Ageokonel aeth Maehrel
We are, and always will be, what our roots are. You can not deny the soil in which you’ve been grown, but you similarly can not deny the seed you are born from. Wherever we are, we are Maehr. No matter how we, as a people, attempt to stray from them or are baited away - we are always going to be the children of Velulaeya - children of the Moon. Our beloved Mother had set us on a path, one she herself walked, and it is our honored duty to continue along it. These are the truths of being a child of Helun-Velulaeya, Mother Moon.
Helun-Velulaeya was set upon a path to gather knowledge from the world, to come to understand all magics and things within it. She led our people along this very same path, and with her wisdom our kin were saved from a blight of madness. We honor her and her journey by answering the calling of our kind and continuing the noble search for understanding and knowledge. A people are only as strong as their greatest thinkers, for their minds guide the hands of the populace - and so the Maehr should yearn to expand what they know and drink deep of the world around them.
Art of Arsenal Mastery
Valm aeth Aegurez-Varnethe
What a scholar does with their mind and words, so too should we be able to do with a blade in hand. We are not just knowledge seekers, locked away in tall towers pondering the meaning of dusty old tomes - we are both wise and able bodied. Our hands should move with purpose, our steps well planned and carefully placed, and our every action should carry the weight of our training.
Blade dancing, hand to hand combat, archery - all skills a Maehr should come to know. We must be as strong as we are clever.
Helvont aeth Szyr’mozhel
Our roots run deep and they drink heavily of the world around us. In acknowledging our fallen kin, we seek to honor them, their memory and their knowledge. We are nothing without our roots, for they ground us and remind us of where our ancestors have risen from. Maehr erect shrines to their family, and we as a people should always remember to honor these past malyker for they forged the path we now walk.
Being clever and being strong is nothing without the wisdom to know how to use these skills, or to know when you have used them in a manner that does harm to your kin. It is important for the Maehr that we are able to acknowledge our mistakes, to look inward and find room to grow and, of course, to see where we have done well. We must be willing to have these periods of introspection, of zaalhnakon, or we will stagnate and never progress as a people.
There are many ways a person may seek to reflect on themselves: mediation, creating something, even going on Spirit Walks. Ultimately, all that matters is that we do take the time to peer within ourselves so that we may press on as a better Maehr - not just for ourselves and our own personal growth, but for the wellbeing of our kind.
Honoring the Four Pillars of the Foundation
Celebration and honor, these are two things all Maehr should know well. We honor the dead, we celebrate the living - we thank the Moon for ever rising each night. We are a proud people with deep roots, and we should never forget the four pillars that were risen to get us where we are now. In taking time each year to honor a pillar, we work to remember our past so we may strive for a better tomorrow for our kind.
An elven month loosely corresponds to a full lunar cycle, which represents the march of progress of our people. Each week, we pay tribute to our cultural pillars, setting aside some time from our daily responsibilities to honor our heritage and those who exemplify our values, both from the past and the present.
The First Lunar Week;
New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter
Knowledge is the lantern that guides us through the darkest of times, casting its glow not only on the annals of history but the minutiae of the world. In our pursuit of knowledge, we seek not only to uncover the profound but to shed light upon the seemingly irrelevant, for it is often in the details that hidden truths are found. The light of knowledge pierces through the obscurity of the unknown, illuminating the secrets that lie in the most unexpected corners of our world. It is through this relentless search for understanding that we enrich our lives. But let us not forget that the lantern of knowledge serves another purpose. Just as it illuminates the path to wisdom, it also exposes the shadows where evil hides. For in knowing the light, we become acutely aware of the darkness that seeks to extinguish it. We are vigilant, for it is through knowledge that we discern the deeds of malevolence and strive to vanquish them.
