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NomadGaia

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About NomadGaia

  • Rank
    AME
  • Birthday 03/30/2000

Contact Methods

  • Discord
    Gaia#5196
  • Minecraft Username
    httpblake
  • Skype
    Gaia
  • Website
    https://icouldn'taffordawebsiteifIwantedone

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    The Elves
  • Interests
    I dunno, druidism is pretty cool.

Character Profile

  • Character Name
    Awaiti Sirame, Am'belma aen Divtilrun
  • Character Race
    Wood Elf

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  1. Rockin build!! Can’t wait to see it put to good use!
  2. The old matriarch stands amongst the ashes of her village. The half destroyed homes and charred roads. She had created this place, and now she saw its destruction. Her amber gaze trails over fallen mali, brothers and sisters. Faces that she had known before. She listens to Laetranis, his words falling on her ears. To him, she replies ”Ahernal ito, mal’onn. The green shall return to this land, by my hand, and the hand of many others. You are not forgotten, my children. You will never be forgotten. These halls will sing once again.”
  3. [!] A letter would find its way to the Geographical Society, and to the desk of Tanith, if she had one. It was stamped with the official sigil of the Village of Siramenor. To Tanith Vursur, Scholar and Researcher of the Northern Geographical Society My name is Awaiti Sirame. I was the Matriarch of the Village, not long ago, and its original founder. Now, I am the Chieftess of the Sirame Tribe, and one of few elders of the mali’ame peoples. I write to you know to tell you how much I admire this piece you’ve written, on my people and my culture. You are an excellent scholar, and you clearly did your research. Your writing contains a lilt, a tune pleasant to the ears. I commend you, on your honest depiction of my people. But there were a few mistakes in your writings that I wish to see corrected, if possible. Misconceptions, and whatnot. It’s nothing serious, but I’d love to personally speak with you on the matter, and guide your writings toward a better, fuller understanding of my people, as that is what I understand you are trying to do with this. Please, write back to me when you can. Signed, Awaiti Sirame Ex-Matriarch of the Village of Siramenor Chieftess of the Sirame Seed Oracle of the Wild Faith. ((Feel free to reach me on discord, if you’d like! Here’s my user – gaia#5196 ))
  4. el’Sirame - Seed of the Forestborn The Forest Shepherds, Priests, and Green Dragons of Siramenor The Lore of the Forestborn Haelun Mali’ame. The mother of Wood Elves and Seeds as we know them today. Long ago, when Malin first ruled the Elves under one united Kingdom, Irrin Sirame was born. She bore no noble blood, and lived amongst the common folk. In her earlier days, she served the Kingdom as a sentinel, quickly rising through the ranks as she defeated foe after foe, and claimed victory after victory for the Elven people. Seeing her prowess, the Elvenking himself granted her a place upon the High Council of Malinor, the first of common-blood to ascend to such an honored place at Malin’s table. When the days of the great Elven schism bore down upon Malin’s Kingdom, Irrin Sirame led her followers into the wildlands, deep into the woodlands of the world. These folk would soon be known as the Mali’ame. Under her guidance, they spread over the wildlands, claiming their homes among the forests, the plains, the coasts. The mother of Mali’ame spent many years traveling between these places, appointing chieftains of the tribes that settled throughout the land, creating the first Seed of the Mali’ame. To these Seeds, she passed on her devotion to the Aspect, and ensured that the memory of Malin’s teachings would endure for centuries to come. Despite bringing the Seeds of the Mali’ame into existence, she had no tribe of her own, none to carry on her ideals beyond the Seeds she helped make. Irrin vowed to take no husband, to mother no children. No tribe can claim her bloodline, for there are none in all the land that carry it. But now, centuries later, a simple ‘ame and her family seek to continue her legacy. The Sirame were founded in the year 1760, as a tribe of ‘ame who seek to emulate the mission of Irrin Sirame- to preserve the sacred worship of the Aspects, and to carry on the ways of the Mali’ame through times of peace and war alike, through the prosperous, or grave. Many are priests, or devout- studying the ways of the Mali’ame culture, teaching them to all who may seek to know the ancient ways. Wherever the forest folk roam, they seek to nurture and guide the future generations. Beliefs and Traditions Religion “May the mother give me the grace to spread life and light through this land, and may the father grant me the strength of spirit to protect it...” - An excerpt from the prayers of the mali’ame Following in Irrin Sirame’s footsteps, the Sirame hold a steadfast belief in the Aspects, as was the faith of the elvenking himself, and of the mother of Mali’ame herself. To them, the Mali’ame are inseparable from the ways of the wild faith- their way of life is entirely dependent on the wilds, as it should remain. While the Seed primarily worships the Aspects, their attention is not solely focused upon them. The Seed knows that the Mani, the animal spirits of the wild, hold an important place in the natural world, and will sometimes lend their prayers and offerings to them and respect those that follow them. The Seed holds no patron Mani themselves, as many Seeds do. While traditionally, ‘ame have sought to bring others into the fold through sermon and teaching, the Sirame are the sort to lead through their own example. They believe that only action will truly bring faith to the other Mali’ame, and remain fiercely devout through all, showing the power of faith in this world. Values Tradition sits at the heart of the Sirame, as their purpose is to continue the life’s work of Irrin Sirame. Their values and beliefs line with the old ways of the Mali’ame, and of the forestborn herself. Faith One of Irrin’s most steadfast pursuits in her lifetime was the spreading of the worship of the aspects. The Elvenking himself was devout in their worship, although he was no Druid. As one of his faithful lieutenants, Irrin followed in his steps. When the others turned their back on the worship of the huntsman and the mother, none were more furious than she. She dedicated her life to keeping the faith of her people alive, and so the Sirame adopted this hallowed belief. Unity The most prosperous days of the Elven people have been in the ages of unity, when ‘ker and ‘ame and ‘aheral stood side by side, marching forwards into the coming dawn. Malin knew this, and thus his people knew peace and prosperity like no other. Irrin Sirame believed in this too- in the memory of the united Kingdom. While no King can lead again, the seed of Sirame believes in a united Elven people all the same. Stewardship To always ensure that there is a safe home for the Mali’ame, no matter how the world may look. There must always be a place where the culture of the forestborn may endure, free from the shackles of others. Safe. Free. and Balanced. The Sirame must lead others to this home, if necessary. Fortitude We are long lived. Our eyes take in centuries of life, and with it, centuries of hardship, and loss. As Mali, we must have the resilience to endure all that the arduous road of life has to offer in our long lived days. This does not mean to remain untouched, or unbothered, but to bounce back- to tackle life with renewed vigor once you fall. Connection to the Wild Above all else, the Sirame believe in a deep, spiritual connection to the wilds around them. The forests are a sacred land, and all the life in them as well. They hunt, as their ancestors did, and pay homage to their fallen spirits. To fell a tree is to kill a piece of the forest, and so they live in burrows, intertwined within their roots, surrounded and protected by them. A Canonist prays in a temple, and a member of the Sirame prays deep within the woods, far from the sight of civilization, shaded by the branches of the trees that they so deeply revere. Appearance and Ilmyumier Dressings, Clothes Members of the Seed can come from many various walks of life, though they typically dress in traditional Mali’ame attire, seeking to be role models to other ‘ame. Robes, tunics, and other dressings of greens, reds, and even yellows. They wear no shoes, seeking to be connected to the earth and the world around them. Oftentimes, they will incorporate pieces of nature into their attire as well- flowers, leaves, and others. Ilmyumier The Sirame takes the mark of Taynei’hiylu, the green dragon spirit, using it as their symbol and ilmyumier. The depiction of the green dragon wraps up and down one arm entirely, snaking over the flesh in flight. The ‘ame may adorn themselves over the rest of their body in viridian flame, should they wish to, but it is not required. The mark of Taynei’hiylu mark is meant to represent wisdom and strength, and their connection to the forest. Another mark members may receive however, is the spring mother's wreath, a mark placed upon the palm of an ‘ame, meant to represent the peaceful ways of the tribe, and the harmony that they seek. However, this mark is not exclusive to members of the clan, and may be offered by the clan as a status tattoo to a peacekeeper.
