The Arkel clan is an average-sized family that originated in Paddra, and had been there for years. However a small branch broke off nearly fifteen years before Fang and Vanille became l'Cie and moved to Oerba to start anew.
Members of the Arkel clan were characterized by their lighter colored hair and blue eyes, and often stood out amongst the majority of the darker haired citizens in the village. They all carried the typical Paddran accent, which though softer than the rougher accent of Oerba, made them stand out more. However, despite the differences, Oerba was an accepting village, and the Arkels were made warmly welcome. In addition, on their fifteenth birthday, each member of the clan was branded with their clan tattoo somewhere on their body, signifying their adultship—this was an intensely private ceremony to them, and only clan members could watch, so there was not a large amount of info in the Oerban archive about it.
In contrast to the amazing strength of the Yun clan pre-existing in Oerba, the Arkel clan were known for their inhuman speed; as such, the two clans held a sort of rivalry, until the majority of the Yun became l'Cie, leaving behind a single daughter.
The known members of the clan lived quite happily in Oerba, despite the war that was being waged with Cocoon everyday. Most took up hunting, and were often grudgingly teamed up with the Yun, some took up healing, and the final members were diplomats and merchants.
Eventually though, the majority of the Arkel clan too died out; they became l'Cie, some made it to crystal statis, others became Cie'th. In the end, only two members of the clan were surviving by the time Fang and Vanille were made l'Cie; a thirty year old, Oerba Arkel Passiva , and his twenty year old niece, Oerba Arkel Averia.