During the week of Illumination, we put our contemplations from the previous lunar cycle into action, explore uncharted territories, and seek knowledge to further our personal growth. Additionally, a diverse range of events is hosted each lunar week, including but not limited to:
- The Lunar Conclave: This structured gathering brings together members, both maehr and their allies, to deliberate on our nation's internal governance and international relations. It serves as a platform for meaningful dialogue, expression of perspectives, and active participation in shaping the direction of the Ashen State. It also plays a pivotal role in deciding the agenda for the upcoming lunar month.
- Maehrian Fireside Chronicles: Beneath the night sky, this event breathes life into maehrian history through captivating stories shared around flickering flames. From heroic epics to ancient legends, it offers a journey into the heart of maehrs past, celebrating our rich legacy.
- Pages of Progress: This collective effort aims to amass books that illuminate the minds and hearts of Maehr, creating a central hub for knowledge. It symbolizes our collective dedication to learning, ensuring that each turned page brings us closer to becoming a brighter, more enlightened community.
- Domain Discovery: A dedicated day for deepening our understanding of nature, involving the exploration of various landscapes within our realm. Participants meticulously document the diverse flora and fauna inhabiting these unique biomes, providing an opportunity to learn and preserve the secrets of the natural world.
The Second Lunar Week;
‘Eclipse’ Combat Mastery
First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon
True mastery of combat transcends the mere swing of a blade or the casting of a spell. It is the unification of mind and weapon, the seamless fusion of intellect and steel, that defines our excellence in battle. As our ancestors have taught us, a weapon is but an extension of our will. The sharpness of a blade matters not if the mind that wields it is clouded or indecisive. We train diligently to ensure that in the heat of combat, our thoughts remain as sharp as our blades. The path to mastery is the fusion of mind and weapon, the art of knowing not only how to strike but when and where. It is in the dance of tactics and the symphony of strategy that we find our true strength.
During the Eclipse week, the city's focus shifts towards combat and the cultivation of our martial intellect. Those proficient in weapons or martial arts mentor the younger generations, imparting their combat expertise and self-defense skills. Conversely, those less experienced dedicate their free time to mastering their chosen combat discipline.
- Warfare Training: During this event, we engage in conflict scenarios that sharpen tactical and decision-making skills. This event provides an opportunity to test our mettle, surmount battle challenges, and collaborate with allies in war-time simulations.
- Martial Clash: For this event, we engage in hand-to-hand combat within the arena to refine our melee techniques and conquer opponents. Some clashes adopt a tournament format, while others serve as sparring days.
- Festival of Morvayn's Might: A grand monthly festival where we come together to honor the revered General Morvayn, a beloved ancestor. This public celebration invites allies to partake in revelry and engage in tournaments alongside us. The day features competitive trials of physical mastery, captivating displays of blade dancing, and sumptuous feasts.
- Armament of the Month: This class combines weapon drills with philosophical discussions. Led by an expert, attendees learn to wield the featured weapon effectively, understanding its strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to foster proficiency in various weapon types and help us each discover our personal weapons of choice.
- Tactics Workshop: Participants grapple with hypothetical scenarios requiring both mental acumen and blade skills. Beyond debates, practical simulations demand active problem-solving as scenarios unfold. This workshop equips us with the ability to navigate complex situations seamlessly.
The Third Lunar Week;
The Twilight Ancestor Vigil
Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter
Within our hearts beats the blood of the first, all those who have walked the path before us. On this week , we gather, united by a shared purpose — to honor our forebears, the guiding lights of our history. Our ancestors are our silent guardians, watching over us with benevolent eyes. Seek their wisdom, guidance, and blessings during this sacred time. In honoring the ancients, we strengthen the bond that ties us to our heritage and allows us to draw upon their eternal wellspring of knowledge. As we stand before their altars and shrines, we offer our gratitude through rituals and offerings. It is a gesture of respect, an acknowledgment of the sacrifices made by our ancestors, and a promise to carry their legacy forward. Through the stories we share, the legends we recount, and the knowledge we pass down, we ensure that the spirit of our ancestors lives on. We are not alone. We walk hand in hand with the ancestors of the past, drawing strength from their presence and the knowledge that we are part of an unbroken chain of existence. Their legacy lives within us, and it is our duty to honor it, preserving the flame of our ancestry for those who will follow in our footsteps.