  5. The Triumvirate of the Woodland Realm The people of the mali’ame village of Siramenor look to the Triumvirate to organize and run the day to day of the village- a triad first appointed by Awaiti, of the Sirame Seed in 1760, after the village’s founding. Each member of the Triumvirate wears a sacred emerald ring, wreathed in golden branches- a creation of the Sea Prince of Aegrothond, Fëanor Sylvaeri . This ring serves as their badge of office, and each member can be marked by its presence on their finger. Nealu’ir - The Teacher Sitting at the head of the triumvirate is the Nealu’ir, who acts as the speaker of the faith, and one of the three leaders of the wild priesthood. They serve as a teacher to folk of the mali’ame culture, and keeper of the history of the forestfolk- From the days of Malin’s kingdom until now. They represent the mali’ame people as a whole, speaking on their behalf if necessary. Current Nealu’ir: Awaiti of the Sirame Annil’ir - The Guide To ensure all mali’ame find a place to rest their head within the village, that is the aim of the master of hearth and home. The Annil’ir shall find lodgings for wayward mali’ame who seek to find their place within the woodland realm, as well as inform them of the different sects that exist for them to partake in, and help guide them to the one that may suit them best. Current Annil’ir: Basilton Kriswynn of the Caerme’onn Okar’ir - The Watcher In a village without walls, it is important to keep an eye on the surrounding woodland- in order to ensure the safety of the mali’ame. The Okar’ir and their rangers safeguard these lands, and watch over their people with a vigilant eye. Any intruder that seeks to bring harm to the mali’ame can expect a swift arrow to the heart- from where, he cannot say. Current Okar’ir: Abelas of the Caerme’onn Along with performing their day to day duties, members attend a gathering of the village folk once between every full moon (About two irl weeks), and take input from their kin on matters of policy, and direction.
  6. The Woodland Village of Siramenor “Light and Life - Sul Tayna'ehya” Settlement Guide (Credit to Callum for the Picture) Tucked in the eastern woodlands of Aegrothond, touched by the coast-land of elvenesee, lies the warm hearth of Siramenor. This quaint little Wood Elven village is home to many who respect nature, peace, balance, and the Fae creatures of this world. They host many, but not all of the Irrinite seeds- families of the Wood Elven way. These Mali’ame, many once of the Princedom of Irrinor, seek to rediscover their connection to the forests around them. They hold the forests sacred, and do their utmost to protect the balance, and preserve the woods surrounding them. Above all, they value faith, kinship, and harmony. The people of the village look to the Triumvirate for guidance, a triad consisting of the Nealu’ir, Awaiti Sirame, Okar’ir Abelas Caerme’onn, and Annil’ir Maruthir Basilton Caerme'onn. Each member of this triad is marked with the presence of an emerald and gold ring upon their finger, so that they may be recognized. Guilds and Housing The Green Priesthood - The newly reformed priesthood of the wild faith. The Green Priests are representatives of the Wood Elven way of life- torchbearers of the ancient culture of Irrin Sirame. A green priest serves as spiritual and cultural guides to the Mali’ame people, teaching their kin about all a Wood Elf should know- the history of Ame’, the establishment of seeds, the standing Ilmyumier, folklore, and the worship of the Aspects. They are not druids, not a circle of the order as they once were. While they host druids among their ranks, there is no official structure for the druii of the rite. No path written into the scrolls of the priesthood. If one wishes to become a druid, that is for them to decide, and may approach a druidic priest if they wish. The White Stag Brewery - The White Stag Brewery, which also may be referred to as ‘The Stag’ is the local tavern/brewery in Siramenor. It is owned and regulated by the Caerme’onn seed, many of their drinks having been brewed right there. It is not uncommon for those who manage the brewery to venture out in hopes of selling their finely crafted drinks. Otherwise, it’s a wonderfully peaceful place to sit down and have a drink! For Housing, one should inquire with the Annil’ir, Maruthir Basilton Kriswynn-Caerme’onn (PeachLova#6617) The Irrinite Seeds and Clans Siramenor carries on the Irrinite tradition of seeds, and their chieftains. Though the chieftains themselves have no authority beyond their own Seed, they often come to the Triumvirate, to express the concerns and ideas that their Seed members have. Sirame - This newly formed seed of the Mali’ame seeks to carry on the ancient mission of Irrin Sirame- the mother of all Wood Elves. Their members are faithful priests of Elnarnsae’ame, the Wild Faith, and serve as teachers and guides to their people in matters of spirit and culture. While she had no descendants, the Seed takes after Irrin Sirame’s namesake in hopes of emulating her journey through life- spreading the worship of the Aspects through their kin, ensuring that the culture of the ame’ stays alive, and keeping true to the memory of the Elvenking, Malin. They are currently led by Chieftess Awaiti. (gaia#5196) Caerme’onn - While little is known about the ancient history of the Caerme’onn, their ideals, and what they serve is commonly known, their two patrons being Amaethon, the stag, and Bolormorra, the bear. Their place is to teach other mali, specifically Mali’ame about Wood elven culture, acting akin to a shepherd in the eye of elves. As to those in the Caerme’onn itself, they are often considered survivalists, being taught vehemently how to operate multiple weapons, as well as how to hold oneself out in the wilderness. Above all, to a Caerme’onn, family is the most important, their own kin held before any other. As of recent, the family has become well-known for their brewing capabilities, the family also having a new addition, which was created by Allora Caerme’onn. This new addition, on top of the original portion of the family, is maintained by Abelas Caerme’onn, and Basilton Kriswynn-Caerme’onn. (Lockages#7000 and PeachLova#6617) Taliame’onn - The Taliame'onn are an Elven tribe whose values revolve around beauty, vibrancy, color, and art. They view everything as a canvas awaiting to be decorated, including every inch of their very bodies. They are significantly drawn towards self beauty and are known for their bright makeup, fancy hairstyles and flattering outfits. This tribe calls to all artists and craftsmen of any form. They are also a heavily ritualistic people, often performing acts of worship to the Aspects and Mani with rituals that contain primal instruments, sensual dancing, art, candles, incense, stones, flowers and trinkets. To join, contact Skylar or Amaryllis Taliame’onn. (pathetic aesthetic#1931 and Sora#7125) While these are the major Irrinite seeds, there are many other smaller families and clans for one to join, including the Chirran, the Sirona, and the Line of Ungarnos. One does not need to be a part of these seeds in order to make their way in this village. Religion and Culture The primary culture of the village of Siramenor is the culture of the Elame’uell - the children of the everlasting forest. These Mali’ame, also known as the fair folk, are steadfast followers of the Elnarnsae’ame- the Wild Faith of the Aspects. They value a deep, sacred connection with the forests and trees, praying in small, quiet groves where they bury their dead amongst the roots. The full Moon holds a special place in their culture, as it is a time when this world is most connected to the fae realm- the plane of the Aspects. They fancy themselves kindred of mali and fae alike. These people are semi-nomadic, going out into the world on pilgrimages to other cities to create these sacred groves, for Mali’ame around the world to pray in. They host traveling festivals, celebrating life and light in the lands they travel to. They perform blessings, prayers, and rites of the Elnarnsae’ame for any who desire it. However, all those living in the village are united by the dream for a peaceful, just, free, and strong Elvenesse, a dream that the folk of Aegrothond share with them.
