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  1. Short Stories by Fersen “The Urge of Anger” by Elizabeth von Edger Written by Christine Beatrix Fersen The 3rd of Jula ag Piov of 504 E.S. My sage-colored eyes examined my surroundings as I woke up from my slumber. I would notice fellow ladies of high society checking for my well-being, all of the ladies appearing to be overwhelmed with bliss as I woke up from my deep slumber. I began to yawn, stretching my arms as I noticed the eldest of the gentlewomen having a face of concern. This is where I finally asked these gentlewomen of society, particularly the eldest of the group, how did I go from the dazzling ballroom of the palace to here, on a grandiloquent armchair. At the moment my questions were spoken out aloud, the ladies' once blissful faces became ones of concern, a sense of hesitance. For a minute, all of the women gave each other hushed whispers till the eldest, the one who never appeared to be lively of my awakening, walked forward, standing in front of all the women. There the eldest in a disappointed tone began to describe what had occurred. The eldest began to illustrate the ballroom, how the walls appeared so cozy though being gilded with gold leaf, appearing to also be lavish in appearance. These large walls had been painted with portrayals of the cosmos and the ceiling above had an enormous chandler that emulated the sun. While guests spoke among themselves, it was told to me that I stood in the corner, conversing with the hostess about the current social affair which had been going on. Among the hostess and I, was the daughter of the hostess and the husband of the hostess. While we conversed among ourselves, we appeared to be happy from the view of the elderly gentlewoman. That was until a gentleman of a reputable lineage walked forward to the hostess's household and I. This is where I ultimately remembered what had transpired and who was the reason for my current circumstance. I was in utter shock when he presented himself to the hostess and her daughter. There he asked if he may take the hand of her daughter for a dance. He asked with a rotten stench coming from somewhere on his body, though, besides the problem of personal hygiene he also maintained an unkept beard. This disgusted me, so I voiced my opinion. Suggesting that he either groom himself at this moment in the powder room or at least shave. Not clean-shaven, but clean up his beard. After my suggestion was shut down, I began to demand that he do so. I even got the hostess to agree with me. While I begged with the hostess for this ill-mannered gentleman to clean himself, a sweat formed and trickled down my forehead. The gentleman, being a polite man of society, offered his Handkerchief. Though, this was the moment I had lost my senses. This Handkerchief was overly greasy. The Handkerchief presented to me by this gentleman was utterly repulsive. Causing me to faint, the reason for my recent condition. As my memories came back to me, I stood up from my armchair and hurried back to the ballroom, noticing that it had only been five minutes since I fainted. As I rushed back to the ballroom the hostess was about to give the filthy but surprisingly polite gentleman permission to dance with her daughter. I, as any proper woman. Oppose this proposition. How dare this fatty gentleman dance with a proper lady of society? At this point, the lord of the manor, the spouse of the hostess, silenced me with his thunderous voice. There he explained to me and all the guests that one mustn't judge someone for their appearance and hygiene. The hostess added to his lecture for the party-goers. Persuading the guest that while one must not judge someone by appearance or smell, that it is equally important to take the steps to properly groom themselves. At this moment, I frowned. The guilt had begun to set in but had not fully set in as I knew I was in the right till the hostess explained that it was this greasy and smelly gentleman who had picked me up and placed me on the armchair. It was he who cared for me despite my ruthless scolding and bullying. Then, the guilt fully set in. I rushed over towards the greasy gent who had kindly brought me over to the armchair and asked for forgiveness. As I had known that no one should be judged despite their flaws. He quickly forgave me, telling me that I had been partly right as a proper person of high society. No, but all civilization should have proper hygiene. As it is both viewed positively among the people and good for one's overall health. With that, the hostess's daughter and the gentleman began their dance and I had a new understanding of the world. No one should be judged for their imperfections, though that does not indicate that their flaws can be worked on. In the end, we have more resemblances to a handkerchief. Before a handkerchief could be used, it must be clean. Before we can critique others, we must be capable of critiquing ourselves and seeing our faults.
  2. Short Stories by Fersen “March of the Seagulls” by Sven Foresburg Written by Christine Beatrix Fersen The 13th of Msitza ag Dargund of 503 E.S. On a cold, harsh, frigid day, One small child, a frail girl with golden hair and hazel eyes wandered the shores of her quiet town which had been covered in a blanket of the purest snow. While the town was silent, the seagulls flew high above those who shivered in their homes as the snow landed on the roofs of the common folk. The snow suffocating the joys and hopes of the people who lived within the village, suffering from the horrid winds of winter which breathed upon them all. Though one held hope, the same golden-haired child who wandered the snow-covered shores of the ghost town. The young girl continued to wander the empty shores. That was until a seagull from above fell from the clouded sky and onto the soft snow. The seagull fell so elegantly from up above, like the flakes of snow. The seagull fell, and when it landed on a soft and thick bed of snow. The hazel-eyed girl of the quaint town approached the fallen seagull, the plain bird lying on the bed of snow. Its body twitched as it appeared to be paralyzed by the harsh cold that embraced the land. This girl decided to take mercy on the helpless bird, picking up the paralyzed seagull with her gloved hands. She embraced the bird with her arms, giving the bird warmth like a penguin would hide its chick under layers of feathers. As the girl walked out from the shores, she wandered through a natural path of packed snow up to the village, where puffs of gray smoke ascended to the sky through the fires that kept the villagers warm within their four-walled homes. At last, the girl approached the door of her home, where she entered. The house was cozy with blankets being scattered everywhere while an old woman sat on her rocking chair, knitting a blanket. Then, the old woman turned her head to the girl and asked if she was bringing such a plain bird into the warmth of their home. The girl wisely answered that even if the world is blanketed by a harsh winter, that their hearts must stay warm and golden. The old woman would then take the ailing seagull into her arms and sit down on the chair. She would begin to pour a gentle portion of tea into the beak of the seagull, Which revived the seagull from its paralyzation. Finally, the plain bird had become more alive, flying around the small wooden cabin. It squawked in joy in its newfound freedom. Minutes later, the seagull would open the one window next to the door and escape. The old woman and hazel-eyed girl looked on, wondering what was the cause of the bird’s strange behavior. After a moment, not even given a chance for the pair to close the window, more winged friends flew through the window! The taste of tea and the warmth of their cabin. The pair give into the bird’s demands, caring for these frozen and suffering birds? The winged creatures suffered like their human neighbors. Hours had passed since these seagulls had entered the wooden cabin, in their search for tea. Though, as fast as they entered the pair’s home, they left the warmth and safety of the cabin just as fast. Once again, the plain birds left the child and old woman confused, but then: the snow suddenly stopped. The sun showed its bright face to the people of the quaint port town for the first time since they could remember as the heavens above cleared the darkened clouds to allow a bright blue sky to reveal itself. Cloudless was this new sky with only the warm embrace of the sun. One seagull from the bright skies flew down to the open window, twisting its head, nodding for the pair to exit from their home. The old woman and the young girl obeyed the wish of the seagull and left their wooden cabin. Finally their faces had warmth from the warm coastal air embraced their bodies once again. The golden-haired girl let her hair flow through the warm wind, her eyes closing. She remembered the pain of before which came from the harsh winter, now free from that pain. The flora around them became lush and alive as she reminisced within her mind. The plant life quickly sprouted out from the dense soil as the snow melted away by the heat of the new sun. At last, did the quaint town have warmth once more, at last, was the little golden-haired girl able to walk among the sunflowers, and the town escaped harsh winter.
  3. La Dorada A HYSPIAN SONG Written by Sofia of Hyspia Queen-Dowager of Haense and Princess of Hyspia It is with the construction of my birth lands once more that I take up my quill and ink once put down for good. Inspiration roars its head and waits for no one. Much like when I was all but a young girl penning a song for our city of Silver, I pen one now, in congratulations for our City of Gold. May Hyspia prosper, growing brighter and more passionate than ever. ♪♩ The City of Silver is long since gone La Ciudad de Plata hace tiempo que desapareció It has not become copper or bronze No se convirtió en cobre ni en bronce. Listen to our Hyspian song! ¡Escuchad nuestra canción hispiana! Color and passion mold our walk El color y la pasión moldean nuestro caminar Laughter and dance fill our talks Risas y bailes llenan nuestras charlas Cobble sounds beneath our horses hooves Los adoquines suenan bajo los cascos de nuestros caballos. How we cheer for the Princess Ramona! ¡Cómo animamos a la Princesa Ramona! Blessed by DIOS! Bendecida por Dios! We wondered, we wondered Nos preguntamos, nos preguntamos Would we ever see this day? ¿Veríamos este día alguna vez? The independence of our Viceroyalty! ¡La independencia de nuestro Virreinato! We cheered, we cheered Celebramos, Celebramos As we made our way Mientras nos encaminamos To a place of certain beauty Hacia un lugar de gran belleza Color and passion mold our walk El color y la pasión moldean nuestro caminar Laughter and dance fill our talks Risas y bailes llenan nuestras charlas Cobble sounds beneath our horses hooves Los adoquines suenan bajo los cascos de nuestros caballos. How we cheer for the Princess Ramona! ¡Cómo animamos a la princesa Ramona! Blessed by DIOS! Bendecida por Dios! Our Viceroy Cesar I Nuestro Virrey César I Brought us under Haenses turf Nos trajo bajo el yugo de Haense And made the City of Silver Y fundó la Ciudad de Plata Now generations later Ahora, generaciones después We, the Hyspian people Nosotros, el pueblo hispiano. Get our letter Recibimos nuestra carta Of elation from silver to another de euforia de plata a otra Giving us the City of Gold Dándonos la Ciudad de oro ♫
  4. LA GIOSTRA The Balianese Joust Issued by the Viscounty of Marsana in collaboration with the Royal Balianese Academy 9th of Sun’s Smile, 72 B.A. “Raise your lances, salute your opponent, and pray to GODAN that your chariot does not break.” Jousts and tournaments are an age-old tradition revered in every Canonist Human nation. The jousting tradition of Balian is a mixture of the old Petrine tradition of the empire, the traditions of House Ruthern, and the ‘Giostra’, an ancient form of jousting practiced by the Bathalite Empire. (A Young Ruthern Lord after decisive victory. C. 1865) La Giostra The traditions of the joust in the ancient Bathalite Empire were known as La Giostra. The form had gone without practice for a few decades prior to its revival by House Ruthern and is now becoming a common practice amongst the kin of the Balianese-Raevir Household. Its popularity has now spread throughout the kingdom, establishing it as a well-recognized and popular sport amongst the Balianese people. Joust Regulations Each match consists of three parts, or jousts. The joust begins when both contenders are met with a mount and lance, which they intend to use in this competition. They will undergo all three bouts in a formal manner, preparing their stead on the list field, readying the lance, riding down the tilt, and crossing lances. If one strikes the Head of an opponent, they will earn five points, from shoulders to hips earning three, and below hips providing a measly one. Should someone dismount the adversary, the reward is seven points. To be dismounted in the second match makes for an automatic disqualification and triumph for the one who delivered such a blow. Decorative Chariots Chariot making is the most vital part of this tradition, with the carriage being a representation of what you stand for and compete in this noble sport for. A charioteer must take pride in his own work and master the crafting of his own chariot so that his ideals and prospects may shine through the art that is the Chariot. While one must not focus on mere detail, one must also be sturdy and strong to deal and receive the hardest of blows. Votive Sashes The ancient Bathalite jousting form of ‘Giostra’ incorporated a romantic element to it as well. Knights, nobles and commoners alike competed for a chance of both glory and to impress their beloveds who watched them from the spectators’ stands and booths. The gift of handmade votive sashes, a form of admiration, would be given by the spectator to the victor as a symbol of their acknowledgement, respect and admiration for their victory. These sashes would then be worn by the contestant as they paraded around the jousting field with their horse. The current iteration of this tradition still holds the votive sashes aspect with great reverence and respect. For further information on votive sashes, see: TO LOVE IS TO. . . - Royal Balianese Academy, (Elena Casimira, RBA, circa. 51 B.A.). ‘Drunk Jousting’ In contemporary Balianese history, a knight by the name of Apollyon Marshall introduced a version of jousting unique to the Kingdom. Known as ‘Drunk Jousting’, the game’s rules were similar to the traditional joust practiced by humans of Canonist nations but with the added flavor of taking a drink after each match. Both spectators and contestants alike would finish a glass of their alcoholic beverage before beginning another game. This form of jousting was not competitive, but rather a form of enjoyment and merriment. Whether who won or lost did not matter at the end of this game, for everyone at the end of the event would be too intoxicated to care. ‘Drunk Jousting’ can be held through the methods of ‘La Giostra’, or through the traditional jousting method. Signed, HIS ROYAL EXCELLENCY, Gaius Rosius var Ruthern, Viscount of Marsana, Amiratus of the Kingdom of Balian, Lord Seneschal of the Crown and Chief Minister of the Duana HIS ADMIRALTY, Ser Demetrius ‘The Valiant’ var Ruthern, Heir of Marsana, Almirante de la Operazions.
