First Family was, as the name implies, the first family of meerkats to call The Desert their home. In The Way Way Back the Sunlands, Outlands, and Darklands were not divided into distinct sections as they are today. Firstbloods lived throughout the Desert. First Family called the interior of the Desert their territory (the Outlands and part of the Darklands). They were the largest family of meer to ever live to this day. Their first leader was Star and after his death his daughter, Nova, took over. Ever since it has been more common for a female meer to lead a family than a male.
It was Nova who perpetuated many of the traditions that modern meer still practice including: the guardian ceremony, hierarchy system, and The 5 Truths. She led First Family for many seasons. Sadly, it was under her reign that First Family crumbled. After Bringer’s death a horrible drought struck the Desert. All creatures struggled to find enough food to survive. That is when the greatwings, rainbirds, and clawbeast began to prey on the meer. These new dangers were too much to face under the mounting threat of starvation so Dapple, a young male, came up with a solution. He suggested that the family split in half. Nova didn’t like the idea but she was outvoted and had no better ideas. A turn later, Dapple led half of First Family to the Sunlands where they found less predators and more insects to eat. With half of their number gone, the remainders of First Family had more food to go around and it was more manageable to watch over a smaller group while foraging.
As time went on, Dapple began to call his family Second Family. The two groups only interacted about once a year when they would gather in the Valley to share a meal at the beginning of every wet season. With every season more meer would break off from the two families to form their own groups. Nova created a task force that became known as The Council of Nova to help the families settle disputes without violence, but after her death the task force dissolved and fighting broke out among the highly divided families. The art of healing was forgotten as the seasons grew harsher and survival became the number one priority of all meer. That is how the families ended up as they are today.
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