  7. THE GREEN PRIESTHOOD The Rite of the Elnarnsae’ame “O’ Haelun’Lle, Kae’leh tal’hiylun nae illere, Iyal il’nae’leh aheral iheiuhii kae illereh, Kaeleh’ehya hiylun fiyem bilokera tilrunen’onn myumin y’kae’leh.” The Prayer of New Beginning Purpose “The way of thousands of Mali’ame now lives on in you. You show the world who we are.” The Green Priests serve as representatives of the ancient Mali’ame culture that stems from Irrin Sirame, the mother of all Wood elves. They are spiritual and cultural teachers, torchbearers of the traditions and wisdom of the tribes that came before. These semi nomadic priests perform ceremonies, and blessings on their pilgrimages out into the world, and for their people. Origin For as long as the memories of the Wood elven race span, the priests of the balance have been there at the center of their people, a guiding hand in the preservation of the Mali’ame way, traditions, and culture. In ancient times, the Irrinite Tribes lived as nomads in the deep woods, traveling with their tribes as they worshiped the Aspects, and the pantheon of mani. In order to thrive within the Woodland realm, these tribes often traversed miles and miles to seek the wisdom and guidance of the first druids in their groves. They would come to hold the druids as great teachers, and they viewed them with a great deal of veneration and respect. From them, the Mali’ame people learned how to live in complete harmony with the forests, truly living as one with the balance. Soon, a great war devastated the woodland tribes, who were forced to agglomerate back into cities. Living amongst the folk of cities, their sacred traditions and practices soon fell from memory, eroding like the bank of a stream. The Mali’ame had forgotten how to live within the balance. After many long years of conflict within the realm of Anthos, the Wood Elves of Laurelin retreated to the woodland, finally beginning the path to regaining their ancient roots. Old Seeds emerged from their centuries-long isolation in the forest as they saw their city-kin finally rekindle their true path. For nearly three of the last centuries of recorded history, the Priesthood of Naelurir had guided the Wood Elven people in matters spiritual. It has served through the days of Laureh’lin, Linandria, Caras Eldar, and Irrinor. However, in the waning days of Irrinor, the order nearly found its end. Now, a new generation of Mali’ame takes on the mantle as priests of the balance. Just like the ancient druii who once were the central guides of the ancient Seeds, and their fathers who served as priests within the Naelurir, this new order will serve as a beacon for their people. The rebirth of our connection to the forest. Culture The Order of the Green Priests considers itself naturally duty bound to aid the mother circle of druii in anything pertaining to their duty to the balance and the Aspects. They do not consider themselves a circle of druids, but rather as representatives of the Wood elven way of life. While they host druids among their ranks, there is no official structure for the druii of the rite. No path written into the scrolls of the new priesthood. If one wishes to become a druid, that is for them to decide, and may approach a druidic priest if they wish, or take to the mother grove in search of a teacher. The training of a priest of the green is an arduous path, marked by many hours of study, and grueling training to match. Acolytes of the priesthood must become adept warriors, they must learn to hunt, war and heal the most gruesome of wounds. They are made to endure pain and suffering to gauge their dedication to the path and to the Aspects. In addition, they must learn the basics of the healing arts, using herbalism and mundane medicine to tend to the wounds of their kin, and stave off death. Through tasks similar to the dedicancies of druids of the mother circle, they learn these skills, and gather the knowledge they need to guide their kin in the ancient ways. A Green Priest is expected to embody all the traits of an ideal Wood elf- and one who lives in harmony with the balance: Strength To be able to fight like one of Cernunnos’ beasts. To be a fierce warrior able to draw blood from any opponent made of flesh. Knowledge To know all traditions, rituals and teachings that make the Wood elves what they are. To have extensive knowledge of the Aspects and what they stand for, and to follow their way above all else. To revere Irrin, and Malin and keep to their teachings. Self Control To always have a leash on your own emotions. To be cool, sensible and calm. To refrain from wanton giving of offense and to make decisions on faith, pragmatism and experience, not blind emotion. Leadership To find joy in teaching and guiding others onto the Aspects path. To aspire to be a role model, someone to look up to and follow. To be outgoing, firm when needed, understanding when required, clear and easy to comprehend. Loyalty To be undyingly devout to your own people and to the path of the forest. To never bend or sway from your convictions to keep both alive and thriving, to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the well being of either if necessary. Tasks & Trials Trial of Growth At the beginning of their dedicancy, an acolyte must begin a garden, or small grotto. Within this garden, they must plant a medical herb, a vegetable, a fruit, an edible herb, and a tree. They may plant more if they wish, and it is encouraged that they do more than the minimum. This garden must be kept alive through their trials. At the end of their trials, they must craft a staff from parts of their tree. Trial of Healing Just as a priest must carry the strength of the father, they must also possess the healing grace of the mother. After studying the herbs of this world, and their healing properties, an acolyte must tend to the wounds of another using the properties of plants found within the wilds. Trial of the Hunt An acolyte of the priesthood must be able to defend their faith, and the wilds if it should come to it. Thus, they must show proficiency with a weapon of some sort, be it a bow, axe, sword, spear, or other weapon. To pass this trial, an acolyte must show their prowess in a hunt, or in single combat against another priest. Trial of the Aspects A trial that may be completed at any time during an acolyte’s path. An acolyte must bring two offerings- one to the tree of Cernunnos, and another to the tree of Cerridwen, and explain all they know of the Aspects to their overseeing priest. When they are finished, they must properly offer what they’ve brought, reciting the proper prayer. Trial of the Mani A trial that may be completed at any time during an acolyte’s path. An acolyte must bring an offering to any shrine of the mani, and explain all they know of the mani to their overseeing priest. When they are finished, they must properly offer what they’ve brought, reciting the proper prayer to the mani in question. It is important that an Acolyte demonstrates understanding of the mani as a whole, in addition to the mani they’ve made an offering to. Trial of the River One of the final tasks in the lineup- a test of strength, endurance, and control. An acolyte must carry a heavy stone to a small, but rushing river. In order to succeed in this task, the acolyte must carry the stone through the river- directly to the other side. They may take as many tries as they need, and may practice as much as they need beforehand. If a teacher has any other manner in which they can test their acolyte’s endurance, they may do so instead. IE. Climbing a mountain carrying rocks, and other such tasks. The Trial of Reflection The final trial in the way of becoming the priest. Also called “facing the mirror”, an acolyte is blindfolded, and brought deep into the woods. They are given herbs that induce visions, and are told to make their way home, unblindfolded. While in the woods, they will face visions and beasts alike, and use their skills to make it home. (OOC NOTE: For this one, make them write a short story about their character’s experience, like a forum post or a google doc, as making them emote at nothing while they’re on their own in a forest is boring.) Oathed Priests and Acolytes The current members of the priesthood, these green priests actively perform their duties mainly in and around the village of Siramenor, but also travel throughout the world, spreading the word of the Aspects through their deeds. Priests who count themselves as druids are additionally marked with their totem. Archpriests Sister Orison - Awaiti, of Sirame Brother Rainbow – Skylar, of Taliame’onn Brother Moonlight – Eryn, of Sirame Green Priests Artanis, of Caerme’onn Abelas, of Caerme’onn Sister Reindeer - Nu’Mesia, of Ikargen Sister Autumn – Nivndil, of Asimulum Acolytes Laetranis, of Tahorran Syllia, of Arvellon Becclain, of Arvellon Mordün, of Sirame Renae, of Arvellon Brother Blackthorn – Anaris, of Caerme’onn Ael, of Caerme’onn Nylla, of Tahorran