  5. Published by the County of Malkovya ISSUED ON THE 10TH OF VYZMEY AND HYFF, 491 E.S. Penned by the hand of The Right Honourable, Anabel Elia Colborn, Countess of Malkovya and Keeper of The Book "Historia av eldernvar visdomi av viselagda." - Anadan the Wise "History is the old world’s wisdom as seen by those before us." - Scyfling Proverb A significant portion of my work as Keeper of the Book of House Colborn is dedicated to the memory and preservation of our history; those great many practices upheld by our Scyfling ancestors many generations ago that have nearly been lost to history if it were not for the relics and records safeguarded by my predecessors. In part, it is due to the seclusion and protections placed on the Colborn library – an archive guarded by House Colborn ever since the day that our Founder, St. Carr of Carrenhall, met that famed young boy, St. Karl Barbanov – that this rich cultural history has been defended for so long. However, it is also due to the library’s concealment that the youth of today are uneducated on such topics. Therefore, it is part of my duty as the Protector of Scyflings and Keeper of this hallowed Book – in conjunction with the preservation efforts of the Head Librarian of House Colborn, Amelia Ceciliya Colborn – to share the tales, beliefs, and storied traditions of our Ancient Ancestors. Besides this Study, only word of mouth, the writings of our more recent ancestors like St. Carr, and past archaeological discoveries preserve them. There are a great many aspects of our Ancestors’ lives unable to be included in this publication, but it is my hope that any insight into our very ancient past might be preserved in the memories of youthful scholars. Naturally, the current traditions regarding such topics as Marriage and Burial among prominent Scyfling groups like the Comital House of Colborn in Hanseti-Ruska may have developed over time, and will therefore differ from the beliefs and practices detailed herein; such is as the ebb and flow of time dictates. However the perceptive Scholar may notice certain similarities that may indicate where and how current customs have come to be. It is also worth mentioning that it was only due to St. Carr’s influence that the Scyfling people were converted to follow the word of Godan, and that prior to this, Scyflings were a pagan group that followed their own pantheon of gods and goddesses. An ancient portrait picturing legendary warrior queen Brynhildr; famous for killing the hero Siefried after he tricks her into marrying a chieftain named Gundahar. , during the times prior to Scyfling conversion to Canonism, came from a need to attract the attention and blessings of the pagan Gods that were worshipped at that time. Earning these blessings were vital in order for the couple to become parents in the future and continue their bloodline. To allure the attention of the Gods, wedding traditions were intricate and complex, however this was also because of the legal implications that any marriage would have. Marriage was viewed as not only a Union of the bride and groom, but a Union of the two families from which they hailed, thus they could have an effect on mutual family property and/or lines of inheritance. At the time, an unmarried lady would attract the attention of the groom’s family who would gather their legal delegates to decide the value of her dowry, the value of the groom’s assets, set a date for the wedding, and to negotiate the wedding gift from the groom’s parents. The date was a vital thing to decide; weddings were traditionally held in the goddess of marriage’s sacred month, snow made winter weddings impossible, and weddings used to last a full week. After the groom’s family have agreed, they gather with their counsel, and other local figures to bring the proposal to the bride’s family. With the proposal, they promise to support and assist the bride’s family in future endeavors, and both families agree on mutually beneficial terms for the marriage. Often, the bride’s father and/or brothers would consult her on their betrothal choices before making a decision, as it was both legally difficult, and marriages frequently ended poorly if she was not complicit. Other ancient traditions were very intricate and complex, and each ritual was integral to earning the blessings of the gods for a future successful marriage. A group of Scyfling men celebrating and negotiating the gifts to offer a prospective bride’s family. occurred in the time period leading up to the wedding. The bride and groom would be separated with their parents, married siblings, and other married family and friends of each individual’s respective gender so that they can cleanse and strip away their former selves before entering a new life together and, for the bride, a new family. For the groom, he and his male family and friends would participate in a symbolic sword ceremony to rid him of his bachelorhood. It is said that he would be required to break into an ancestor’s grave-mound to retrieve their coveted family sword; it is believed that he ‘enters death’ as a boy and re-emerges back to life from within as a man reborn. After completing the ritual to obtain his sword and manhood, he and his family would wash away his bachelor status in a bathhouse to symbolically cleanse himself before the wedding. In this time, he would be instructed by his male relatives on his husbandly and fatherly duties going into a new life. After this bathing ritual, the groom would dress for his wedding. There was no official costume to wear, however the groom would carry with him the ancient sword of his ancestors, and a symbol of the god of lightning; a hammer or axe. These weapons symbolised the groom’s mastery of his marriage and was to ensure a fruitful marriage blessed by the gods. The bride would also undergo a similar cleansing ritual surrounded by her married female friends and relatives. Her kransen - a circlet symbolising her virginity - likely the item which inspired the roggeband years later, would be replaced by the bridal crown, and her other clothes associated with maidenhood were stripped and removed. The kransen was stored for the bride’s future daughters. She would cleanse herself in a bathhouse - according to the standard bathing practice - in which hot stones were placed in tubs to produce steam and birch twigs were used to induce sweating which was thought to wash away the bride’s maiden status. Lastly, the bride would plunge herself into cold water; closing her pores to complete the cleansing process. The bride’s hair was, at the time, more important than the dress she wore as it represented her sexual allure based on its length. To decorate the hair she would wear a family heirloom bridal crown, some of which still exist now. The bride would then be escorted to the location of the wedding by a young kinsman of hers who carried a sword which she would gift to her new husband. A clannish Scyfling woman preparing herself as part of the pre-wedding cleansing rituals. A picture of the goddess Iðunn, known as “the rejuvenating one” - she was associated with youth and was believed to keep the gods and goddesses young. , like most other things, was a highly symbolic affair. The groom and bride’s family would convene prior to the ceremony to exchange the dowry and bride-price before the religious ceremony could begin. Likely inspiring the present House Colborn practice of gifting a goat or sheep to the married couple, a sacrifice would then be held in which one goat and one sow respectively would be slain to honour the gods that would bless the marriage. The flesh of the sacrificed animals would later be used as part of the wedding feast, and the blood gathered from the killings in a sacred bowl was placed upon an altar made of heaped stones and twigs dipped into the blood. These twigs would then be sprinkled upon the couple and guests to confer the gods’ blessings upon them. The groom presents his recently-obtained ancestor’s sword to the bride - representing the traditions of the groom’s family and the continuation of his bloodline, which she would hold in trust for their future son, and she then gifts him with the sword brought to the ceremony for this purpose - representing the transferral of her father’s guardianship and protection to the husband. This exchanging of swords represents the sacred bond of marriage and is followed immediately by an exchange of divine rings presented upon the hilt of each partner’s newly received sword. With the rings upon their fingers, and the couple’s hands upon the hilt of the husband’s sword, they would each speak their vows to one another. A depiction of the brief courtship between a Scyfling man and his prospective bride. followed the ceremony and began with a ritual known in ancient texts as “bruð-hlaup” or, in common, bride-running for the bridal party. For the bridegroom, it was known as “bruð gumareid” or bridegroom’s ride. Whereas nowadays all attendants make their ways to the wedding feast in a rather dignified horse or foot procession, it believed that the bride-running procession was a race between the two families to make it to the feast hall first, and that whomsoever arrived last was obligated to serve ale to the other party for the remainder of the night. As the name suggests, the bridegroom’s party were permitted to mount while the bridal party had to go by foot, thus it was expected that the groom would win every time. The bride would be met by her husband at the door of the feast hall so that he could lead her through the door and ensure that she would not stumble. Doorways were thought to represent a portal between worlds, and also encompassed the bride’s transition from that of maidenhood to the life of a wife. Furthermore, it was believed that spirits would gather around doorways, and often the doorway of an old homestead would be the grave of the house’s founder who would protect it against evil. If the bride were to trip on her way through the door, that would be an omen of great misfortune for the marriage. Once safely inside the feast hall, the groom used to drive his sword into the supporting pillar of the house and the size of the dent he made would indicate the luck of the marriage, in other words; the children produced by the union. This was representative of the strength of the family’s barnstokkr, the ancestral family tree also known as the “child tree” because its branches would be clasped by the women of the family at the time of childbirth. The bride and groom would then share and drink and and toast to their respective relevant gods or goddesses, and then an emblematic hammer would be placed in the bride’s lap to bless her while the gods were invoked to bless the union. Following this, drinking and merriment would begin and continue throughout the remainder of the week. The bride and groom would share their wedding night together, the bride’s dreams would be noted as they were believed to be prophetic to the number of children she would bear, the fortune of her marriage, and the destinies of her descendants. An artist’s rendering of the god and goddess associated with and honoured at weddings. A party of mythological warriors and shieldmaidens riding to war. , before the good word of Canonism reached the ears of ancient Scyflings, were that Odain the One-eyed would select the most brutal warriors to be guided by his force of Shieldmaidens to his own Gravhalla, or “Hall of the Dead” in the afterlife; an enormous mead hall supposedly constructed from spear shaft rafters, a roof made of gleaming shields, and its gates guarded by colossal wolves. There the warriors that ascended to Odain’s hall, those most honoured and battle-worn champions, would spend all day battling one another in preparation for the final conflict that precedes the end of all things. In contrast to the “Hall of the Dead”, there were other destinations for Scyfling souls. For example, the goddess Vanadis presided over her Folkvangr, or “Field of the People”, while the halls of sea goddess Rán are home to the Scyflings who died at sea. It was a great honour to be chosen for Odain’s mead hall, but it was thought that only those who died honourably and fearlessly would be admitted. These Scyflings believed in a predestined day of death, meaning that one would die on the same day regardless – but it was how they died that would dictate whether the Shieldmaidens would meet them, having passed on. As such, it is common in the surviving sagas for a doomed hero to resist dying a slow, painful, or cowardly death, as such would bar their way to Odain’s side in the life to follow. A legendary Scyfling Shieldmaiden comforting a dying warrior as he passes on. would be held among their clan once their body and possessions had been recovered. The funeral was always, like many other affairs in these times, highly ritualistic as it was intended to bring peace to the dead as they transition to the life to follow, and provide structure and strength for the bereaved to continue on without their kinsman or woman. Traditionally, the women of the clan would take a leading role in arranging the funeral. First, the body had to be prepared for burial. It is thought that the deceased’s riches were used to finance his funeral. One third would go to support his family, one third would pay for his funeral clothes, and the final third would pay for the alcohol served at his funeral. In preparing his body, it had to be draped in clean ceremonial cloths and adorned in jewels. Certain clans also removed the dead’s fingernails, as they believed they would be used to construct the ship Naglfar, a vessel made entirely of fingernails employed by the gods. During this preparatory time before the funeral ceremony, it was possible for a sighting of the deceased as some kind of undead creature to occur – this was considered an omen for the relatives of the dead; a sign that more of them would die. In this case, it was thought that the dead had to die anew, and a stake might be put through the corpse, or its head might be removed to prevent them from becoming undead. The funeral might be drawn out over several days, but was usually an elaborate ceremony featuring songs, chanting, music, and