This week holds the highest reverence among the four lunar weeks, as it centers on our Ancestors, the very building blocks of the foundation our people stand upon. During this sacred time, we dedicate ourselves to honoring these forebears, reinforcing the understanding that we are all links in an endless chain of existence. It is a week where we contemplate the preceding lunar weeks and seek the timeless wisdom of those who came before us. These nuggets of insight become tools for the forthcoming Week of Reflection, underscoring the significance of the Week of Vigil.
One notable tradition, held uniquely by the Wardens of Kor within our community, is the Oath of Silence. This solemn commitment is taken when a maehr seeks counsel from the ancestors and requires a lutaumancer's assistance. It serves as a promise that the words confided in the Warden’s presence will forever remain sealed. While no official punishment is meted out by Kor, breaking this vow is viewed as a grave betrayal and an affront to the trust of the maehrian people.
- Maehrian Heritage Day: A gathering hosted by one of our city's clans, where we unite to see them showcase their customs and values, along with sharing the richness of their unique history.
- Feast of the Ancestors: A grand celebration in the Ashen Realm, where we pay homage to the departed and revel in the lives of the living. This festive occasion boasts a banquet of maehrian delicacies, many of which were beloved by our esteemed ancestors.
- Ancestral Vision Day: A day orchestrated by a Warden of Kor, guiding a group of maehr on a spirit walk to commune with one of the countless ancestors residing within Stargush. Here, we engage in profound conversations and absorb their timeless wisdom.
- The Ancestral Arts: An assembly where maehr converge to craft items dedicated to their ancestors. It is a day of creativity and reverence, a tangible expression of respect and an enduring promise to carry forward the legacy of our forebears.
The Fourth Lunar Week;
Third Quarter, Waning Crescent, New Moon
Introspection is like a mirror held up to our souls, where we examine not just the surface but the depths of our very being. Embark on a profound journey, one that unveils the intricacies of your inner selves. Imagine a mirror that reflects not only your outward appearances but the essence of who we are, imperfections and all. Confront what you see, and to embrace every facet of your existence. In the reflection, we encounter our strengths and virtues, the triumphs that have defined us. But we also encounter our flaws, the vulnerabilities that make us descendants. It is in this honest confrontation with ourselves that we find the key to growth. our souls, like a canvas, are painted with the colors of our experiences and emotions. In introspection, we survey this canvas, contemplating the past strokes and envisioning the ones we will make in the future. And just as an artist refines their craft through scrutiny and practice, so do we refine our character through introspection. Seek clarity in your motivations, enlighten yourself to your emotions, and gain insight into your own actions.
The culminating week of the lunar cycle, known as the Week of Reflection, holds great significance. It is a time when we can engage in deep contemplation of the past elven month, weaving together the threads of our experiences. From this introspection, we can fashion a new foundation to launch into the forthcoming lunar cycle, equipped with valuable tools for optimal growth.
One tool is the creation and upkeep of personal journals, where thoughts and experiences can be meticulously recorded. These journals serve a dual purpose, not only preserving each of our legacies but also potentially joining the records of maehr history upon our passing to Stargush, where we join our ancestors. Another practice involves revisiting significant locations from our past, rekindling memories, and sharing thoughts and emotions with willing companions. This act of reflection allows for an exploration of our personal journey. A third practice embraced is the penning of letters to one's future self. These letters become time capsules, offering a glimpse into personal growth and evolution when they are opened again.
- Identity Shuffle: A chance for us to step into the shoes of others, fostering empathy and a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives.