  8. [!] The scroll was sent out to the libraries of Irrinor and Talus, as well as some specific druii. A collection of writings from Sister Orison on the Emerald Way On the Nature of the Tayna Tayna. The soul of life. It is the living energy that contains all. I speak of the balance, of the living, breathing, growing, changing soul, one alive just as you are. You are part of the tayna- connected and one with every living thing on this world. With every moment, ripples and changes cascade outwards as time goes on. Just as any living being, it can be harmed just as you can. But it also can heal, and grow just as you. One can hear these ripples, these... cadences if one tunes themselves into the world around them. The tayna sings these changes constantly, and with a trained ear, one can sense and notice this song. To do this, a disciple must be sensitive to all of the living beings around them, to each and every one, no matter how insignificant they may seem on the surface. Once you do this, you will hear the song of the tayna, and you will know its will. By being in tune with the balance, you will be guided. It will influence your feelings, your instincts, and it will bring you where you are needed most. Follow your instincts, and your feelings, and the balance will show you its will. It will become your own. And now a question we face, a question answered in different ways by the creeds. Are the Aspects like water, formless spirits of nature? Or beings such as you and I, living, breathing, talking? The answer is not so simple, I think. I believe them to be both. They exist within the balance, and I know that the balance is but one living and growing energy within the world. It holds but one soul, in which is held every life as we know it. It makes its presence solid through its various forms. A blade of grass, a boar, a tree, and even the mani themselves. And within this soul, I believe the Aspects dwell as well. Their spirit formless as ours all are, but omnipresent as the tayna. But still, beings that live and breath just as you and I. Must the two be mutually exclusive when dealing with forces as universal and powerful as the tayna and the Aspects? To Strengthen the Three Your body is your tool for your will, and the tayna’s. Your instrument with which to tune the world. It is both your sword and shield that you must use to defend yourself and the balance that we hold so dearly. It is the arrow that reaches its target, and the home that protects you from the biting winter rains. What use is a broken tool? Would you fight with a blunt blade, or a shattered shield? Would you seek shelter inside of a rundown shack? I would think not. As one would sharpen their blade, so too must we sharpen ourselves. And just as one would survey a fortress’ walls, we can leave no part of ourselves unable to withstand the coming battles. This process does not come without pain. To build yourself up in such a way is to undertake great suffering. A necessary suffering to build a fortress from crude beings such as we. This hardiness sits at the core of the Emerald Way. Endurance through all things. In order to become as emerald, the mind, body, and spirit must be trained and hardened to withstand all that a disciple of the Aspects may come across. To become a guardian of the Emerald Way, one must undergo this rigorous conditioning, that they may uphold the balance in the face of the countless threats this world offers the balance. Mind - To be sharp and alert. Aware of the world around you, and of the world within you. To remain calm when confronted with great tragedy and terrible loss. To stand unflinching against unimaginable horrors. Do not let adversity shake you, even when faced with overwhelming odds. Find the calm which keeps your serenity through the darkest of times. A calm, steady mind brings strength, and through strength you will endure. This is what it means to follow the Emerald Way. Body - Let not the frost bite, nor the flame burn. Let not the blade sting, nor the arrow pierce. Make your skin as an ironwood shield, your breath deep and cavernous! Know thy body, and wield it as you would a quill. From now forward, you pen a letter to those above with your life. Spirit - Live in tune with the tayna- the living energy that runs through the veins of the world, and within the veins of every creature that walks it. The energy that both contains us, and that we contain within. For those that live at one with the tayna will be able to bring the Eternal Forest to the earth. Open your eyes, and look within the balance to show you the path ahead. Trust in the will of the tayna, and allow it to guide your actions within the world. To Be in Tune with the Tayna Bring yourself to the present moment. The song does not exist within the past, nor the future. Do not allow your mind to bring you to these places. Do not dwell on the events of the past, nor on what has yet to come. Be mindful of them, but do not allow them to tear you from the present. Do not allow your worries, or your shame to distract you. Focus. It will determine where you are. If you live within the past, then within the past you shall live. If you seek to reach into the future, the moment you are in will slip by without notice. Be now. Keep your serenity. A calm mind brings strength, and through strength you will endure. When you are in tune with the tayna, you will become one with it. It will make its will known to you, deep in your heart. When you are in tune with the tayna, your feelings will guide you towards its will. You will be able to sense its cadences, its ripples. You will be able to read them as one reads a book. Trust in your feelings and in your instincts when you are at peace. It may be the will of the balance making itself known to you. To Fight for Harmony Cities of stone are great wounds upon the earth. Great wounds within the tayna- within the Balance. Picture this place, the bustling roads full of people. Picture the great towers of cut stone that threaten to pierce the sky. Now picture a ruin. A fallen fortress within your mind’s eye. It is overgrown, reclaimed by the life around it. Between the stones in the walls, life stretches between, breaking even the tallest of walls into piles of rubble. Water floods once busy causeways, washing away even the memories of the past into the rivers and into the oceans. This is the power of the tayna when it is allowed to heal. Life reclaims all in due time. These stone palaces can know no permanence when left at peace. When the bustling roads become barren, and the constant fight against the balance ends, the tayna reclaims. As adherents of the tayna, our fight must be to bring this peace to fruition- to end the constant fight against nature, that these wounds may heal on their own. By this, I do not mean to fight against those within cities. I do not intend to end the city as we know it. No, our path lies in teaching harmony to those within cities and stone. Look to Irrinor. Look to Talus, though it is not a city of its own- many people live within its borders. These places are examples of how we may live in harmony and peace with nature. See how the streets themselves are bountiful with life, and the places in which they live provide bounty of their own. In return, they provide protection for the land upon which they rest. The tayna need not fear wounds within their bounds. They work in tandem for mutual benefit. Bring this harmony to the world, and fight against those that would seek to upset it. Fight against those that would have discord and chaos.
  9. Personally, I dislike the layout of the map pretty heavily- though a lot of the builds became a bit of a saving grace at least for me. It’s layout as a giant circle kinda weirded me out, and it feels a bit unnatural as a continent.
