The Shan (ʃɑ:n) are a middling caste in Danaij society of equal footing alongside the Shuri and Chau. They are a warrior caste that loosely mimics the house structure of the Vana castes, though the houses are made up of both hereditary and adopted members, and rather than claim land and wealth, they serve the Vana in a capacity similar to the knights of some human nations. Vana houses often have one or more Shan houses that support them.
While the Vana are ruling castes that focus on maintaining pure Danaij bloodlines, the Shan focus on collecting and breeding skilled warriors that can combine both martial and magic skills. All members of standing in a Shan house must be Danaij, though mixed-blood individuals without Dark Elementalism can fill the lower ranks, and males may be included in the house breeding stock to be paired with Danaij women if their martial skills are exemplary.
Marriages in the Shan are not strictly defined. Blood members of a house may marry adopted members, or any individuals below their caste that they like. Marriages are also arranged between Shan houses and sometimes with members of the Shuri, and occasionally Chau. They cannot marry into the Vana caste. Breeding, however, can be arranged with Vana. The offspring of such unions is likely to enter into the Shan.
Membership of any rank is conditional in the Shan, even to the children born to the house. When a Shan child reaches adulthood, they are put through combat trials to prove the value of their breeding. If a child of the Shan decides not to partake in the trial, they may be offered to the Shuri if their magical talent better suits that caste or otherwise cast out of their house, technically making them Rothet. Potential adoptees, regardless of age, undergo the same trials before they are accepted.
Adoptees into a Shan house can come from any caste below the Vana. Shan have the power to free Vauth from servitude if they have potential. Children born into the Shuri who show aptitude for martial talent are typically offered to the Shan. Chau and Rothet who have an interest or aptitude are also able to submit themselves to the trials.
Once accepted into the Shan, a house member's standing is generally stable unless they do something that would dishonor the house. Even when a member of a Shan house is unable to fight as they are injured, ill, or succumbs to age, they maintain their position of honor until their death.