animal sacrifices. Often, a Scyfling funeral was held at the top of a mountain; a practice that persists in current Scyfling burials, and the funeral would be followed by a series of grand feasts held in the fallen warrior’s memory. The funeral of a valiant Scyfling warrior, attended by members of his clan. is the most fascinating practice, as different clans appear to have employed different methods. Some clans restrict themselves to ground burial; in which the deceased’s kinsmen dig a grave for their body to be buried in, whereas other clans are defined by the practice of burning the corpse upon a pyre – much like what is currently practiced by House Colborn, indicating that this tradition originates in the Slesvician clans. On the other hand, clans associated with coastal areas – especially wealthy ones – are cited as constructing burial ships for the dead to be sent out to sea on, only for the ship to be burnt. However, all three methods feature the common thread of relinquishing the possessions of the deceased to travel with them to the next life, allowing them to maintain their social status or profession – these possessions are known as grave goods. Even if a boat was not burnt, imagery of a ship was often invoked by placing gravestones in the shape of a longboat, a practice known as a ship setting. It was believed that these vessels represent safe passage to the afterlife for the dead, while the smoke from a funeral pyre would carry the spirit of the departed to their destination. It is suggested that grave goods served both a religious and a practical function as, due to an absence of rigid inheritance law, burying the possessions of the dead may have helped to mitigate possible inheritance conflicts. A Scyfling warrior would always be burnt or buried with their weapons and riches, an artisan was buried with his tools, and a cavalryman may even have been buried with his horse. In contrast, a woman was more likely to be buried with her favourite household items, jewellry, or special brooches that likely inspired the sølje still worn on Scyfling bunads. It was also common for an individual to receive items representing key moments of success in their lives, such as arrows symbolising military prowess. A burial for a Scyfling chieftain, featuring a ship being set on fire as it goes out to sea. it can be enlightening for Scholars to learn about the habits and practices of those who came before us – that is the role of historians; to learn from the mistakes of past civilisations and discover how we in our current state can avoid them. I myself have expanded my research scope from where I began; my first scribblings were limited to my own family, House Colborn, and they then expanded to cover the historical area of Slesvik, eventually growing to envelope the entire region of Curzken that our people inhabited. It is my deepest hope that our descendants might in turn learn from my experiences and works; it is only through building off one another that descendants shall rise. In addition, it is of great importance of me to highlight that any musings of a period can only provide a mere illustration of happenings at the time of publishing, and that time moves continuously forward in a linear fashion. We cannot return to the period we read about and experience that way of life. It feels pertinent to quote some of my first thoughts on this subject, as youth so often bears wisdom: “But put together these portraits [of culture] and they can illustrate a breadth of ever-changing civilization for the eyes of the resilient Scholar.” It is with those words that I conclude, however I wish to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to discuss any of the above topics in greater detail and forward them to myself. Should anyone have questions also, I shall be more than pleased to speak on them. The Right Honourable, Anabel Elia Colborn, Countess of Malkovya, Viscountess of Venzia, Baroness of Bethlenen, Lady of Vorenburg, the Protector of Scyflings, Keeper of the Book, and Secretary of the Esrova Courts
  6. Aeltarosi udrir Issued on the 10th, of Bloodwing’s Flight of 5 AST. INTRODUCTION The following document entails different common phrases, and words that have been translated to the Aeltarosi dialect from the scholars and scribes of the Principality of Aeltarys. Aeltarosi does not have every common word translated, and thus conversations will be a mix of common, and Aeltarosi alike. The words and phrases most commonly used have been denoted in this piece, for the public to study at their leisure. Greetings, Farewells, and Common Phrases Common Translation Aeltarosi Translation Scene Example “Hello!” “Rystas!” An individual is greeting their Lord. “Rystas, ñuha āeksio!” which translates to, “Hello, my Lord!” “Goodbye!” “Gusela!” An individual is saying goodbye to their significant other. “Grusela, ñuha jorrāelagon.” which translates to, “Goodbye, my love.” “Thank you!” “Krimvo!” An individual thanking someone for food. “Krimvo syt se havor!” which translates to, “Thank you for the food!” “You’re welcome!” “Jeva jiōrnon!” An individual accepting thanks from a friend. “Jeva jiōrnon, ñuha raqiros.” which translates to, “You're welcome, my friend.” “Yes.” “Kessa.” An individual giving directions. “Kessa? Issa naejot aōha paktot.” which translates to, “Yes? It is to your right.” “No.” “Daor.” An individual saying they have not seen a person. “Daor, eman daor ūndegīon zirȳla tubī.” which translates to, “No, I have not seen him today.” “How are You?” “Skorkydoso glaesā?” An individual is asking their mother how she has been that day. “Muña! Skorkydoso glaesā tubī?” Which translates to, “Mom! How are you today?” “I love you.” “Avy jorrāelan.” An individual telling their significant other they love them. “Avy jorrāelan, ñuha prūmi perzys.” which translates to, “I love you, my heart's flame.” Family and People Common Translation Aeltarosi Translation Scene Example “Mom!” “Muña!” A child asking their mother to play. “Muña! Kostagon nyke tymagon?” which translates to, “Mom! Can I play?” “Dad!” “Kiba!” An individual apologizing to their father. “Iksan vaoreznuni, Kiba.” which translates to, “I’m sorry, Dad.” “Younger Brother!” “Older Brother!” “Valonqar!” “Lēkia!” An individual introducing their younger and older brother. “Bisa iksis ñuha Lēkia Daeron se ñuha Valonqar Aerian.” which translates to, “This is my older brother Daeron and my younger brother Aerian.” “Younger Sister!” “Older Sister!” “Hāedar!” “Mandia!” An individual introducing their younger and older sister. “Bisa iksis ñuha Mandia Daella se ñuha Hāedar Viserra.” which translates to, “This is my older sister Daella and my younger sister Viserra.” “Queen!” “Dāria!” An individual asking forgiveness from their Queen. “Shijetra nyke, ñuha Dāria!” which translates to, “Forgive me, my Queen!” “King!” “Dārys!” A crowd exclaiming about the approach of the King. “Kesīr māzigon se Dārys!” which translates to, “Here comes the King!” “Prince!” “Princess!” “Dārilaros!” An individual can’t decide who the royal baby will be. “Daor! Kessi sagon iā dārilaros! Daor, iā dārilaros!” Which translates to, “No! They will be a Prince! No, a Princess!” “Lord!” “Āeksio!” An individual speaking about their Lord. “Se āeksio iksis sȳz kesīr.” which translates to, “The Lord is kind here.” “Lady!” “Riña!” An individual boasting about their Lady. “Ñuha riña iksis kostōba!” which translates to, “My Lady is strong!” “Son!” “Trezy!” A parent introducing their son. “Bisa iksis ñuha tresy se dārilaros, Aemon.” which translates to, “This is my son and heir, Aemon.” “Daughter!” “Tala!” A parent speaking of their daughter. “Ñuha tala jorrāelagon zirȳla havor!” which translates to, “My daughter loves her food!” “Husband!” “Valzȳrys!” An individual speaking of their husband. “Ñuha valzȳrys iksis nūmāzma.” which translates to, “My husband is mean.” “Wife!” “Ābrazȳrys!” An individual referring to their wife. “Ivestragī nyke epagon ñuha ābrazȳrys.” which translates to, “Let me ask my wife.” “Boy!” “Valītsos!” An individual pleading for a boy. “Ziry's sepār iā valītsos!” which translates to, “He’s just a boy!” “Girl!” “Riñītsos!” An individual speaking a girl. “Ziry's iā dōna riñītsos.” Which translates to, “She’s a sweet girl.” “Friend!” “Raqiros!” An individual speaking of a friend. “Yn ziry's ñuha raqiros!” which translates to, “But he’s my friend!” “Soldier!” “Azantys!” An individual speaking of a soldier at the gates. “Konīr's iā azantys rȳ se remȳti.” which translates to, “There’s a soldier at the gates.” “Enemy!” “Qrinuntys!” An individual speaking of their enemy. “Issa īlva qrinuntys.” which translates to, “He is our enemy.” Zālagon Jehikagrī, HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS, by the Dragon, Maegor Valraenos of Aeltarys, Grand Prince of the Aeltarosi, Prince of Dragonclaw HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, Arabella Valraenos of Pavia, Grand Princess of the Aeltarosi, Princess of Dragonclaw, Lady of Pavia, Lady of Atalais, Lady of Erice, Lady of Austerone
  7. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Song Sparrow ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I. Introduction II. Crew Rankings III. Culture and Traditions IV. The Privateers Oath ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I. INTRODUCTION The Song Sparrow is a crew of independent privateers who sell their services to any who might want to buy it, be that a trader in need of a shipment being made, or a city looking to hire a vessel to protect their shores from invading nations. While they believe in helping their fellow man from time to time, the crew of The Song Sparrow are no strangers to misdeeds as well, and will plunder other ships and opposing nations, should someone hire them to do so. At it's core, The Song Sparrow was still formed by two outcasts who turned to lives of thievery in order to survive. Joining The Song Sparrow is far more then just setting sail for the fun of it all - on this ship, it's a way of life, and in to survive one must have the courage to look danger in the eye and spit back at it, they must have the knowledge of how to sail the open sea, and they must have the passion to live a life of freedom and independence, answering to no one but their Captain. While freedom for all rests among their core values, one must still be willing to take orders in battle and follow them accordingly, else risk being thrown overboard. If you, or someone you know, is a sea-fairing individual come visit the crew of The Song Sparrow, currently found at dock 3 in Lurin found towards the very back of the city. The Song Sparrow is always looking for brave men and women of the sea to set sail with and while our crew may be small, we treat each other like family. Join us, and set yourself free with one of the finest sailors to grace the high seas, Captain Vicnan Hawkins. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ II. CREW RANKINGS CAPTAIN Vicnan Hawkins QUARTERMASTER Wilamen Macloed HELMSMAN Balkas Balo LOOK-OUT Amir Gonzalez MASTER GUNNER Adrian Falker Heskynne SEA DOG -VACANT- NAVIGATOR Adela Proudbottom SURGEON Marol Malthengolv SHIP WRIGHT Masayoshi DECKHANDS Rafi -VACANT- -VACANT- -VACANT- IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SKILLS THAT YOU BELIEVE MAY HELP OUR CREW, DO NOT HESITATE TO SAY SO! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ III. CULTURE AND TRADITIONS The crew of The Song Sparrow take sailor culture very seriously and partake in many activities that honors the culture of sailing the open seas. DRINKING GAME: GROG & HORSESHOES One of the favorite drinking games of Captain Vicnan Hawkins, Grog and Horseshoes is a rather simple game to play. Two sailors take a pile of horseshoes and try to toss them around wooden poles set up on the ship, should a sailor MISS, they are required to take a swig of Grog. Should one sailor successfully get a horseshoe around the pole, the opposing sailor must take a swig of Grog. The winner is whoever successfully gets all six horseshoes around the wooden poles, the loser is then required to drink an entire tankard of Grog. THE HYMN OF THE SONG SPARROW While the crew of The Song Sparrow take part in singing many sea shanties, the favorite of the ship is one Vicnan wrote himself after he stole his first boat. Where can you find pleasure? Search the world for treasure? Where can you sail the open sea? Make all of your dreams come true, and drink until your face turns blue... It's here in the ocean! Yes, you can sail the open sea! Here in the ocean! And you can drink until you pee! In the ocean! Come on now step aboard and take a stand! Right here in the ocean! THE SEA LEG CEREMONY When a new sailor finally receives their sea legs upon the ship, Captain Vicnan Hawkins takes it upon himself to congratulate them in taking their first major step in becoming a successful privateer of the open sea. He does so by holding a small feast and gifting the new sailor with a golden earring, which is believed by many sailors to prevent one from drowning. It is a small ceremony but one the Captain takes quite seriously. FEASTS Among many other things, the crew of The Song Sparrow loves to host large feasts upon their ship. Whether it be in celebration of a victory in battle, or to honor a fallen comrade, the crew will always find an excuse to host a feast. Any and all who are friends of the crew may join where they may partake in the food and the Grog. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ IV. THE PRIVATEERS OATH Before officially coming aboard and joining the crew of The Song Sparrow, every sailor must take this oath and uphold it to the best of their abilities. I. I shall not steal from a fellow privateer, and will only steal from non-privateers. II. I shall remain loyal to my fellow crew members and my captain. III. I shall never harm an innocent woman or child. IV. I swear to protect my ship and my crew until the sea takes me. ANYONE CAUGHT BREAKING THIS OATH OR ANY OTHER LAWS OF THE SEA WILL BE APPTLY PUNISHED BY THE CAPTAIN HIMSELF! ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ APPLICATION OOC INFORMATION Minecraft Username: Discord Username: RP INFORMATION Persona Name: Age: Race: Applicable skills: Affiliations:
