In the Middle Ages, and even up to the early twentieth century, most of Europe's executioners were related: the Sansons and Deiblers in France, the Pierrepoints in England, etc. The reason for this was that, it generally not being socially acceptable to, well, kill people, executioners and their children could, generally, only marry other executioners or their children.
The parallels with massively inbred, Hapsburg-style dynasties are obvious- imagine a rather clever but politically inept satirist noting this, and being sentenced by the latter to a meeting with the former; even worse, imagine a dynasty of deranged and deformed executioners- think Texas Chaisaw Massacre with government funding.
People that live in cities no longer have any contact with the gods. There was a pact between the gods, humans, and animals. We could talk to the gods and the trees were the witness' to the pact. When the trees started getting cut down to make cities the pact was broken by the destruction of the witness'. So now only those that live with nature can speak to the gods and/or animals. Some trees grow tall creating darkness that scares men and they are not able to go near them. If they could they could again speak to the gods.