The Grounders


The Commander

The Commander — or Heda in Trigedasleng — is the highest rank within the Grounder hierarchy, and sits at the head of the Coalition. While the Sky People associate the term with military leadership, the title is derived from the first Commander — a woman who carried the first Flame. With the rituals and trials associated with the title, it has a religious undertone amongst the Grounders.

The current commander is Lexa kom Trikru.

Tagspiden (The Speaking of Names)

As part of the rites of Ascension for a new Commander, they are required to speak all the names of every Commander there has ever been. Not only is this list kept by the Commander's chosen Flame Keeper (Fleimkepa), but is also granted to the new Commander upon being given the Flame.

By expanding the below list, you will be given a list of all the Commanders. Please note, that unless your character is connected to the Flame Keeper sect, or have been approved to have this knowledge in-character, this information is out-of-character knowledge only:

Nightbloods and the Conclave

The Flame


There is very little that is known about the Flame outside of the Flame Keeper and the Commander. It is talked about like it is a metaphysical object, instead of a physical one. The Flame is passed from the old Commander to the new, and with it, the new Commander is endowed with the spirits of all the past Commanders.

The Flame's symbol is the infinity symbol, and those associated with the Flame are often tattooed with the neverending sigil.

The following information is for out-of-character information only.

The Flame itself is actually a cybernetic implant created by neuroscientist Becca Pramheda. It is a passive artificial intelligence that merges with the an organic brain via the brainstem, and shares and stores information. The Flame produces a projected consciousness that takes on the form of past Commanders, which is where the 'Spirit of the Commanders' comes from. Through these projections, the current Commander is given guidance and memories are shared.

Becca's intent with the AI implant was to help reset humanity to the point where they would be safe from such cataclysms in the future. Her and the other Commander's guidance with the Flame is to ensure that humanity never makes the same mistakes it has in the past.


There are twelve clans within the Coalition headed by the Commander: Trikru (Woods Clan), Azgeda (Ice Clan), Floukru (Boat Clan), Sankru (Desert Clan), Yujleda (Broadleaf Clan), Delfikru (Delphi Clan), Trishanakru (Glowing Forest Clan), Ouskejonkru (Blue Cliff Clan), Podakru (Lake People), Ingranronakru (Plains Riders), Boudalankru (Rock Line Clan), and Louwoda Kliron (Shadow Valley Clan).

Each clan has its own chief, and is made up of multiple villages scattered throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Each clan also has its own ambassador to the Coalition, who represents the clan's interests before the whole.


Lexa kom Trikru


While most Grounders are immune to the effects of the lingering radiation, some succumb and are born with obvious mutations. These Grounders (and often their families) are exiled from their clan to ensure that they do not stain the bloodline. Most of these mutations are only cosmetic, but they are still enough to get their bearers exiled. Many exiles travel to the Dead Zone, looking for the promise of the City of Light.

Everyday Life


Grounder housing is a rough mishmash of newly made and salvaged materials.

Here are some examples of housing found in The Hood of Tondc.


The Grounders live in the ruins of a great civilization, but they have fallen far from the heights just before the Nuclear Apocalypse. Grounders live in scattered villages, farming, hunting, and gathering. They use muscle-powered weapons like bows, spears, and swords ground from scrap metal; they ride horses; and their healers use herbs and poultices rather than modern medical techniques, but their weapons, transportation, and healing are all remarkably effective.



Grounder names for places and people are often derived from the names of earlier locations or landmarks that have had their names weathered away in parts from associated signage. For example, Indra is the leader of TonDC, a derivation of Washington, DC, and Polis, the capital city of the Clans, is named after the space satellite Polaris. Lincoln is named after the presidential memorial, while Lexa and Ontari are named after the city and province of Alexandra and Ontario, respectively.


Many Grounders mark their bodies with tattoos of dark ink. The patterns and locations depend on the clan. Trikru appears to favor bold, geometric patterns, for instance.


Some clans use ritual scarification to identify themselves. Azgeda in particular uses geometric patterns on the face as identifying marks.

Kill Marks

Warriors track the number of kills they have made personally with a scar on the shoulder, chest, or back. Most warriors have fewer than a dozen, but some few have many more kills than they could possibly mark.

War Paint

When going to war, Grounders often color their faces with natural substances. Trikru favors dark smudges, especially around or across the eyes, while Azgeda tends toward white markings. Some images are included below for inspiration.

Played-By Suggestions

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