  10. NomadGaia

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    Helena was named after the city of her birth after it was established in 1705. Her parents- horse coursers that lived outside the city- raised her alongside her older brother Thomas Browne, her elder by a few years. In their youth, the two were very competitive, always racing around, holding their own little contests with each other. Despite being younger, Helena kept up. Kept at it. Over time, the two became very close. Her father, wanting to keep his family strong, decided to start teaching the family business to Helena and Thomas. They were taught a great deal of horse care, and learned some about the business as well. Either way, Helena was raised in a pretty similar way to her brother. With a firm hand, and good sense to do work in. After many years of working at her father’s, she became married to another man in the town, Andrew Browne. This man, a few years her senior, came to her father’s homestead to live with her, and work as an apprentice to her father. It wasn’t long before Helena was running the place with Andrew, her father having grown too old to keep doing the job. The two shared the work, helped each other out. Mutual respect. And like this, they continued for some time. Happy and hardworking. Proud of the life they’d shaped together. Not all was well for long, however. In the night, the homestead was robbed by bandits, and burned to the ground- a punishment for one of her father’s old debts, though she would never know that. Only she was able to escape, unlike her family. She roams, homeless, angry at the men that took her old life away from her.
  11. In the quiet hours of the night, a small, robed figure slowly comes to a halt in front of the statues of Cerridwen and Cernnunos within the Sparrow Grove. She slowly kneels, laying a book on the steps, wrapped in leaves and tied together with handmade rope. Quietly she whispers a prayer, departing. The book has been left behind, for the priesthood. The Emerald Way The Way of Will, The Emerald Path Perfection is unattainable, But it is no excuse not to strive for it, This henceforth is my quest, My ideal, my call. I will try when my arms grow too weary, And face the unbeatable foe. I will bear with unbearable sorrow, And I will right the unrightable wrong, What is sickness to the body of Emerald? What matters pain? For each time I fall, I shall rise again, And woe be unto the wicked! For I am Emerald I will endure all things, and be vigilant in my stand, From this day until the end of my days. The Oath of Emerald, scribed by the Oracle Hurricane The Emerald Way holds no place amongst the annals of history. I, it’s creator, am no ancient mali of yore. Yet the way has taken root within our culture, and it grows now. It began with the pilgrimage of the Oracle Awaiti Aureon, who took to the wilds in search of a solution to bring together the Naelurir of Caras Eldar once again. Over her time in the wilds, she scribed the beginnings of the philosophy, and laid down the framework for the creeds of the wild faith. The Emerald Way was born then as the first creed of the wild faith. From the birth of the first creed, others were motivated to kindle the beginnings of their own creeds. What followed was a renaissance of philosophy within the wild faith, and the birth of the Ichorian Creed, and the Sage Way. Their own separate and unique philosophies. In the darkest reaches of the forests, the Ichorians dwelled, seeking to cultivate raw strength to match the power of the primal wilds. The sages took to their own, focusing on the balance within, ignoring the material need. But those that followed the Emerald Way took a different path. After the exodus of the Ithelanen and the Torena seeds to the Gladewynn Company, the Oracle left her people, leaving the philosophy in the hands of her students.Within the budding nation, her students kept to the ways. To endure, to fight for what is right and just, and to revere the aspects in all things. Core Values Indomitable Will To be understanding, yet absolute. To not bow, or bend, or break. For the Emeraldians know that true strength does not come from the body, but from the will. Great Courage Not to be without fear. But to recognize that there is something more important than fear, something that outshines fear. From this, will is born. Emotional Resilience To stand strong despite unspeakable horror. Despite loss and anger. To be able to think with a clear mind, while the world crashes down around you. Foresight “The Storm Rises” To look ahead, and prepare for the worst. The key is to look forward without becoming fearful or paranoid of what has not yet come. I pray caution. “And Emerald shall rise to meet it.” Philosophy of the Emerald Way The Emerald Way can be summed up in its axiom “To will change upon the self is to change the world. Only through will can all balance be attained” This axiom rests upon several truths. The self is malleable. Changeable. Nothing is untouchable by great change. The world can be changed by the effort of the self. Our actions cause change. Balance is gained through change. Change is obtained through will. Will is forged by choice. As followers of the Emerald Way, we use these truths as a guide for our lives. Cerridwen The Mother. Lady of Life. Bearer of all fruits. Cerridwen. She holds many names, and titles in our faith. She is the mother of life, the shaper of all that is living. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman, carrying a staff. She created all that is living, each and every tree and frog and tiger. It is to her that we owe our fruitful harvests, and it is to her that we thank for the shade of the great elder trees. We shape her trees into homes, that we may be sheltered from the storm. Think of life itself as water. And think of every creature and plant as clay vases. Cerridwen created all of the vases, and filled them with this water of life. In the Emerald Way, we view her as the great unifier. We are all united by these waters of life, and each and every descendant carries this water of life inside of them. Cernunnos The Father. The Horned Lord. Strength. Cernunnos. He holds many names, and many titles in our faith. He is the lord of the hunt, and the father of strength. He is often depicted as a horned man, carrying a bow, or a spear. It is to him that we owe our bountiful hunts, and it is to him that we are granted our strength. We enjoy full bellies, and great feasts because of him. But despite this, many view him as lord over death as well. After all, he chooses what lives and dies by granting strength and taking it. But the Emerald Way views him in a different light. He is instead, the lord of change. Instead of drying the oceans, he is the tide, ever changing the world around him. And he is the current, ever shifting life around. In the Emerald Way, there is no death. There is only life. A corpse feeds the grasses, and enriches that life. Suddenly, more grass arises. We are fed, and we give birth to our sons and daughters. Life never leaves this world. It only shifts from form to form. Think back to the vases and waters in Cerridwen’s passage. Instead of breaking the vases, Cernunnos merely pours water from vase to vase, and shapes new ones. There is great peace in this. I take heart knowing that I will live on this world even when the last elf has fallen. I. Morality as Inner Balance On yesterday's eve, I witnessed a sight most common, though for some unknown reason, it struck me strange. An elk was torn into by a beast, and ripped into, to eat. A common occurrence, yes, this is known. Tis’ the way of nature, the beasts eat the common gazelle, and so on. The predator eats the prey, and the prey feeds on what it can. There is no evil in it, the predator must eat as much as the prey, and the prey must eat what it can, and there is only survival in it. The predator feels naught for devouring its prey, nor does the prey when it grazes upon the grasses, despite life being taken from the world. Such is the unseen way of all natural life. Life passes on and on and through each moving piece of it. There is no evil or good in the natural balance, only what is and what survives. Such also is the way of druidism, our gifts are given without thought of good and evil, but with only this delicate balance of the cycle of life in mind. Druids are expected to be as neutral as nature in this sense, are we not? It is the duty of druids to correct the balance, wheresoever it may be corrupted, without heed for borders. It is our duty to correct it, we must. We have been charged by the aspects above to do our sacred duties, and the order has decided we must do it this way, completely neutrally. But this charge ignores a most fundamental principle of our life as descendants, of how we have grown and developed to live with morality, to have the sense of good and evil, and all in between. It is what makes us what we are, it is what gives us our humanity, and this makes us truly and beautifully unique. We are not a part of this balance the aspects have created for us, but we surely live with it. Though to attempt to live without morality, to attempt to live neutrally and strive to think as the aspects do, without heed of what is good and evil, this is unnatural of our own being. It makes us only as simple as the beasts and prey that are in the balance we seek so desperately to protect. We cannot, and we should not deny what we are, how we think, but we must find a balance of our own, and look over the