  8. THE FIRST GIMME YER BELT OF AEVOS ᚷᛁᛗᛗᛖ ᛁᛖᚱ ᛒᛖᛚᛏ Since the demise of Almaris the Dwedmar of Urguan have challenged the realm and battled against the world forcing itself upon them. From the Mori Invasion of Almaris to the raids on Kal’Kadrelaz in Aevos the Dwarves have persisted. There are many things going on within the city and the realm that have distracted us from daily practices but we must not forget the ancient traditions of our cultures. The Clan of Ireheart shall be hosting the first Gimme Yer Belt tournament of Aevos since the fall of the last city. All that is required is that you enter your Belt into the competition and risk it upon the victory of battle. Champion of the 1st ALMARIS Gimme Yer Belt: BAKIR IREHEART Champion of the 2nd ALMARIS Gimme Yer Belt: RAGRIN IREHEART Champion of the 1st AEVOS Gimme Yer Belt: TBD IT IS TIME FOR THE BATTLE OF THE BELTS DWARF WRESTLING TOURNAMENT ! Saturday, July 29, 2023 4:00 EST ROLEPLAY ITEM BELT REQUIRED FOR ENTRY
  9. A NEW STONE RAISED NIUJUS KLUKA HARVIAGH ♪♩♫♩♪ Artorius travelled around a great lake, his stomach giving out roars and grumbles as if it were a hungry wolf. The young man went underneath great and tall trees, over bridges, over little rivers, and over mighty hills. Upon reaching the great shire of King Cyris and his fellow halflings, Artorius began carving a stone in their wood. From the great stone, a great circle was cut. Artorius continued to carve into the waystone so any of his travelling tribe members could read its history. I call upon you, my brethren, my kin. I call on you to return and band together for our future and for our children. I call upon the great Cingedoz of this land to raise our banner in pride, and let us embed ourselves into history once more! Meet at the great waystone and let us meet. Let us speak of our future plans atop the great stone and hill by the shire. Let us speak of our future as if it were bronze! Adsor swesoroz ok brātīroz , adsor! DISCORD: https://discord.gg/GtYAYWtWDF
  10. THE DUCHY OF STRAN “Heirs to the Krajian Hetmans, Dukes of none but ourselves.” "Хеирс то тхе Крайиан Хетманс, Дукес оф ноне бут оурселвес." Established by, THE DUCAL HOUSE OF IVANOVICH On Tobias's Bounty, 1932 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. GOVERNMENT 2. NOBILITY & STYLES 3. THE HOST OF ST. ARPAD 4. FAITH OF THE VAŠKAN STEPPE The Duke of Stran greeting the Aaunic Envoy visiting the Vaškan Steppe, c. 1927. GOVERNMENT The government of Stran is broken up into two branches. The first branch being of the Duke’s Council acting as the administrative leadership of the Duchy. The latter branch being The Duma where all Raev dwelling under the Ducal Banner can come together and speak to the Duke. However, all power truly lies with the Duke of Stran. THE REIGNING DUKE HIS GRACE, ISTVAN MATYAS IVANOVICH, DUKE OF STRAN, VOIVODE OF VAŠKA, COUNT OF PRAVETS, BARON OF VSENSK AND GODANSK, LORD OF ANDREGRAD, HETMAN OF THE HOST OF ST. ARPAD, PATRIARCH OF HOUSE IVANOVICH, KEEPER OF THE HUSSARIYA, AND THE PROTECTOR OF RAEV AND THE VAŠKAN STEPPE R. 1932-Present THE REIGNING DUCHESS HER GRACE, IZABELA OF WARSOVIA, DUCHESS OF STRAN, VOIVODE OF VAŠKA, COUNTESS OF PRAVETS, BARONESS OF VSENSK AND GODANSK, LADY OF ANDREGRAD, HETMAN OF THE HOST OF ST. ARPAD, MATRIARCH OF HOUSE IVANOVICH, KEEPER OF THE HUSSARIYA, AND THE PROTECTOR OF RAEV AND THE VAŠKAN STEPPE R. 1932-Present THE DUKE’S COUNCIL THE DUKE OF STRAN - Istvan I, Duke of Stran The ruler of Stran, the Duke holds absolute authority over his lands; his word is supreme, and his wisdom is unquestioned. To ease the burden of managing his realm, the Duke has sought to establish a council made up of individuals with the ability to enforce his will and act as his representative in affairs on matters bestowed upon them by the Duke. THE ATAMAN OF THE DUMA - Ser Arpad Ivanovich The Ataman of the Duma holds authority over administrative governing duties of the Duchy, as bestowed upon them by the Duke. They are tasked with leading the Duke’s council as well as the Provincial Duma alongside the Duke. In the absence or inability of the Duke to perform his duties, the Ataman of the Duma will act as regent and head-of-state in the Duke’s stead. THE ATAMAN OF THE PEOPLE The right hand of the Ataman of the Duma is the Ataman of the People, they are tasked with representing the citizens of Stran and its territories. Furthermore they are responsible for guiding the wayward sons and daughters of Raev to the true raevir of Stran. THE ATAMAN OF THE HOST - Ser Rassvet Senko The Ataman of the Host is the second in command in military affairs, answering only directly to the Duke. The Ataman is charged with the logistics and organization of the militant forces of Stran, keeping the lands of the Duke safe and advising His Grace on matters of warfare and security. THE DUCAL MAGISTRATE The Ducal Magistrate ensures that the Duke’s law and authority is upheld within his own lands. Aside from acting as the Duke’s chief justice, the Magistrate is also responsible for the education and training of Stran’s youth so that they may serve their Duke and people well and proudly. THE MASTER OF COIN In all matters stewardry, commerce, and investment, the Ataman of Coin acts as the Duke’s master of coin. The Ataman of Coin is responsible for overseeing the economy of Stran, establishing and settling of guilds, and administering the men and women in the service of the Duchy. THE PROVINCIAL DUMA Quite different compared to the Duke’s council, the Provincial Duma acts as the local government of the Duchy of Stran. When the Duma is called into session at the discretion of the Duke or Ataman of the Duma, all citizens of his realm regardless of rank or station are welcomed to petition the Ducal Throne, discuss current issues, and or debate legislation. NOBILITY & STYLES The highest estate of the Duchy of Stran would be those of Nobility. While culturally raevir see all equal in the eyes of GODAN, those who go to great lengths to serve and improve the Duchy are rewarded for their service by the Ducal Throne. THE DUCAL DYNASTY The House Ivanovich finds its roots deeply connected to the Carrion Kings of Ruska and the Raevir people. long known for producing some of the most fierce warlords and knights throughout the annals of mankind, have once again through their might climbed to be named Dukes in their own right, destroying the local native population of the land they have now built their Duchy atop of. THE HOUSE IVANOVICH His Grace, Istvan I of Stran Her Grace, Izabela I of Stran His Grace, Jan Ivanovich, Duke-Emeritus of Stran Her Grace, Cressida Novellen-Aldersberg Ivanovich, Former Duchess of Stran † His Lordship, Arpad Ivanovich, Baron of Cherskavy Lord Vladric Ivanovich Lady Elizaveta Ivanovich Lady Viktoria Ivanovich Lady Maria Ivanovich Lady Anastaja Ivanovich THE HOUSE NOVELLEN-ALDERSBERG The Most Honerable, George Novellen-Aldersberg Her Grace, Cressida I of Stran † Lord Jasper Novellen-Aldersberg Lady Justine Novellen-Aldersberg Lady Anne d’Arkent-Aldersberg THE SZLACHTA STRATA Loyal and steadfast retainers of House Ivanovich through years of service to Jan Ivanovich have earned their place in his realm. The Szlachta Strata are the highest and most respected members of raevir society dwelling in the Vaškan Steppe, with their loyal service to the Duke they are granted certain rights and privileges compared to the lowborn Streltsy, such as personal heraldry and land most privileged. THE BARONIAL HOUSE PETROV His Lordship, Pascal Petrov Lady Urzula Petrov Lord Dragoslav Petrov Lady Antonija Petrov Lady Myrilla Petrov THE BARONIAL HOUSE RATISPORA His Lordship, Ser Viktor Ratispora Her Ladyship, Lina Wren Ratispora Lord, Ser Ivan Ratispora Lord Anton Ratispora Lady Alina Ratispora THE BARONIAL HOUSE VOLKOV Her Ladyship, Anya Volkov His Lordship, Ryba Volkov-Novikov Lord Aleksandr Volkov Lord Rafael Volkov Lady Helina Volkov Lady Irena Volkov THE BARONIAL HOUSE KORVACZ His Lordship, Ser Miklos Korvacz Her Ladyship, Roziska Korvacz Lord Ser Radu Korvacz Lord Lorand Korvacz Lord Arisztid Korvacz Lady Xenia Korvacz Lady Ramona Korvacz Lady Marija Korvacz THE HOST OF ST. ARPAD OF VILACZ The standing army of the Duchy of Stran is the Host of St. Arpad, first founded in 1898 by the now Duke Jan I of Stran. It is known for its intimidating appearance, draconian tactics used on and off the field of battle, producing some of the most fierce Cossacks and Knights from their ranks, and unwavering loyalty to the Duke and his people. It is led by the Duke of Stran bearing the rank of Hetman and overseen by the Ataman of the Host acting in his stead. FAITH OF THE VAŠKAN STEPPE The Raevir of Stran and any who dwell under the banner of Ivanovich adhere to the teachings and tenets of the sect of Canonism known as Ruskan Orthodoxy. The true heart of Ruskan Orthodoxy in the steppe is the Church of St. Theodosius of Istiam.
  11. THE MOUNTAIN ALLIANCE Since the founding of Kal’Urguan the mountain dwed have been the foundation of the dwarves, from their many feats to their esteemed Paragons, the sons of Urguan have relied on the skill and determination of the mountain dwed. Back in the days of old, in the city of Kal'Karaad, Bastion Ireheart, Fili Grandaxe and Verthaik Frostbeard signed a bloodpact, bringing the mountain clans into an alliance, forging an unbreakable bond between Urguans kin. Decades later, the pact was renewed between Kerwyr Frostbeard, Fimlin Grandaxe and Gror Ireheart, once again bringing the clans close, and in return, making the Grand Kingdom much stronger than it was before. The pact was once again restored in Almaris between Bakir Ireheart, Kronk Stormheart, Argnos Frostbeard, and Thumbrindal Grandaxe So history shall repeat itself once again in Aevos, the mountain clans of Ireheart and Frostbeard shall sign a bloodpact in accordance with the following terms. 1. Signatories agree to support each other militarily if aggressed upon 2. Clans of the alliance formally agree to never employ hostility to each other, in the case of an act that cannot be ignored, the signatories shall meet to discuss a means of action. 3. Signatories shall not pledge allegiance to any sort of conflict without discussion. 4. Clans of the Mountain Alliance agree to support each other politically. 5. The Signatories of the alliance agree to meet every stone month. Signed, Clan Father of the Irehearts Clan Father of the Frostbeards
  12. On the Current State of the Kingdom Primer Address: La Cultura 14th of Sun’s Smile, 64 B.A. As Balian enters into a new age within this new land, I have taken it upon myself to begin a new tradition. A tradition which I hope will provide further transparency between the Crown and its people. I dub this tradition the State of the Kingdom address. Sixty-three years ago, King John Casimir Novellen led the exiled patriots of the fallen Holy Orenian Empire to the southern lands of Almaris. From there on, he drove his sword upon the stone, proclaiming a new society for the expatriates of the fallen empire. The dream of King John and his followers for a new and proud nation, one of which follows the old Petrine ideals whilst ushering in a new age and rediscovery of the ancient Bathalite Kingdom, has been achieved and set forth even today as we, the descendents of our founders, strive to push forth the ideals of what it means to be Balianese. From thereon, we have successfully rediscovered and exemplified our culture to the known world. The identity of a Balianese has never been more clearer than now. Fe, Stat I Prosperitat is the Balianese motto of our identity, translating to “faith, state, and prosperity” in Common. These three pillars of the Balianese identity are essential to our culture. Faith, according to the Balianese, is a force and belief in the word of GOD and the belief of the advancement of mankind. Faith in our culture eclipses that of logic and reasoning. This unique view of faith is what drives our spirits to pursue further knowledge in medicine, technology and alchemy. The Balianese loyalty and love for the State is what drives our nation onwards and keeps it alive in our hearts and minds. United in their love for the Kingdom and its virtues, the Balianese strive to further their nation and reach for the horizon. Prosperity is the ideal goal of our nation. Bella gerant alii. Let other nations wage pointless wars whilst Balian focuses on cementing itself as the most reliable nation within the known world. Our commitment and reliability is what makes our presence prominent on the international scale. The development of the Balianese language, in the naming conventions of our land: Portoregne, Costa Rubissimo, Monterosa, and many others have further proven that our culture and language has developed to stand on its own. Being a Balianese now means a citizen of Portoregne. A Balianese can now vividly describe the gentle breeze of the Costa Rubinissima or the maris otimo caught from its shores. The Balianese can proclaim their knowledge and mastery of the Balianese language and its various dialects, from Raevir-Balianese to its own elven cohort. A Balianese citizen can proclaim their mastery of the Paraspadachin, Balian’s traditional style of fencing. They can boast about how they have won a few hundred florins during their gambling spree at last month’s Giostra, the Balianese joust. Ergo, my fellow Balianese citizens, I am proud to stand before you today as a citizen of the Kingdom of Balian. Our kingdom has now obtained a rich history and culture, and it is a privilege to be a part of it. As we look to the future, I am filled with a sense of optimism and excitement; for we must not rest upon our laurels. We must continue to push ourselves to reach new heights, explore new horizons, and embrace new challenges. Balian will continue to be a standing testament of perseverance and prosperity. Together, we can build an expansive future and create a legacy of customs, traditions and further history for generations to come. SIGNED, HIS ROYAL EXCELLENCY, Gaius var Ruthern, Viscount of Marsana, Amiratus of the Kingdom of Balian, Lord Seneschal of the Crown and Chief Minister of the Duana.
