Most students at Avalon join the close knit groups called warbands. These are places to find friends, support and safety. Each of the warbands have their own values, rituals, and codes of conduct. All warbands have their own identifier, either favouring particular colours or, in extreme cases, having tattoos or scars to represent membership.
Some teachers approve of the warbands and will pit them against each other in tests of courage and applied violence both in and out of class; other teachers are less forgiving.
The warbands play a political and tactical game, making alliances and plotting against the others in order to come out on top.
The Bulls (Legio X Gemina)
Reputation: Competency, Intelligence
Symbol: Bull’s head
Colour: Sun Gold
Allied with: None
Neutral to: VII & Ravens
Opposed to: Riders & Skulls
Named for one of the Roman Legions that conquered ancient Britain, the Tenth has flourished. They have a reputation for taking the brightest and the best Witchards and being an extremely effective Warband in all matters magical. They’re less aggressive than some of the others, perhaps, but this lack of aggression comes from supreme confidence in their abilities in matters magical and physical. You will never catch one of the Tenth off-guard, as they seem to have a plan for everything. They are known for their elaborate strategies and tend to execute them with impeccable accuracy, always sticking to the plan.
The Skulls (Segovax)
Reputation: Ruthlessness, Strength
Symbol: Animal Skull
Colour: Blood Red
Allied with: VII
Neutral to: Riders
Opposed to: Bulls
Named for an ancient Celtic tribe, Segovax probably derives from the word for Victory. The Segovax are the youngest of the warbands. This is something they hate to be reminded of. They have made up for their lack of history with 1300 years of brutal aggression. Known for being more than proficient in both magical and mundane arms, the skulls tend to cut their way through any opposition. They despise weakness and see it as their right to take what they want or need from those unable to protect it. The Warband rarely works together as a whole and is usually divided into smaller groups.
The Ravens (Silures)
Reputation: Diplomacy, Bargains
Symbol: A Raven
Colour: Midnight Blue
Allied with: Riders
Neutral to: Bulls
Opposed to: VII
The Silurian reputation for diplomacy does not mean they are push-overs. Far from it. The Warband has taken the wisdom that “war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means” to heart. Sure, they will negotiate and trade, but they’ll also put a knife in your back if you are unprepared or careless. Historically they have been the Warband of Machiavellian schemers, and are known for mastering the system of favours so well they could trick the island itself. They might seem an easy target because of their tendency to keep the bloodshed at a minimum level, but cross a Raven and you’ll see your life slowly crumble to dust.
Reputation: Loyalty, Determination
Symbol: The Roman Numeral VII
Colour: Mud Green
Allied with: Skull
Neutral to: Bulls
Opposed to: Ravens
Ever since the conquest of Britain, the VII has struggled to survive. On more than one occasion they have been down to only a handful of surviving members. And yet they have held on and returned to power. They are known for their tendency to take risks with their quests, which has turned out to work to their advantage about fifty percent of the time. For the other fifty percent, they are nearly annihilated. Unlike other warbands they have a code of conduct, which means if one of their number is attacked anyone else from the Warband comes to their aid and fights alongside them, no matter the odds.
The Riders (Trinovantes)
Reputation: Nobility, Courage
Symbol: White banner with a black horse
Colour: Bone White
Allied with: Ravens
Neutral to: Skulls
Opposed to: Bulls
Trinovantes is possibly the original Warband of Avalon, as far as it is possible to trace history back reliably to the 6th century. Ancient stories claim the Warband was founded by two students called Brutus and Corineus, originally to defend Avalon against attack. The Riders stand up for their beliefs and are prone to do what they judge to be “right”. They dislike most immoral actions, and will sometimes even (attempt to) break up a fight between students of other Warbands, if they deem it to be an unnecessary conflict. Independents are usually welcomed or even protected by Trinovantes, and the two groups of students often work together.
Some students opt to remain independent of the warband structure. This sets them apart from the other students, eschewing safety in numbers in favour of greater freedom. Often independents need to trade favours in exchange for short term help or protection from one warband or many. There are places on the island where it is not safe to go alone; but there are also places on the island that only independents may go.
Independents also have access to the Sacred Grove, a place of power and sanctuary on the island where they may rest and talk with one another, share stories, or make plans. The island has also been known to test and challenge independents in the past.