balance of nature with a sense of right and wrong. To live along with both the balance and the descendants, separately, yet together. In this, we are allowed to exercise our sense of right and wrong and do our duty to protect the balance with great strength. It is not the nature of men to keep out of everything, we, as Malin's kin, must be involved in the survival of our people, and our culture, for surely the theatre of the world seeks to stamp us out yet. One would say it distracts us from our duty, to be a part of a nation. This is not the case, nay. I might even say it better allows us to perform our duties. While we cannot live as neutral, we are able to do our best to spread what is good, and what is just. It is of the utmost importance that druids maintain strong ties to the world they live in and protect, they cannot fly above it all. Neutrality is a disease that leaves men weak, and staggeringly alone, as many beasts are. Fellow priests of the balance, I say to you. Do not catch the disease of neutrality. Hone your sense of right and wrong, fight always for the path of good for you and your people. Do not become unnatural men, stripped of all sense of what is good or evil in the world. In morality, we find our strength together. Apathy is a fate worse than death, for even a rotting corpse feeds new life. II. Will Within Balance We are inherently separate from the thing we protect so dearly, as druii. The balance consists of life around us, the seen and hidden movements of nature ever moving in a circle around us. The birds and trees die out, but there is ever a forest standing, no? Songbirds fill the air, do they not? We are ever surrounded by life, yet death lurks and strikes here and there. No matter how oft or how heavy death’s strikes may be, life ever moves on. Many druii take our duty to protect the balance as a sign that the world is weak. It is the opposite indeed, for the balance of the world knows a will far greater than our own. Life will find a way, no matter how damaged it may be. We druii exist only as a means of preserving the balance’s state, and correcting it where we find imbalance. Yet as I say, we are inherently separate from the balance of the world. Instead, we hold a force of our own within, potentially even equal to this primordial balance of the world. The balance of the self. The Emerald way is, at its core, the way of two balances. One cannot neglect this balance of the self when protecting the balance of the world, for it is far more fragile, and far weaker. This balance, in a way, is even more important than that which the druii are sworn to protect. With this separation from the balance of the world, the circle of life is entirely indifferent to us, to our very being. We have little sway over it, though many druids seem to rely on it for their source of strength. They use their gifts frivolously, and have grown dangerously dependant on them. They fail to realize that to rely on their gifts to do protect is dangerous, and leaves men weak. No man or woman can hope to fully control this primordial force, and they are left with atrophied bodies, defenseless without their gifts. They fail to realize that true strength comes from within, and that in order to change the balance, and protect it, we must cultivate our own will to match the strength of the world’s will. While faith is important, true strength is drawn from our own volition; The power to use your will, which is equally important as obtaining power itself. Never live for the sake of another, or an ideology. Live for yourself, and no other. With that, we empower ourselves to carry out the will of the aspects, to protect the balance. III. The Nature of Will A man can change everything if he is willing to sacrifice for it. The greatest changes require the strongest wills, And we must give much for the salvation of this world. In the beginning, we have nothing. Our privilege is the dirt. In such darkness, our will guides us to light Perspective pierces the veil of dark. Our birthright is our failings, and the pain we suffer. When darkness comes, we can rely on no other to face it for us. Only through our willpower can balance be attained. IV. Beings of the Present Self The balance does not, nor can it be made to be still for long. All things move until they pass on, and even then their energies move ever forward into other forms, other vessels that will move on and on. And from movement, movement is born, ever arching outward. You, druii, are no exception to this commotion. We constantly expend our energies in creating islands of quiet within our lives, trying to still the waves that march ever onward, yet it cannot last. Time encroaches, it consumes all things. Fling yourself to the waves of life, druii, engage in the here and now, and you will find that the key to living is your own will. The will to see life for its flaws, and the will to better it, to create your own waves. One cannot focus on the waves that have long since passed, the echoes of feelings you once felt. The past does hold merit in giving us its teachings, but from there, move on. It holds nothing for you. Let the past die, and use what you have learned to shape your present. With the lessons of the past, we can focus on dealing with what is here and now, with the waves that crash over us. Use what you have learned to enact your will, and shape the waves around you. And perhaps prevent a tidal wave from overwhelming you in the future by dispersing it before it happens. By changing your destiny. There is no lasting stillness. It is impossible. Accept this. Know it in your bones. Watch the world happening around you, and through your will, forge your own echoes, your own cadence in this world. Live in the moment, and your will can shape the future. V. The Balance of the Self My words earlier in these pages were far too simple, I’m afraid, for they leave out a great deal in seeking to express the point, but they failed to truly explain my deeper meaning. Earlier, I stated that the balance within consists of the will to act on the sense of good and evil. Though I do not refute that, I’m afraid that the truer meaning of the inner balance is lost on such words. Good and evil are a point of view, different to each person. I have found better words to explain such a dichotomy. Instead of viewing the inner balance as the senses of good and evil, replace such words with selfishness and selflessness. To act for the self, and to act for others. This opens the situations to all by providing a common meaning. You cannot have one without the other in life. Pure selfishness only harms others, and amassing your own power can lead you to enact your desires as opposed to working toward the balance. Instead, one must use the powers gained from selfishness to act selflessly in life. To sacrifice for the good of others, and of the balance. But beware, lliran. Pure selflessness is just as destructive as pure selfishness. Benevolence for the sake of benevolence leaves you in a worse position than when you started, it weakens you and sacrifices your own strength to help. In addition, it robs others of their struggles, their own opportunities to learn and gain their own strength. Never sacrifice your own strength to rob another of their struggles. As I said before. Recognize the value in letting people fight their own battles, and they will be all the stronger for it. Selfishness for the sake of selflessness… this is how we can protect the balance. By enacting our own will through this, we have the strength to alter the balance and preserve it. This inner balance is not inherent to druids, or even the balance that they protect. It is inherent to the descendants, this ability to act in selfishness and selflessness. It is where inner strength is drawn, the will to enact change upon the world. Such a principle applies to all aspects of life, and so it is important that druids hone their will to act on this sense. A druid who has mastered their ability to act on this sense will go far. A soldier who has mastered it will find his enemies falling before him. A farmer who has mastered it will know only bountiful harvests. It applies to all paths through life. If we cannot find the strength to act on this and hold balance in our sense of selfishness and selflessness, how then can we hope to protect the primordial balance of the world? We cannot. VI. The Absence of Understanding The Lord and Lady have blessed you with eyes to see and ears to hear, and a whole world to experience. Yet we remain blind and deaf to most of it. I remain blind, despite teachings that were meant to open my eyes and help me see the world for what it was. We consider it a great tragedy when one falls to darkness, when they stray away from the teachings of the order, and when they fall into hands that turn them to violence and disparity. Many of our students are failing, falling to darkness in their belief continuously. Those that remain follow blindly to their teachers, like sheep, unable to think past the surface of druidism. Most haven't thought yet to dive in. We are missing something within our teachings. Missing a piece that keeps the ambitious prodigies away from darkness, and a piece that allows others to break their chains and to be free from the slavery of secular thought. The teachings of our order, I find, ignore the dark of the world. They preach only the light, and are blind for it. I have sought the contrast myself, the dark to compliment the light, not to oppose it. I will not tell what I have learned