  13. Scyfling Culture: Wedding Traditions Published by the County of Malkovya ISSUED ON THE 6TH OF MSITZA AND DARGUND, 482 E.S. A STUDY ON THE HANSO-SCYFA TRADITIONS OF MARRIAGE Penned by the hand of Her Ladyship, Anabel Elia Colborn, Keeper of The Book "Gor vardifuli neji de fyrste tre dagi af weddi, utani de tredje yere" - Scyfling Proverb "Make precious not the first three days of marriage, but the third year" O’ GUD, VOR HJELP I GYNE ERE, With a new generation on the horizon, and surely many blossoming romances to come, it felt pertinent to dedicate a portion of my duty as the Keeper of the infamous Book of House Colborn and its ancient lords and edifices contained therein to record our culture’s ancient rites and traditions pertaining to Marriage. Additionally, with the ascent of our beloved Queen Amaya of Venzia in her marriage to King Aleksandr II, this publication is written in honour of Her Majesty to share her practices with her people. Certain traditions were mentioned in the previous Scyfling Culture publication, though these only scratch the surface of deep House Colborn and Scyfling History. While Ruskan traditions of marriage have developed along their own throughline, towards the adornment of expensive outfits and jewellry accompanied by lavish feasts for the women and jousting tournaments for the men, Scyfling traditions distinguish themselves through several key familial practices carried over from the times of our ancestors. CORTUAL AG BETROLIVNI - Courtship and Betrothals I. COURTSHIP TRADITIONS An artist’s depiction of blacksmith Annebelle in courtship with her soon-husband, Cassian Colborn. COURTSHIP RITUALS among the youth are, broadly, the same across cultures. It is not unusual for a particularly beautiful young lady to attract the attention of a dashing young man - or vice versa! Among Scyfling people, it is not taboo for a woman to approach the man she is interested in first, very unlike the Ruskan tradition of prospective bachelorettes waiting for suitors to entertain. Young Scyflings frequently become acquainted during church holidays, or at festivals, and at evening socials such as Tavern nights among the populace. Among some families, when a girl comes of marriageable age she begins to wear an empty sheath attached to her girdle. If a young suitor takes a liking to her, he places a ceremonial knife in the sheath to signal his interest, and she would keep the weapon if she likes him as well, and return it if she disapproves. THE RYFLEBAND EXCHANGE occurs when a Scyfling has decided to offer their heart to someone. They give their prospective partner the “Ryfleband”. These Ryflebandi are handed down the generations from mother to son, or father to daughter. Some Ryflebandi are family heirlooms, meaning that if the individual gifted the Ryfleband declines their partner’s gesture, then the Ryfleband will need to be returned. However, many Ryflebandi are necklaces, bracelets, or armlets lovingly crafted just for the purpose of gifting it to the Scyfling’s beloved. If a non-Scyfling is the chosen recipient of a Ryfleband, the Scyfling in question is encouraged to teach their partner how to craft one so that they may give one in exchange and allow the tradition to continue in the coming generations. Gems are often avoided in a Ryfleband, instead many Scyflings opt for beads, polished rocks, wood, and other natural ingredients that symbolise different things. Some people elect to collect and polish rocks from a location they have fond memories of; in this way they can entrust these precious sentiments to their chosen partner for them to keep them safe. Additionally, beads of gorgeous patterns are often added to a Ryfleband, and many individuals choose to adorn beads forming the symbols or colours associated with their family. For example, many young Colborns craft Ryflebandi using black and white or raven-eyed beads in honour of their House. A group of Scyfling children gathering plants and stones in anticipation of crafting their Ryflebandi. II. BETROTHAL PRACTICES A light-haired Scyfling couple posing for a portrait - likely at the request of their Elders. BETROTHAL PRACTICES in Scyfling society are a sequence of events which a couple seeking permission to get engaged must carry out. They do this to acquire the consent of their Elders and parents, as any individuals that marry against their parents’ wishes would be unable to expect a dowry to support the bride in her first years of marriage, or any inheritance in the future. Typically, in the year before marriage, a bride may elect to take time off from her work or other responsibilities. This is so that she may travel to visit her relatives and neighbours to collect any gifts they may have; often linen, wool, cloth, or money, and she spends the remainder of her time using these items to create clothing such as smocks, stockings, gloves, handkerchiefs, etc., that she will give to the groom, his parents, and other relatives (with her mother-in-law to receive the most) on the morning after their wedding. THE ELDER’S APPROVAL is a centrepiece to the Courtship process among Scyfling circles. Before one can become engaged or betrothed, both individuals must arrange a meeting with the Grand Elder of each Scyfling House. While often synonymous, both the Grand Elder and the Patriarch or Matriarch (or both) must give their consent and approval before any arrangements can be made between families. Often, the soon-betrothed will have dinner with the Grand Elder and Parriarch to discuss and gain their approval. Additionally, this can often be the opportunity for the parents of both young individuals to meet one another, get to know each other, and for both families to grow closer before agreeing to a permanent union. On the other hand, it can be a low-stakes occasion for any party involved to revoke their permission to wed, or sort out any inter-familial grievances in a positive environment. A young Scyfling man introducing his prospective bride to the Grand Elder. THE MARRSKA EXCHANGE is connected to the “Marrska”; the individual tasked with overseeing the breeding and care of horses in a Scyfling family. When members of two families have decided to get married and sought the permission of their respective Heads of Houses and Grand Elders, the Marrska Exchange takes place. In the past, horses were important symbols representing a House’s pride and prestige, and they were also incredibly valuable. It was a point of pride for each Scyfling family to keep and breed peak-condition horses to suit their needs. For example, a hunting family may breed swift horses, while a merchant family may prefer to keep more athletic breeds. The Marrska Exchange is an event in which two families about to be unified in marriage exchange a top-quality horse from each of their stables. To allow another family’s Marrska or delegate into one’s stables, and to offer them a horse is a clear sign of trust. Furthermore, the Marrska often - in the process - is given the opportunity to enter the other party’s dwelling, and makes a judgement about the other family’s suitability for their relative based on its cleanliness, the condition of any refreshments they are served, and how well they treat their horses. A Scyfling family’s Marrska preparing one of their horses to perform the Marrska exchange. FORLOVI AG WEDI - Engagement and Weddings III. ENGAGEMENT EVENTS An artist’s impression of Loviska Faolain-Colborn at her wedding to St. Carr Colborn. ENGAGEMENT CUSTOMS among Scyfling people are a very sacred practice, and there are several things that must be completed before and as a couple are wed in holy matrimony before Gud. In the past, a formal proposal of marriage would be preceded by a discreet inquiry by the gentleman suitor to ensure that he would not be met with rejection. The suitor, accompanied by an older spokesman - his father or other relative - venture to his chosen young lady’s home and they present the girl and her family with a bottle of spirits and some gifts. Often, these gifts are specific to her and her family; as they are intended to honour them, and act as an offering before the official proposal of marriage is given. If the girl’s family intend to reject the proposal, the gifts are returned at a later date. However, if their answer is favourable, the girl and her parents visit the suitor’s home in return, and the bride-to-be may even stay for a short period to impress her partner’s parents and help with the housework. THE BRIDAL CROWN BESTOWAL is an important event in a betrothed Scyfling woman’s life. Once a pair of young people have completed all of the necessary procedures to get engaged, it is the duty of the bride’s mother, grandmother, other female relatives, or the Grand Elder (if she is female) to gather the bride and the children of the family to listen to stories of her wedding and marriage. It is on this occasion that the elder female relative in question gifts the bride with her own bridal crown to wear on her wedding day. The bestowal is for this purpose, and for the elder relative to offer the bride with advice and lessons on how to maintain a happy and successful marriage. Scyfling children are highly encouraged to engage with familial tradition, and they attend an older female relative’s bridal crown bestowal to listen to their elder’s stories and learn more about their culture. Alternatively, if a female relative is unavailable for the bestowal, an older male relative or a male Grand Elder can take their place. Often, they tell stories about their own wedding and wife, and other memories of the past that could benefit the bride as she begins the next step of her life. Additionally, if the bride is marrying into a Scyfling family, she is still offered the honour of adorning the Elder’s bridal crown - or the family’s communal crown - and treated as though she were a daughter of the family as a sign of acceptance. A Scyfling Bride being bestowed with the Grand Elder’s Bridal Crown. THE SCYFHJELMER BESTOWAL, or Scyfling Helm Bestowal, is the male alternative to the Bridal Crown bestowal. The Grand Elder (if he is male), or another older male relative, retells stories from his youth of courtship, his marriage, and he shares advice to teach the groom how to treat his future wife. This is also a chance for the groom, if he is marrying into a Scyfling family, to get to know the other male members of the family and earn their trust and approval. On occasion, the men will go on a hunt together to grow closer. At the conclusion of the revelries, the groom is given a ceremonial family helmet for him to wear during the wedding. The Scyfhjelmer may only be removed, on the wedding day, by the bride once they have both taken their vows in order for the married couple to share a kiss. It is considered bad fortune for the bride to see her husband’s face before this moment if he chooses to wear the Scyfhjelmer. A Scyfling Groom donning his family’s Scyfhjelmer. IV. WEDDING EVENTS A painting of guests and the bridal party waiting outside a church for a Scyfling wedding to begin. WEDDING EVENTS are often a strictly structured and ritual affair, historically involving animals and a weeklong sequence of events. In the present, on her wedding day, the bride wears a family heirloom wedding dress and her bridesmaids don similar clothing. This is to help protect the bride by confusing any evil spirits that may want to ruin her wedding. Additionally, alike many other Scyfling traditions, Scyfling women have always had a degree more independence than other groups’, and it is for this reason that the bride typically walks herself down the aisle. Furthermore, it is well known that Scyfling families commonly bring and gift goats to their friends, allies, and family members when they get married. At any wedding, the ideal goat is of golden blonde colour as it is a symbol of wealth and good fortune for the newly married couple. THE WEDI BRIDLOP, or “The Tour of the Bride”, is a tradition originating in the early days of Scyfling conversion to Canonism. In these times, it was difficult to take written records and there were not proper avenues by which a bride and groom could be recognised as legally married. Naturally, the local authority (the King, Chieftain, etc.) may choose to recognise the union, however, this was uncommon. In order to publicly announce the couple’s new relation to one another, the recently married pair would travel around the area with a portion of their bridal party to showcase their married status and announce it to others. This practice is not necessary in current times, however the bride and groom may elect to continue a tradition in the spirit of the original custom. Often, they choose to do this by holding a race among the bridal party and their guests. All attendants race along a set course that leads them through the countryside to the site of the “Wedifest” - or Wedding Feast - where everyone celebrates the joyous occasion. To distinguish themselves from their guests, the bride and groom are each permitted to ride a horse, while all others must compete on foot. Additionally, as an extra motivator, he who arrives to the Wedifest last shall be required to pour everyone’s drinks for the evening. Frequently, the Wedifest is an opportunity for the friends and guests of the newlyweds to share stories about them among themselves and give any well wishes and gifts they may have brought. In addition, toasts are common at Scyfling weddings, and guests can often expect a toast from the father of the bride, and/or the patriarch of her House, the bride, the groom, the father of the groom, and/or the patriarch of his House. An old Scyfling Wedi Bridlop in the First Age. IN SUMMARY, wedding traditions among Scyflings are very complex and many of them have a deep history. A large proportion of this very ancient history has been left out of this publication in favour of finishing a relevant and timely study. In my free moments, I hope to do more research into these old ways that may not have as many records for the purposes of publishing a historical memoir in the future. My advice to young Scyfling brides - or those aspiring to become Scyfling through marriage - is to cross-reference the notes written here and those on bridal attire documented in the previous Scyfling Culture publication. Only by imbibing and immersing oneself in all aspects of culture can one develop a full and deep understanding. Moreover, I encourage any tentative or curious individuals to embrace Scyfling traditions if anything written herein calls to them. Additionally, I am always accepting letters from those with further interest in my area of expertise, or those who require further clarifications. SKRALI VOR GUD, Her Ladyship, Anabel Elia Colborn, Keeper of the Book, Royal Scribe
  14. I Alaris Astral An'asul, Court Alchemist of the River Court call all the alchemist to come list up their names on the list of alchemists within the Realm of Petra As the Court Alchemist, I act as a guide and mentor to those whose names are on the List of Alchemists. They offer guidance, facilitate discussions, and organize gatherings where alchemists can exchange insights and experiences. Alaris's unwavering dedication to the alchemical arts ensures that the realm's alchemists have the support and resources they need to flourish in their pursuits.Those who inscribe their names upon this esteemed list become part of a community bonded by their shared passion for alchemy. They gain access to a network of knowledge and collaboration, forging connections with like-minded individuals and engaging in spirited discourse.The List of Alchemists within the Realm of Petra becomes a cherished record, a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of those who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of transmutation, healing, and transformation. It is a living document, ever-evolving as new names join its ranks, each representing a unique perspective and contribution to the alchemical arts. I call upon all alchemists throughout the land to come forth and make themselves known. They extend an invitation to these practitioners of the alchemical arts to inscribe their names on the illustrious List of Alchemists within the Realm of Petra. This list serves as a testament to the collective wisdom, expertise, and camaraderie among the alchemical community. As the Court Alchemist, I take on the noble responsibility of overseeing the alchemical endeavours within the realm. Format: MC Name : Rp Name : Alchemy Tier : Discord Username :
  15. The Oath of Tar-Númenatâr [music] The sacred oath of Tar-Númenatâr Foronathor of the Arthalionath, King of the Adunians, and First King of Númendil, sworn upon the summit of the White Mountain, Alkayaban. “Let the deeds I act out now be better than those who came before me. Folk of Harren or Blood of the Middlemen, or the Race of Malin, or any other, I swear this. I reject the designs of the enemy and the doom of men, which is guile and covetousness. Great bounty I have been given here, and it is enough. I shall not fear death, for the love of the Creator is upon me, and the Archangel vests in me the courage to see great deeds through until my part is played. Ever that His eyes might be upon me, I shall endeavor to prove myself worthy of His love, and the station which He has charged me. For this I swear, ever shall be a foe of His foes, be they Dragonspawn or Betrayer’s Brood, or things beyond the circles of this world. I shall broker no pact with them, and I shall accept no peace save their utter defeat. May Darkness consume my House should I falter in this oath. Creator, remember my vow.” Thus shall be sworn anew upon the coming of age of every Númenedan, or by a monarch upon ascending the White Throne.
