lands Roman influence never reached, did the Clans openly flourish into historical times.
In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church carried out systematic genocide against the remnants of the Clans. The Inquisition was especially effective in France and Spain as well as in Northern Germany and Eastern Europe.
What Rome wasn’t able to conquer, the English eventually did. The Scottish Clans retreated across the Irish Sea, but eventually the English came to Ireland also. Betrayal by their human subjects led to the destruction of the hold the Irish Clans held over the island. The ‘Flight of the Earls’, also called the ‘Flight of the Wild Geese’, in 1607 essentially ended open Irish resistance to English rule, as the Lairds of O’Neill and O’Donnell fled to Europe. Telepaths of O’Donnell joined Clans in Spain, France and Austria, maintaining their contacts with their Irish brethren.
The Telepaths again retreated into enclaves. No longer rulers, they blended into human society and let their history become myth. Much of Irish history wasn’t written until after Christianity gained a foothold on the island, and the Clans took a proactive role in making sure that history cloaked their existence.
In the late 19th century, the Clans gained great economic power as the ancient feudal structures of Europe were replaced by new governmental structures and the consolidation of nations. The Industrial Revolution enabled the telepaths to rebuild their fortunes and influence as wealth no longer depended solely on ownership of land. O’Donnell, under the leadership of its new Laird Seamus, established a strong foothold in the United States.
World War I found the Clans taking sides, seeking to advance their own strength through infiltration and covert control of national governments. The Russian Clans in particular gained enormous power when they chose to back the Bolshevik Revolution. The German Clans benefited from the fall of German and Austrian Imperial power and took advantage of the chaos that was post-war German democracy.
Seeing the success of the Russian Clans, the German Clans were early supporters of a radical party called the National Socialists. Through their assistance, the Nazis were able to capture the German government. In similar fashion, some Italian and Spanish Clans gained advantage by backing Mussolini and Franco.
During World War II, the Clans surreptitiously worked for various governments, hoping to emerge dominant when the humans finished killing each other. When the final peace treaties were signed at the end of the war, the Clans moved to consolidate their own power.
The Silent War lasted from 1945 until 1958. On one side were the Clans who sought to consolidate the power they had enjoyed under the Fascists and Bolsheviks, on the other those who opposed Clan-imposed totalitarian control over humans.
There were many losers. The anti-totalitarian Clans in Italy survived, but were greatly diminished from their pre-war status. Their opponents’ strength was also severely damaged. Three of the five Clans in Spain were wiped out, many of the survivors fleeing to South America. Only two of the French Clans survived. The Russian Clans, some of the strongest at the end of World War II, were hurt so badly that they gave up most of their designs on expansion into Eastern Europe.
The German Clans, hurt both by the Nazi’s debacle and by an ill-fated alliance with some of the Russian Clans, regrouped as a loose consortium. Unable to expand their influence, they did manage to consolidate their grip on German industry through manipulation of the Marshall plan.
The only clear winners were the Irish Clans. Benefitting from their support of the Allied forces in World War II, they managed to stabilize Europe, expand their hold on North America, and prevent expansion of the Russians and Germans. During the largest battle of the Silent War in 1953, the so-called Battle of Leningrad, the combined might of the Irish Clans crushed the Russians and their German allies. The German-Russian alliance fielded twenty-five thousand troops, the Irish and their allies seventeen thousand. It is reported that the pro-totalitarian forces lost more than 10,000 soldiers in the battle while the Irish lost 200.
The final battles of the war were fought around the Mediterranean, primarily in Italy and Spain, and in the Balkans. In 1958, the Accord of Paris was signed by the major Clan heads. The Accord wasn’t a peace treaty but rather a set of protocols by which the Clans would conduct relations with each other. Paris was declared an open city, a place which couldn’t be owned by any Clan and in which all Clans could meet on neutral ground to conduct business and socialize without fear of attack.
As the 21st century begins, the Clans are loosely aligned in two major camps. On one side are those who believe telepaths should be in control and humans should serve them. These tend to have strongly infiltrated or even control governments and other large civic or religious entities in their areas. On the other side are those who believe that such actions will lead to disaster. Humans have in the past shown a taste for genocide, and if they discover such control will react in extreme fashion. Some of these Clans, including O’Donnell, believe that humans are sentient creatures and should have the right of self-determination. The idea of subjugating and controlling humans is morally repugnant to such Clans.