here, only that the current teachings do not hold all of the answers you need. By learning what they have not taught me, I have seen what makes us weak. If you are to truly understand, then you too must seek this contrast, not adherence to this single ideal. To believe in an ideal is to be willing to betray it, to look where it may forbid you to go. It is a lesson of strength. If you do believe in an ideology, then find its opposite, so that you may reinforce it by correcting its flaws. Become what strengthens an ideology, not a slave to it by following it dogmatically. Without this contrast, we are but marionettes, tangled in the strings of weaknesses in our ideologies. VII. The Value of Struggle and Self Reliance Pure benevolence weakens the self, and those to whom it is cast upon. Do not roam the world, dispensing pity and self sacrifice unto others. By giving others the chance to fight their own struggles, internally and externally, we give them the chance to cultivate their own will. Do not be a thief in the night, stealing strength from others where you would mask it with benevolence. If you truly wish to help another, recognize the value in letting them cultivate their strength and will through their struggles. When they triumph, their victory will be far greater than it would be if you would help them. Through your own struggles, cultivate this inner will, and you will find the path to balance. Create a strict reliance on yourself, rather than your connection to the balance, to the thing you protect. Too many druids of our age focus on honing their gifts to better serve the lord and lady above on this earth. I ask you, strip them of their gifts, and what do they become? Only empty shells, incapable of enacting their duty to the balance without the gifts of the aspects. And that is no true disciple of the balance. Without will, we are nothing. This brings us to a fundamental question: If a druid loses her powers, is she still a druid? The way you would answer would depend on your view. If you say no, you believe inherently that only those with the gifts can make a difference in this world, and you are wrong. The devout, druii without gifts, are simply those with greater will. With the proper will, everything can be changed, such is the nature of will itself. Druidism is something greater than simply gifts. Those that would choose death over a life without their gifts are those whose wills are weak, and were unworthy of them in the first place. VIII. The Nature of Life and Death The Mother above creates and cares for life throughout the world, and spreads it over the land. Helps it grow, nurtures it. Heals it. Guides it. The energy of life exists through all living things. Tt surrounds us, penetrates us. It binds the world together, and unifies it all. It is fluid, like the water that carries it. This is known. Death does not exist. This life created by the mother never leaves this world, it merely passes from vessel to vessel. The fallen elk feeds the grasses, and the prey feeds the predator. On and on the cycle moves, life being poured from vase to vase. It holds many different shapes and forms, but at its core, all forms are simply life. We are no exception to this. It is because of this that the role of the father is oft misunderstood, however. He is not death, nor is he the hunt. His name is strength, not for his ability to take life, or hold mastery over it. But for his power to move the energies of life from one vessel to the next. It is from his will that the balance exists. It is from his own will that life moves from vessel to vessel, never stagnating, never finding stillness. It is due to this change that life is truly precious, and each form just as valuable as the last. So where do we lay among all of these vessels? Where does our power come from? We cannot define ourselves by our ability to take life, to control it even or possess it. To do so is to have nothing, truly. Death does not exist, and to define yourself by your ability to usher it, your strength is as fleeting as grains of sand in the wind. But if we define ourselves by our ability to will great change in the world, to move and change the vessels of life as Cernunnos does? That is true strength, lliran. This is what the focus of druii should be. Cultivating the will to usher change. IX. Facing Conflict I speak much against a neutral stance, and this much holds true. One should always act when they have the opportunity to, and when there is greater suffering in the world. But I have not always been clear on what it is to act on, or how one should carry themselves. In my life, I have been through many struggles of my own, and this is the view I have learned thus far, and it is the view I shall give unto the Emerald Way, that others may find a better way to approach their problems. Live your life, and act with great respect and wisdom, for you must be a beacon of change for the world, a fount of knowledge and veneration. Without strong principles to guide us through our own morality, what then can we enact our will from? A principled life, one with a strong basis for which we act is the only life worth living. But what is principle without the perspective to see the world around you as it is? Through rigorous meditation we gain clearer perspective, and can find the solution to any problem. When on your journey through life, take one step at a time, look up from your feet and observe the living world around you. Speak to all you may meet and soak in all the details you can, learn what comes to you. Life is to be savoured, taken slowly. Rashness is the path toward greater suffering. Will. Principle. Perspective. These are three values that the Emerald Way promotes. Through these values, act with a tempered and clear mind, and seek always to see more than what you are shown. From these values, we find the strength to change anything in this world. Even destiny. X. The Place of Gifts and Tools I have said before, the druids rely on the gifts far too much. It overtakes their being, and in some cases, druids cannot function in day to day life without the use of their gifts. It becomes a crutch, one that would leave a druid crippled without it. Such deep rooted dependency is something to be avoided, something to be shut down and moved away from. And even in our divine mission, many rely entirely on this aspect-given gift to do our work. Without them, I don’t doubt that many would fail in their mission, that they would cease to protect the balance without their precious gifts. And I sense an even more sinister plot. That many druids are here only for the power that they may receive from the gifts. Devotion is a scarce thing to see these days, true devotion to the lord and lady above. Many druids fall, and when they lose their gifts, they simply move onto something else that may give them the power they seek to enact their wills. Give many of the druids of the order only silence, and you will truly see who follows the aspects. But you may see this as me having a negative view of the gifts, which cannot be further from the truth. I have only a negative view of druids that rely on such gifts, that depend on them, sometimes to the extent of needing them to live. Such reliance is weakness, and weakens the order as a whole. However, the gifts themselves are not to blame. We have many tools at our disposal to aid us in our mission of preserving the balance of life. Our mind, our physical strength, our charisma, our words, and yes, our gifts. The gifts are but one singular tool with many uses, just like the other tools. You do not need the gifts in order to protect the balance, just like you do not need the gifts in order to be a druid. To believe that one must have the gifts in order to carry out our divine mission is vanity, don’t you see it? I would rather a devout person without gifts that protects the balance to the best of their ability rather than a druid who uses their gifts for personal gain, or one that seeks personal power. The Order should enforce teachings of these inherent tools that we already possess, and their uses in protecting the balance, rather than preparing them to rely on their gifts. Teaching students that only their new power can preserve the balance is a dangerous and self destructive way of thinking, and is the reason behind many of the greatest failings of our order. There is a silent lust for power within our teachings, I think, and we are utterly blind to it. Always, the next step in learning is to master a new gift. At least, this is what I have seen in the world. There is a great flaw in this method. XI. Amongst the Shadows, the Hunter Preys “When the darkness comes, we can rely on no other to face it.” A hard truth that rings out in the Nature of Will. We are alone in this world, and we can rely on no other, be it a nation, or a friend, to protect us from the evils that seek to cause imbalance in ourselves and in the world around us. Sure, others can assist you in your journey to find balance, but ultimately, we are on our own on this path. This includes when the walls of our world come crashing down around us, and when others draw blades in offense. Remember this lesson though, amongst the shadows the hunter preys. Stick to the shadows and become the hunter, not the hunted any longer. The wild hunter works alone, or perhaps in a smaller group, staying away until the moment is right to strike. Be the wild hunter, and stick to the shadows like paste, be they physical shadows or metaphorical. A hunter can navigate through