  16. NÚMENARANYË The Exilic Kingdom of Númendil [MUSIC] Since the harrying of the Adunians from Aegis in times long past, many Adunian states have arisen, and many more cast down and sundered, for long it has been since that folk determined their own fate. For centuries, the Free City of Brolwic was the only true Adunic state, and being so detached in Aeldin from the majority of Adunians. On the continent of Almaris, the Adunians therein were scattered and leaderless, and often victims in wars they had little sway in. That was until one arose to unite them, Nauthon Marsyr, who was called John in the common tongue. Through deft diplomacy John united the errant Harren’hil of Almaris into the realm of Cartref Mor, but tragically, this hero of Harren’s folk died before his mission was completed, and his son, lost to darkness, failed to carry it forth. As it looked like once more the Adunic peoples would be divided, Ser Uther, later known as Uriel, took up the cause. With kindly words and fiery sword, he united the Adunians of Almaris, and rather than swear fealty to distant Brolwic, instead struck out upon his own path, carving out a Kingdom in the Barrowlands of that continent. Despite great efforts being made to hold, the Adunians would be driven from the Barrowlands, and Almaris as a whole. But this time they were not leaderless. Under the guidance of Tar-Uriel, the Adunians came with the other descendant realms to the continent of Aevos. Here, Uriel’s folk traveled inland until coming upon the land of Sharad'et'alkayaban, wherein a race of Farfolk called the Sharadûn dwelt, and Dedgîrth Imrîd was their King, called the Imr-khagn in their tongue. At first, Uriel’s folk sought parlay with the Sharadûn, and for a time, were permitted to dwell at the foot of the oasis of Albak’an, underneath the great white mountain, Alkayaban. Such peace was only held for a few months before the Sharadûn, feeling threatened by the sudden influx of foreigners upon his continent, took action. In the dead of night, Sharadûnic warriors armored in lamellar brass and iron attacked the Adunian encampment, slaying many and wounding many more, including the Adunic King, who remained on death’s door for a number of days, during which Steward Alwyn guided their people north into the plains, harried ever on by Sharadûnic Cataphractii and horse-archers. After three days of grueling retreat, the Adunians, low on supplies, turned to face their attackers, outnumbered and wounded, the Knights of the Barrowlands set to make a rearguard action, and in their sacrifice allow the women and children to escape with their comatose king and his heir, young Caraneth Aryantë. Just before the horns sounded however, those heavy riders were joined by none-other than their king, Uriel, resplendent in his armor, with the radiant sword, Caledfwlch in hand, and the crown of the March upon his brow atop a bloodied bandage. Roused from his unwaking state by powers unknown, Uriel’s sudden arrival caused morale to soar among the Adunians- Who went forth then, not in sacrifice, but to bring the enemy to battle. With a blinding flash from the Adunic King, the Sharadûn were driven into a rout, those whose horses failed them were struck down by the Adunians. There, within the vast plains of central Aevos, Tar-Uriel swore vengeance for his people upon the Imr-khagn, and swore such on the name of the Creator. Burning their dead and giving those wounded who could fight weapons to do such, Tar-Uriel led his band back to Albak’an. There, underneath the mountain of Alkayaban, with arms blessed by the Cardinal Antonius, the Adunians brought the forces of the Imr-Khagn to battle. At Albak’an, the martial prowess of those descended from Harren the Conqueror was once more proven, and the Sharadûn were broken when Tar-Uriel rode forth, and met Imr-Khagn Dedgîrth and his sons Sórthu, Ködgung, and Ömüg in combat, cutting down the four, and bringing the Imrîd dynasty to a climatic end. After the battle, those that remained tried to rally to the citadel built atop Alkayaban, only to find that a small force under Siegemaster Bedwyr and Ser Garen Glennmaer had already taken the sparsely-defended fortress (so sure of his victory was Dedgîrth, that he had brought almost the whole of his forces to bare on the Adunians.). Faced with this, the Sharadûn surrendered to Tar-Uriel, offering him oaths of fealty, or fled into the western desert to continue the fight, ceding Sharad'et'alkayaban to the Adunians either way. Now ruling over the Adunians and what remained of the Sharadûn, Tar-Uriel sought to remake Sharad'et'alkayaban, renaming the land the Númenaranyë, or ‘the Royal Realm of the Númenedain’ in the common-tongue. Above Albak’an, the White City of Númenost was built, and two great citadels raised, one to guard its entrance above Albak’an, facing the northern plateaus, and the other atop the white mountain of Alkayaban, where the old Sharadûn citadel once stood. Ruling over a land far richer and vaster than the Barrowlands, Uriel saw fit to adorn himself and his men in regalia of old, harkening to the first Harrenic Kingdom, in practice wishing to revive the culture of that land, without any of the wickedness that wrought its downfall. At the peak of Alkayaban, Uriel, who was once Uther, took a third and final name in the styling of the ancient Adunic kings, Tar-Númenatar. His house too was granted a new name, though still called Pendraic in the common tongue, Arthalion (pl. Arthalionath) meaning House of the Dauntless King. Many of Tar-Númenatar’s subjects followed this example, adopting names in the original Adunic tongue, while many further still kept their Highlander or Heartlander derived names, or some, such as Tar-Númenatar himself, continued to be addressed and go by these common-names outside the lands of the Adunians informally, wherein the Númenaranyë, only the Adunic rendering was proper. Naming conventions were not the only facet of Adunic culture revived in Númenost, which was built in the Idunic style. The fashions of Idunia of old, which had already begun to gradually see reuse during the reign in the Barrowlands, were brought back once more, resplendent in color and finery, though markedly more modest, accounting for the newly deeply pious nature of the Adunians, medicine and technology advanced thanks to the efforts of the Scholarium of Queen Orelia. All of this and more was afforded by the great luck and wealth the Adunians found themselves after the conquest, for within the mountain of Alkayaban, vast silver deposits were uncovered, suddenly making the Adunians one of, if not the wealthiest realm of men, jewelsmiths worked away within the White City, crafting beautiful works, and bartering their wares down the river Foroduin into the other realms of men, all this bringing exorberent wealth to the Adunic realm, which was shared by Tar-Númenatar with his subjects gladly. Of the Sharadûn that had sworn fealty to Tar-Númenatar, they were allowed to live as they had before, though greatly changed by the coming of the Adunians- Now called the Númenedain. Though unlike Harren of old, Tar-Númenatar did not oppress the Sharadûn, recognizing their stronger ties to the land now called Númendil, and in truth, was a kinder ruler than the Imr-khagn, though he did insist upon their conversion to Canonism, banning the worship of the bloody serpent god of the Sharadûn. One thing was a certainty in this uncertain new land, the Adunians would not be made subjects again. To read more about the Númenedain and the Númenaranyë, [click here]
  17. The Númenedain The Redeemed Harrenites [music] OVERVIEW The Númenedain (singular, Númenedan) are a distinct ethnolinguistic group of Adunians specifically descended from the Adunians known as the Harren’hil of Almaris, who later Canonized, and intermingled with several tribes of Orenized Harrenites, and later went on to colonize a region marred by mysticism and necromancy known as the Barrowlands. Successfully conquering the land, the Adunians under their first ruler, Tar-Númenatâr (then called Tar-Uriel) underwent a cultural rebirth, forming the first truly independent Adunian Kingdom among the greater descendant races in over five hundred years. Ancient traditions of lost Idunia were reclaimed, while new traditions in honor of their mixed heritage began. To enshrine this cultural ‘rebirth’, and to distance themselves from the ancient Harrenites, who though powerful, were wicked men, Tar-Númenatâr named his people anew as the Númenedain, Men of the West, a name used by the Harren’hil who dwelt within the west of Almaris, now lost. Martial in spirit, though tempered by half an age of sorrow and kinstrife with the other races of men, the Númenedain turn their swords not on conquest, but in defense of the realms of men against foreign invaders. In war, they are a fey folk, fearing neither death nor torment, for they are a faithful people, who hold that in either life or death they find peace in the Seven Skies, so long as they have behaved admirably and righteously. This does not mean they waste their lives meaninglessly however, and they prefer to remain out of the wars between faithful men, for too few are the Adunians to die in petty squabbles, rather than battles worthy of admiration. In peace, the Númenedain strive to make good a realm worth protecting, they are a charitous folk, ever to give a lended hand in need. A traveler will rarely go hungry or without shelter among the Númenedain, and those who have found the friendship of a Númenedan will have it for decades to come, and perhaps even pass that friendship on to their descendants. Though wanton avarice is a thing frowned upon, mercantilism is a respected route nonetheless, however it should be said to unfairly deal with someone is a taboo indeed, for chief among the values of the Númenedain are honor, integrity, truthfulness, courage, and chivalry. CULTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS Cultural Traits The Legacy of the First Conqueror | Though little remains of the legacy of the Adunians of elder days, that which has ever been ingrained into their culture is an unparalleled martial spirit. Harren was the first Conqueror in the history of man, and although the Númenedain reject the legacy of their tyrannical progenitor, they maintain the skill-at-arms which allowed their ancestors to subjugate and enslave, instead turned towards nobler causes. In battle, the Númenedain rely on spear-and-shield wielding infantry to pin their foes in place, while their heavy cavalry, composed of knights and men-at-arms lay waste to the enemy’s flanks. Those who flee and break are spared little, for also has it been said that the Adunians are the most skilled archers among the mannish races, likely akin to their Elvish ancestors. A Repentant Race | The Oath of Tar-Númenatâr, more commonly known simply as ‘the Oath’ was a declaration sworn on the Creator’s name upon Mount Alkayaban after the conquest of Sharad'et'alkayaban by Tar-Uriel, who adopted his third and final name writ in the Adunic tongue of yore, Tar-Númenatâr. The Oath is a declaration to forever stand steadfast and unwavering against the Forces of Darkness, and to also defend Mankind from external threat in penance for Harren’s conquests. The Oath sees the Númenedain take up an almost paternalistic role among their fellow men, to guide them away from their darker, more scheming and ambitious nature, just as the Adunians were guided towards redemption. This Oath is sworn anew upon one’s induction into Númenedain culture, before a place of either religious or cultural significance, according to one’s preference, the Oath is also sworn anew by a newly crowned monarch during coronation. [Click Here] to read more about the Oath of Tar-Númenatâr. Pride of the Adunians | Unwavering in pride, those Adunians who survived the destruction of the Barrowlands during the fall of Almaris have tasted independence for the first time since elder days, and are unlikely to accept servitude ever again. The names and lineages of the middlemen carry little weight (though are not disrespected) among the Númenedain, who have sworn to never again bow before a foreign monarch, a fierce streak of resilience brought on by centuries of turmoil. The Doom of Harren | Though they fight to be free of it, and ever-seek to repent from it, the Doom of Harren runs fiercely in the Númenedain, that is Ambition. The same ambition which turned Harren the destined firstborn into the decadent, selfish, unworthy and covetous kinslayer runs also through the Númenedain, albeit within them is the ambition to do good, it can still be said that men are capable of wicked things in thinking themselves just, and it is as true now as it was nearly two thousand years ago- The hearts of men are easily corrupted. Always Outnumbered | Though the largest remnant of the already waning Adunian race, the Númenedain are only a part of it, and many more still remain in wandering nomadic clans, or deeply ingrained within Heartlander or Highlander spheres. Fierce though they may be, the Númenedain are few in number, and should Númendil itself fall, that people- And perhaps the future of the Adunians as a whole will fall with it. Physical Traits The Blood of Idunia | Though not all Númenedain are Adunians (as middlemen may be adopted into the culture) and not all Adunians are Númenedain, Númendil itself is the first truly Adunic kingdom in five hundred years, and this is reflected in its denizens. Here, in this corner of the world, the remaining blood of Harren gathers the most in number. Adunians live longer lives then middlemen on account of their Elvish ancestry, oftentimes living anywhere from 180-200 years of age, while among the lines of kings, it is not unheard of for that number to even be exceeded, such as the case of Tar-Nauthon, called in life John Marsyr, who lived to nearly be two hundred and thirty. They do not have pointed ears. Fair and Strong | There has rarely ever been a descendant of Malin who was not fair to look upon, and the Mali’valah (Adunians) are no different. This, combined with their predominantly mannish blood and natural inclination towards martial lifestyles, means that most Númenedain, as well as being easy to look upon, possess great strength (though never exceeding that of a peak human). Númenedain who descend from Harren’hil stock are typically shorter and more lithe than those who descend from more Mannish kindred. They do not have pointed ears. Eyes and Hair | Adunians look mostly like most other men, with a few notable exceptions. Mostly possessing pale skin and hair in the range of black to auburn, Adunian hair can also turn white-gray exceedingly early, though this is not always so, and is regarded as a sign