- Mirror of True Reflection: A spirit walk where we can commune with our inner selves in the realm of the spirits through the guidance to the spirits, seeking clarity and self-awareness.
- Values and Virtues Forum: A forum dedicated to ethical discussions and introspection, reinforcing and challenging the moral compass that guides the maehr people.
- Insight Interviews: An exercise where we can engage in interviews with our fellow maehr, exploring facets of their own personality and values.
- The Soul’s Canvas: A day of creative expression, where we channel our innermost thoughts and emotions into artistic creations, offering glimpses into our inner worlds.
Every maehr that is brought into this world is a gift to our kind; we are few, and in welcoming a new onny into our families, we are ensuring our people and our beliefs are not lost. Each maehr is a blessed child of Helun-Velulaeya, and so we come together to celebrate as they reach certain milestones throughout their lives. In doing this, we don’t lose sight of how precious each malyker life is and we honor their accomplishments, ensuring they progress along the path as our dear Helun intended.
The Birth of a Maehr
Life is precious, this is a fact that you will rarely find someone denying. Bringing a new malyker into this chaotic and harsh world is a feat in itself as the curse of the maly will forever hinder our growth, and so we must celebrate each birth. These rare and beautiful occurrences should be cause for great joy amongst our kin, and thus we come together to ensure the new maehr is welcomed warmly.
Seeking a Blessing:
Spiritualism and ancestoralism runs deep within our culture, and so it goes without saying that a mother who has learned she is with child would visit shrines to ask of the ancestors or spirits for guidance and assurances that the birth will go smoothly. A maehr who is an avid worshiper of the spirits may go to the shrine of Arwa, the spirit of mothers, and leave an offering to them, whereas a malyker of more regularly prays to the ancestors may go to their favored one with a similar request. There is nothing stopping a mother-to-be from doing both.
We would not exist without the blessing of our sacred Mother Moon, and so every child we bring forth presents us a moment to honor her for giving us our chance to live as we do. An expecting family should take this opportunity and go to the shrine of Velulaeya and leave for her an offering, so that she might bless their child and ensure they remain true to our path.
It is thought to be bad luck to utter the name of the child before they are born, and is something that parents-to-be should avoid. Once the parents have decided what they will call their child, they are not to share this with anyone until their little one is here. It is not unheard of for expecting maehr to not even discuss this topic until after the baby is born, to ensure they have a smooth delivery.
Gifts for the child should never be presented until they have been born, as this is also deemed as unlucky. When the baby has been born, the malyker will gather at the home of the parents to present their gifts and to learn what the child will be called. This is a grand moment of mirth and celebration, one that all should take part in.
Coming of Age
Ska’atule aeth Tasob
As every maehr life is sacred and should be honored, we work to ensure that our youngest members know that their blossoming into adulthood is quite special and should be viewed as their first major milestone in life. The young maehr may start their Coming of Age task by the time they reach 18, but the trial must be completed by they time they are 30 to be recognized properly. It is quite shameful to the Clan or family of the maehr should they not complete their chosen task.
It should be noted that the budding maehr only has to do one of the below tasks but there is nothing stopping them from completing more should they and their family decide to do so.
- Rite of Heritage: Those who choose this as their proving of age will be asked a series of questions about the maehr, our values, and other such topics. Conducted by a Warden or the guardians of the young maehr, should they pass will be a sign of their mental acuity.
- A Scholar’s Expertise: A unique trial a budding maehr may choose to undergo. A large part of our foundation is the collection of knowledge, and thus reflects upon this trial. A test of the mind, a young maehr departs to another nation to learn of and document their culture in a book, as well as their views of the malyker.
- The Hunter’s Prowess: One of the options for a young maehr to prove they have made the steps to reach maturity, a feat of triumphing over a beast through wits and returning to with a trophy.
- If they are spiritualistic, they must pick a favored spirit to make an offering to - the offering needs to be significant and the offering needs to be witnessed by a Moonwarden.