the webs that society weaves just as well as the darkest depths of the forests. Watch always. Strike without warning. Wait for the opportune moment to strike. And train with but a close teacher watching, no others. Do not show others your strength until the last possible moment. Hold your strengths, your tools close to your chest, and they become all the more powerful. When traipsing through society’s webs, blend in. Do not draw attention to yourself. To walk the path of a druid is to live in service to the two balances. Fight for both of them, and little else. Use violence for necessity and defense, never for indulgence or boasting. Survival is key. Balance is key. XII. The Power of Identity In all things, know who you are. Your identity as a person is imperative to the two balances. Control your identity. Form it. Shape it. Let no other have reign over it. For when your identity is controlled, you are controlled, and your ability to serve the balance diminishes. Your name is your own, and no other’s. In terms of your tools, it is among your strongest. Forge a new identity if you must, in order to break the chains placed upon you by others. Take no titles but those you forge for yourself. Self control is the path to true will. XIII. The Importance of Endurance as Mali As mali, our people are fragile. We are few in number, but long lived. Much can happen within our lives, and we must be prepared to face everything. Be it death, war, famine, or genocide. Be it the murders that haunt us, or the misdeeds and sins of the many. Be it our own failures. We must endure through all things. We must stand at the highest peaks, until the wind tears the mountain into the sea. We must live amongst the forests until they no longer stand. We must endure a thousand wars and watch the blood of our brothers and sisters stain the grasses. This is why we must value endurance to the point of zealotry. We must tune the mind and body to last through all these things. We must constantly stand tall, or we are doomed to fail in our mission as druii. As the world changes around you, remain unmoved by it. You have a duty to your brothers and sisters to endure. But more importantly, you have a duty to yourself, and to the aspects to endure. XIV. On Mani I have noticed something that quite disturbs me. It has brought questions that have shaken my being. In the decline of the Dominion, before we were split to the core, I was beginning to see the rise of the worship of mani. At first, I was quite pleased to see it, watching the faithful delve deeper into the mysteries that the aspects laid before us. But before long, I saw trouble brewing. The faithful began directing their prayers only unto the mani. They rose their names higher and higher, and I watched as many began to favor the statues of the mani over those of the aspects themselves. Before long, our faith began dividing itself yet again, its members grouping themselves by their patron mani. When I saw this, I suspected a schism to pass, yet I did little to change the fate I saw before me. And before I knew it, the followers of Morea and Moccus led an exodus from our lands. This disheartens me. Watching my brothers and sisters place others over the aspects themselves. Perhaps it was the natural progression of this faith, I do not know. But even after I watched as many followed down this path, I knew that the aspects are above all. The Emerald Way will hold no mani of its own, that we may show our reverence to the aspects above all else. Revere the mani, yes. Worship the mani, yes. But in all things, the aspects reign over all. The Emerald Path The dedicancy of an aspiring druid is a path that varies greatly between circles, and even between kindred druii. All of our brothers and sisters have been birthed from these various dedicancies, and many great druids have been birthed from it. Yet despite these successes, we’ve been failing our students. I’ve seen two extremes of our failure within the Naelurir. Our students become mindless sheep, unable and unwilling to explore the deeper mysteries of our world. They cannot act until they’re ordered to, and are often the victims of sloth. They do not carry out the tasks required by our priesthood. And the other side are the independent minds. The ambitious ones with their own agenda in mind. Ones that seek power before faith. These are the dark ones that come from our order. We are responsible for them, for their actions as an order. We’ve always blamed them, their own passions and shortcomings, but we’ve never pointed a finger to ourselves. There is great fault in our teachings, a lack of tempering for these minds that leads them to search elsewhere for better answers. Thus, the basic teachings of the Emerald Way; Faith Studies After taking their oath to the aspects in blood, a strong foundation and understanding of the wild faith is important in fostering a deeper understanding from which we can truly become independent thinkers. To pass through the trials, one must have these foundations prebuilt, that they may fully utilize the tasks they’ve been given. Therefore, before tasks can begin, a student should have in depth instruction on at least the following topics, if not further. The Core Teachings Cerridwen, Cernunnos, The Balance, The Mani The History of Mali Taynei’hiylu, Irrin Sirame, Seed Era, Modern History Survival Medicine and Combat Studies of the Mysteries The Eternal Forest, Rituals, Prayers, and Offerings The Insight of Creeds To search for deeper insight. This is the purpose of examining the three creeds of the aspectist faith. It is one thing to know your duties, to perform them to the best of your ability. It is another to fully understand why you do them, and to find a deeper meaning in them that may echo in all of your actions. A creed is not something to tell you how to live your life, nor to tell you how exactly to do your duties. They are simply ways for finding a deeper understanding of druidism and aspectism in your life, and connecting the self to the balance in ways unheard of before. Thus, it should be required of all dedicants that they examine each of them, learn from their heralds about each of them. To understand the contrast betwixt the three creeds is of the utmost importance, even when dedicated to the Emerald Path alone. Path of an Acolyte To further prove dedication to the aspects themselves, and to prove the prowess of the self, dedicants must serve the priesthood as unattuned persons, assisting their guides in protecting the balance through whatever means are required. Whether that be defending a druid during their travels and in their duty, or witnessing a conversion. Through their time as an acolyte, a dedicant should learn how to act as a priest, and how a priest must carry themselves. The Trials After an acolyte has taken the path, and shadowed a priest, the priest overseeing them will announce them to be ready for the trials. The priest must present them either before two high priests, or two oracles to be judged if they are worthy to become priests. If found wanting, they will be returned to the path of an Acolyte. If they have been judged worthy, they will begin their trials to ascend to priesthood. Which trials to be taken are up to the priest overseeing their acolyte. If one has joined a creed, then they may follow the trials of the creed. If not, a teacher may start them on their own trials. If a teacher has not developed their own tasks, they may follow the ones below. Trial of Knowledge: The acolyte must write a thesis on the lessons of the wild faith, and of the Emerald Way to show their understanding and provide a new perspective on either of the three to show critical thinking. If they can find another way to show what they have learned, they may show it that way. It will be left to the judgement of the priest overseeing. Trial of Steel: An acolyte must show great courage and bravery, be it through fighting a great enemy, or facing down against a great evil. Defeating a dark creature, or fighting in a war. Any great feat of bravery must be shown. Trial of Endurance: An acolyte must endure great hardship, struggle, pain, or loss. Be it through battle, or the rending of flesh. Battle scars may suffice. If an acolyte cannot endure loss, or pain, how can they be expected to uphold their own character, and that of the order? Trial of Reflection: Give dedicant peyote or other herb that makes them disoriented. Then, take him to a mountain nearby with a dagger and nothing else to learn about Cernunnos. To feel that longing for food and to experience the grit of the hunt. They must come back with a kill. (OOC NOTE: For this one, make them write a short story about their character’s experience, like a forum post, as making them emote at nothing while they’re on their own in a forest is boring.) Trial of Faith: Perform a public ritual (Wedding/Last Rites/Warpainting/Leading a group offering), with an elder priest to oversee. OR an acolyte may bring two other mali into the fold of aspectism. Or in some way, the dedicant must demonstrate a considerable knowledge of the wild faith. Either will do. GRAND TRIAL: Dedicant comes up with what they want their grand task to be. Guide has to approve it. Must be Grand Attunement “The gifts do not maketh the priest. The priest maketh the gifts.” - The Oracle, Hurricane After their path has been taken, and their trials complete, it has come time for a priest to be attuned, and to undertake the burden of the two balances.
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