of more recent Elvish ancestry. This is also the case for their eyes, with grays denoting Elvish heritage, greens and browns are also common. They do not have pointed ears. Few in Number… | The Númenedain, as with all Adunians, suffer partially from the curse of Malin, that being infertility, this is especially true for the Harren’hil-descended Númenedain, who are of greater elven heritage than those descended from the Aduno-Heartlander or Aduno-Highlander stock. Most Adunian couples will never have more than three biological children at most, because of that, adoption is prevalent. This is lessened only slightly if only one partner is an Adunian. They do not have pointed ears. Languages of the Adunians The Adunians among the descendant realms prior to the founding of the Exilic Kingdom of Númendil were a notably nomadic people, deeply divided over vast distances, and divergent as the centuries went on. Among the Númenedain, three languages are spoken chiefly, (including the common tongue), with mainstream Thaudian as it is spoken elsewhere having fallen out of use among the Harren’hil centuries ago, and is therefore seldom used by the Númenedain who descend from them. Thaudian (Thd) is the more Traditional, less ‘diverged’ form of the language spoken by the Adunian peoples of Al’Ildic between the fourth and the fourteenth centuries, and unlike the Almaric dialect, has remained mostly unchanged from the Al’Ildic exodus, preserved chiefly by the ‘settled’ and later Imperialized Adunians, such as House O’Rourke, the Napier Family, and the Imperial Elendils. Almaric Thaudian (ThdA) is the most common of the three languages, and is the every-day ‘informal’ tongue of the Númenedain, and the Harren’hil before them. Originally a dialect of Thaudian, Almaric Thaudian diverged from that tongue many centuries before the founding of Cartref Mor where it was originally spoken. It is a musical language, complicated and difficult to learn to those who did not already speak it. It is even worse to read, as it was not intended to be written in the common script. Adunic (Adn) is the language of Idunia of old, and is the ‘formal’ language among the Númenedain. Adunic is a creole of Harrenite Flexio, and the ancient Elvish of Sarai’s tribe, the Wildewynn, and draws from both, though Elvish far more so. The ‘formal’ names of the Númenedain are taken from Adunic, including the regnant names of the Kings and Queens. Adunic is also used in the naming of cities and geological features, and is rarely used in every-day speech, and even then only truly among the upper-class. To further complicate matters, Adunic could, if the author was particularly masochistic, be separated into Early and Late Adunic, with earlier Adunic remaining truer to the Flexio routes of the language, while Late Adunic ers far more towards being an Elvish tongue. Lexicon Though by no stretch of the imagination a ‘full’ Lexicon, (for such would need to account for the multiple linguistic phases and evolutions of the Adunian languages over the last two thousand years, an impossible task.) the following is a list of common words and phrases in both common and the various Adunian dialects. Númenedain Names, Epithets, and Naming Conventions The Exilic Kingdom of Númendil (called also ‘the Númenaranyë’, meaning ‘The Royal Realm of Númendil’) is a new nation, reborn from the long-lost culture of Idunia, and melded with more modern trends among the mannish kindreds. Because of this, the Númenedain have adopted the practice of dual-naming, possessing a name in the common-tongue, or Flexio, which is used while in the company of the Middlemen, or while abroad, and a ‘formal’ Adunic name, writ in the tongue of Idunia. House names are also translated, and given equivalents when able, and Kings and Queens are encouraged to take Adunic regnal names if they do not already possess one. Younger Númenedain, born during or after the unification of the Harren’hil with their Eastron cousins often possess only one name, an Adunic name, which is used both in private and abroad. As well as possessing two first-names, two last names, and sometimes a middle name, a Númenedan may also earn an epithet through great deeds, which may be placed before or after the name of the Númenedan, depending on preference. For non-Númenedain wishing to be inducted into the culture, such as Adunicized Middlemen, or foreign Adunians, the final trial which they must undergo is a naming ceremony, during which, the Oath of Tar-Númenatâr is to be recited in the presence of an elder Númenedan before a center of worship or cultural importance, after which, a name from the Adunic tongue is granted to them by the monarch or a representative of the monarch. A specific name may be chosen prior to the ceremony by those undergoing it, or it may be left as a decision for the one observing the Oath to decide upon, this is again done by preference. Examples of Adunic names include: (M) Anardil, Anborn, Angbor, Aragost, Arahad, Barannor, Belecthor, Beleg, Belegorn, Beregond, Beren, Bergil, Celepharn, Cirion, Damrod, Denethor, Derufin, Dervorin, Dirhael, Duilin, Duinhir, Eldacar, Eredan, Forlong, Golasgil, Halbarad, Hallas, Hirgon, Hirluin, Hurin, Ingold, Iorlas, Mablung, Malbeth, Malvegil, Ohtar, Oredreth, Thorondir, Thorongil. (F) Baraheth, Barahiel, Canneth, Conuieth, Coruweth, Darthoriel, Derthoril, Faeleth, Faeliel, Gilraen, Ioreth, Ivorwen, Morwen. Note: Names beginning in ‘Ar’ or ‘Aran’ are typically reserved for those of royal or noble blood. Many names can be made to denote royalness or nobility by adding such into the name, ie: Baraheth into Aranbareth, or Beleg into Arbeleg. The names of ruling monarchs are prefixed by Tar- Meaning King in the Adunic language, ie: Aranbareth or Arbeleg into Tar-Aranbareth or Tar-Arbeleg respectively. Examples of Epithets includes: Hyarmendacil (South-Victor/Conqueror) Rómendacil (East-Victor/Conqueror) Alcarin (Glorious) Branhereg (Long-Endured/Old Glory) Foronathor (Savior of the North). Númenedain Cultural Traditions The Crown of the Númenaranyë, centered within the Radiant Star of Malchediael. Royal Standard of Númendil, and sigil of House Arthalionath Values A new people, the Númenedain carry a legacy of lost traditions going back over a thousand years to Idunia of yore, and while much is gone, never to be recovered, newer, better traditions have been made, honoring the legacy of the Harrenite homeland, while disavowing the corruption and decadence that brought it to ruin. Even in wealth, Númenedain are encouraged to err towards humility and charity, though that is not to say the acquisition of wealth is discouraged, far from it, only the misuse of it. In times of peace, the Númenedain trade happily with their neighbors, chiefly in alchemical goods, for in the last century, such they have come to specialize in, but raw materials also flow from the White City. Furthermore, though having long abandoned the woodland life of their Harren’hil ancestors, the Númenedain maintain a keen connection with their natural surroundings, viewing nature as an unmarred facet of creation, and thus, a thing worthy of protection. Though they possess the same skill in it as all men, the Númenedain are not quite so industrious, believing that such aught be tempered with a healthy respect for the natural world that the Creator made for them at the dawn of time. Because of this, animal husbandry is also a well-respected profession among them, as is hunting. Most Adunians keep pets of some form or another, typically horses, large dogs, and the occasional hunting-bird, for falconry is a common pastime also. Herbalism and healing are also seen as favored skills among that folk, not only in keeping with their woodland roots, but also simply for practicality’s sake. Númenedain Rangers will often spend many months, if not years beyond the white-walls of the capital, and as such, identifying what plants are safe, and what plants are not safe has become a matter of some importance, as has healing injuries accrued in the wilds, a skill that doubly serves well, as a folk so prone to battle are also prone to injury. In keeping with the belief that the natural world is an unmarred example of the Creator’s work, many landed Númenedain will keep a sacred grove in their fiefdoms known as a Godswood. A Godswood is a meditative tree garden, either walled within a keep, or kept outside of it. It is maintained by the ruling family instead of servants, in the belief that something as simple as gardening focuses the mind, keeping one humble, and strengthening their connection to the world around them. Most typically kept in a Godswood is a grove of native trees, dominated in the center of the grove by either the silver-leafed Adunic White Tree, or the red-leafed Almaric Heart Tree, however, other plants may be kept and grown at the base of these trees. It is not uncommon for alchemical reagents or berry-bushes to be grown in the Godswood, primarily though it is a place of quiet reflection. All that having been said, one would be wise not to confuse a Númenedan’s love of nature as heathen aspectism, indeed, the Númenedain are deeply suspicious of druids, who they view as a meddling folk that serve the Fey, nature spirits who at best are mischievous, and at worst, outright malicious. While not so superstitious as to believe the Druids themselves as Faeries, they are thought to be in league with them, and thus avoided unless one wishes to court fate by dealings with the fey. To ward off these spirits, lines of salt and iron-dust are often drawn along the edges of a Godswood, or the property of a Númenedain living out in the wild. Cultural Trials One is considered one of the Númenedain from the moment of birth, should one or both of their parents be a Númenedan themselves, but it is a mantle one cannot claim without at least having begun their trials. Beginning at the age of eleven, the Númenedain trials prepare the youth to be contributing members of their fledgling society. Likewise, any foreign or Adunians or Middlemen wishing to embrace Númenedain must first undergo the same trials before any position of prominence can be held. Those undergoing the trials may have however long it takes to complete them, though it is expected to be finished within a decade. A foreigner embracing the culture for the first time is not expected to complete it at the age, or in the time that a Númenedan-by-birth would be. Trial of Profession: (Suggested Ages 9-12) The aspirant Númenedan must take up an apprenticeship in a profession deemed of service to the greater whole, something practical and worldly that they might contribute to the Númenedain Kingdom, or at the very least, provide for their family. Trial of Service: (Suggested Ages 13-25) Having now chosen a profession (or having had one chosen for them) the aspirant Númenedan must see their profession through until the end, and seek mastery of it, learning all they might learn from their teacher until there is nothing left to learn. When the apprenticeship is deemed concluded, the aspirant Númenedan must then prove their skill to their mentor in a test as applicable to their profession, i.e. The Smith must forge a masterwork and unique craft, the warrior must show their valor in battle, physicians must display their ability to heal and mend, and one groomed for diplomacy or to command must show themselves able to resolve disputes. Trial of Naming: (Suggested, on completion of Trial of Service) Having proven themselves an independent and contributing member of society, the aspirant Númenedan swears the Oath of Tar-Númenatâr anew in the eyes of a member of the Royal House, the Ruling Steward, or a member of the local clergy. Thereafter they take upon themselves a new name in the ancient Adunic tongue, or have one granted to them by those overseeing the ritual. Religion The Númenedain are Canonists of strong piety bordering at times on zealotry, and while other faiths are tolerated among the other descendant races, it is expected for the children of Horen within Númendil to be followers of the Canonist Church. This was not always the case, for among their Harren’hil predecessors, there was in fact a strong distaste for the Canonist Church, whom the Adunians of Almaris regarded in opposition and as a foe. They among themselves favored simple ancestor-worship, or among those during the reign of Aurelion the Black, Occultic Xionism. This changed when Ser Uther assumed chieftaincy of that folk after the brief and woeful reign of Oliver Black, which saw Adunians driven from the west entirely on account of machinations of revenant undead, Aurelion. Ser Uther’s chieftaincy saw proselytization and the conversion of many of the Harren’hil even before the colonization of the Barrowlands, and by that time, many if not all of their number were devoted and repentant Canonists at heart, with the remaining Harren’hil who remained at odds with Canondom choosing exile over conversion. Ser Uther’s band of Harren’hil, later forming of the Kingdom of the Barrowlands, found not only common-cause, but kinship with those previously regarded as culturally anathema to the Harren’hil, not just Canonists, but specifically Owynists, who put a strong emphasis on the second Exalted, Owyn, who was of course famous for killing Harren and fracturing the Kingdom of Idunia. Strange that it is, this symbiosis between Harrenite and Owynist stems from Ser Uther’s informal education among the Lectorate of Owyn at the Fortress-Temple of Felder’s Rock, during his reign as regent for the Barony of Acre. Barrowlander Owynism was reasoned as recognizing their progenitor as a deeply flawed individual and later tyrant who bore the capacity to do good, but turned away, and respect Owyn not for the scattering of their ancestors, but instead his redemption for this deed by undertaking a one-man siege on the city of Edel, reclaiming it from heretics and the Undead at the cost of his own life. However, rightfully so, many Adunians even among the Númenedain do not fully accept this reasoning, and so, although Owynism remains popular (specifically among the original Knights of the Barrowlands) it is not mandated. The Kingdom of Númendil avoids a sectarian stance, and instead simply identifies as broadly-defined ‘Canonist’. Fashion and Cuisine The Númenedain are both practical and modest people. The Harren’hil who dwelt in the Barrowlands were known for a hearty palette consisting mostly of beef, pork and venison spiced with more northernly seasonings, on account of Barrowton being far disconnected from any main trade-routes. This was not the case after the founding of Númenost, which unlike its predecessor, was a central trading hub on the continent of Aevos thanks to its key location as a crossroads between the southern deserts, the eastern jungles, and the Mannish heartlands. Because of that, regular access to more exotic and southron spices was attained, something which the Númenedain swiftly developed a strong taste for. Likewise, some preference for spice had already been attained thanks to Barrowton’s Santegio-Hyspian community. Fish is also prevalent. Notably, Númenedain hunters are careful to avoid, and do not consume bear-meat, stemming from the usage of bear meat and blood in occult rituals during the reign of Aurelion Marsyr the Faithless of Cartref Mor. For fashion, Númenedain are typical, if albeit more conservative than most Canonist nations, stemming from Owynist influence. Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, with minimal exposed skin. Because of this, both gloves are common among both genders, and headgear specifically among the women. Due to Númenost’s southern climate, most clothing is fashioned from breathable, if concealing material, which thanks to the wealth of that region, is typically quite finely made and intricate. Because of this stance, sleeveless clothing, cleavage, or shirtlessness among either gender is highly frowned upon, and will often be met by vicious verbal mockery and condemnation. Númenedain Martial Traditions The Númenedain Colonization of the Sharadûn The Adunians have ever been a martial race, oftentimes by predisposition, more often by necessity. Though few in number, one Númenedan is worth two or three middlemen, and thanks to their long-lived nature, an Adunian will have twice the time of common men to master the art of war. Compensating for their lack of numbers, the Númenedain fight primarily as heavy cavalry, as to break their enemies in one overpowering charge, or as skirmishers, releasing a hail of arrows, bolts, javelins, and war-darts towards their foe. When forced to fight afoot (something often wished to be avoided) they fight in tight-knit formations, interlocking their large kite and tower-shields to form an impenetrable wall while striking at the enemy with spear and broadsword, or hurling potions over the shield wall. Númenedain infantry are primarily a defensive force, being the anvil to their cavalry’s hammer. The Númenedain specifically have an incredibly strong tradition of chivalric Knighthood, even among the other realms of men, owing to their beginnings as a simple Knightly Warband. Jousts are one of the more common forms of entertainment, and also serve to keep their lances sharp in times of peace. Númenedain Knights are known to be a humbler lot, truer to the chivalric ideals than many of their contemporaries. Any Knight can make a Knight, it is true, but to earn it is a far harder thing than simply currying the King’s favor, or showing a modicum of martial prowess. Indeed, Knighthoods are only given as a reward for deeds of the utmost valor, and even then, only to those who embody the chivalric ideal. Númenedain Knights are not traditionally landed, instead serving as the bodyguard or retinue of a Lord until they themselves prove worthy of being granted land through leal service and piety. Hedgeknights, or Knights-Errant made up the original companions of Ser Uther (later known as Tar-Uriel, and then Tar-Númenatâr) during his time among the Heartlanders, these men (and later women) are upheld as the ideal of what it means to be a knight, to be humble and ever-and-always a defender of the weak and innocent. Unlike most Knightly orders, Knights among the Númenedain are not only encouraged, but expected to adhere to their Canonist values first, and to put fealty to the faith above fealty to the King of the Númenedain. They are also likewise encouraged to wander beyond the borders of Númenedil, to accrue fame and fortune in their own right, and to do deeds of great value wherein they are most needed. To learn more about the wandering knights of the Númenedain, [TBA] Notably, Númenedain disparaged the usage of Cannons, due to the industry required to make them being environmentally damaging, but also because of their dangerous, volatile nature, and habit of exploding. Because of this, in siege and naval war, torsion and traction-based siege weapons, such as scorpions, Ballistai, Onagers, Catapults, and Trebuchets are preferred. HISTORY THE QUENTA NAUTHONIAD Adunians settled the land of Almaris sometime in the late 14th century, nominally for a time, under the leadership of House Marsyr, originally rulers of Canmoor who fled the isles of Al’Ildic when it fell to the undead in 1309 FA. This Marsyr-led unity shattered within the first hundred years of colonization, leading to the dispersal of the proto-Harren’hil across the breadth of the continent among independent Bowie Bands. By the time of the arrival of the Descendant Kingdoms to Almaris at the beginning of the Second Age, no Chieftain commanded more than a few dozen families. With them came the last remaining trueborn scion of House Marsyr, Nauthon, who in the common-tongue was called John. John Marsyr was a warrior of great renown, having ventured the width of Arcas as a strident ranger, and slain many beasts before enlisting in the Brotherhood of Saint Karl to fight on the frontlines of the Inferi War. During that cataclysmic conflict which heralded the end of an age, John made common-cause with, and became swift friends with Prince Fëanor Sylvaeri. When Almaris was settled, John soon undertook a quest to unite its errant Adunians, the Harren’hil. Using his friendship with the Princes of Elvendom, John was granted lands on the seacoast of Amathea, and soon began traveling Almaris, gathering through skill of arm and the power of his voice, the Harren’hil to his banner. Enough soon came to him that he was named their Chieftain and Lord, and soon came to rule Cartref Mor, the Home-By-The-Sea, wherein he dwelled for a time, and his people prospered. Inevitably however, Elvendom became divided into several warring factions, and Lord Marsyr deemed that continuing to remain in the southwest was no longer possible. John was released from his fealty to the Prince of Elvendom, and led his people north, coming into the service of the Norlandic King, and was granted the lands of Ironguard (called by the Adunians Minas Angren) in exchange for helping drive the remaining Svarling and Skanarri tribes out of Norland, and back into the frozen wastes. This Lord Marsyr did for a time, and did so fervently, for he was a warrior without peer, and among the most valiant warlords of mankind in those days, however, his warring oft left him far from home, and a disquiet had fallen on his house as a result. To rectify this, Lord Marsyr trusted his second in command, Ser Edward Thuri-Elendil to rule in his stead. This would prove a grave mistake, and one which would eventually doom Cartref Mor. Edward, now called the Ill-Ruler, was seduced by the Daelish Vampire, Sionnach, who guided him towards paranoia and greed, and caused him to abandon his duties, one of which was the raising of John’s son and heir, Aurelion. In Edward’s absence, Aurelion was instead taken in, and twisted by Witches of the Far North, who led him down the dark path that would inevitably become the doom of the Harren’hil. THE AURELIONIAD When Lord John returned to Cartref, he discovered that not all was well in his house. His son was errant and wild, his squire, Uther, was driven to sell his sword for coin, and his lands were in disrepair, all due to the mismanagement of Ser Edward and his Vampire-Consort. Incensed by this, Lord John banished Ser Edward and Sionnach from his lands, and set to work attempting to rebuild his household, summoning Uther, his son, Aurelion, and many others back to his halls. Though Aurelion was already under the sway of the darkness, he was not wholly corrupted, and instead sought to carry on his father’s work, and aided him much in the management of his household. There was a brief resurgence then among the lands of Cartref Mor, which swiftly recovered under John’s rule. Tragically however, this was not to last. Soon thereafter, Lord John perished nobly in battle against the Undead, biding time for his subjects to escape an overwhelming horde at the cost of his life. For this, and all other great-deeds accomplished by him, Lord John Marsyr is posthumously recognized as Tar-Nauthon, first king of the Adunians on Almaris. Almost immediately after assuming the Chieftaincy, Aurelion sought to prove himself and step beyond his father’s shadow, and as such, started directing the Harren’hil in a way in accordance more with his own designs than his fathers. While the Adunic rulers of yore were respected and taught of during John’s reign, they were venerated as mighty spirits during Aurelion’s, akin to gods. Likewise, Aurelion raged against the Aengudaemonica, and Malchediael in particular, who he blamed for his father’s death, and who he resented for the Adunian Templars and their refusal to follow him. Aurelion’s ancestor worship soon began taking an occult turn, wherein the blood and bones of beasts were used to summon the spirits of the dead to him and take counsel with them. The more Aurelion turned towards his ways, the greater his pride grew, and the greater that his pride grew, the more he resented his feudal overlord, the Norlandic King, Odin. In those days, Cartref Mor far surpassed the Kingdom of Norland’s capital of Alisgrad in prosperity, for that realm had fallen into disrepair ever sign the reign of Vane the Vain, and so, deciding to free his folk from the rule of unworthy Highlander rulers, descendants of those who the Kingdom of Idunia kept as slaves themselves, Aurelion raised his banner in rebellion, and sought to conquer the Raenrlands, as well as establish an independent kingdom. However, King Aurelion’s reign was not to last, for he knew little how to wage war, and instead of striking immediately, waited three months for allies who would never come to his aid. In these three months, the Norlanders marshaled their forces, fewer in number, but more skilled in force of arm, retaking Ironguard, casting King Aurelion the Faithless in gold, and driving his followers from Minas Angren, many froze to death in the rivers of Lake Hakon, or were felled by arrows as they fled. Those who survived, under the leadership of Oliver Black and Fritjof Maor fled south to the Darkspawn-led Elven Principality of Celia’nor, wherein they dwelt for a time. But the malice of Aurelion was not so easily undone, and the Adunic King defied death, choosing instead to become a revenant Necromancer, after which, he continued to influence the Adunians from the shadows through his agent, Maor, and his allies in Celia’nor. Unlike Moar, Oliver did not care for the occultic ways of Aurelion, but was powerless to stop a population that was mostly already fallen, and so, he could only despair as they slipped into damnation. Only at the very end did he begin to plot against Maor, swiftly realizing that Aurelion still lived, but it was far too late. Maor, who was well-liked among the Celianites, convinced them that Oliver was the cultist, and not he, and so, they backed Maor in a violent takeover of Cartref Mor, overthrowing Oliver, and driving his followers west. Crippled, homeless, and vagrant, the remaining Harren’hil who were not under Aurelion’s thrall were condemned, until a sudden summons arrived by one Ser Uther of Acre, a Warlord in the Heartlands, and John’s last remaining disciple. THE QUENTA UTHYRIAD Uther Gwathren, son of Lady Gwynthryth of Wealdfarthing and an Elvish Lord, stemmed from an aged line on his mother’s side. Clan Gwathren was kin to House Marsyr, descending from a bastard son of that house called Gwathor the Bloody, who was the last sheriff of Canmoor before his fellows settled on Almaris, raising a small castle and village called Wealdfarthing in the lands where Oren would eventually come to dwell. Unlike the rest of the Harren’hil, Clan Gwathren never fully degenerated into nomadic life, retaining some semblance of the feudal lifestyle until being driven from their lands by Orenian invaders at the start of the Second Age. Lady Gwynthryth, who had long since abandoned her marriage with her Elven lover, instead took one of the Orenian invaders as husband to placate the invaders, and to retain some status of nobility, though this was at the cost of disinheriting her son, served as the stableboy for her new husband, a cruel and vain man, Tancred d’Aroix, Baron of Aroix. Gwynthryth soon bore the sons of Baron d’Aroix, though these new children were not allowed kinship with her eldest, for fears that Uther might one-day seek to reclaim the land that he previously stood to inherit. What little time she was able to spend with her eldest was spent reading to him from the Holy Scrolls, to ensure his piety (as Clan Gwathren had adopted the Canonist Faith centuries earlier) and to teaching him to ride the horses he tended to, to better know them. Much love did Uther have for his mother, and great was his sorrow when she passed away of the plague when he was naught but eleven. Her dying wish would be for him to flee to Cartref Mor for his safety, for Baron d’Aroix would surely seek to kill him with his wife now absent. Uther bade his dying mother a tearful farewell, and that night, stole a horse and a rusted mail hauberk from the Baron, before fleeing west to Cartrf Mor, wherein he swore to Lord John, who took pity on him, and named young Uther as his squire. Uther swiftly took to combat as a natural, and by sixteen, had already slain half a dozen men, and proved himself a leal companion for his lord on the battlefield. When John went north to combat the hill-tribes and Svarlings, Uther remained in Cartref Mor for a time, before disgust at the actions of Edward the Ill-Ruler and his consort led Uther to leave and for a time become a sellsword and freerider. Uther returned to Almaris at the summons of Lord John, who knighted him for his valor shortly before his own death, he also bestowed upon Uther the blessings of the Aengul Machediael, and it was these blessings Uther recovered from when his lord fell. After a period of mourning was done, Uther departed Cartref Mor once more, for there was no love between him and Aurelion, and Uther was not well liked among them on account of his Canonist faith. It was then that Uther fled to the Heartlands, wherein a war had brewed against the Kingdom of Oren, a rebellion led by the Black Baron (so called for his supposed outlawry) of Acre, Gustaf de Vilain. Baron de Vilain’s lands of Acre were plagued with Undead and Neverborn both, and as a newly christened Templar, Uther immediately strove to prove himself against them, also gladly fighting with Gustaf de Vilain and his people in their war against the tyrannical King of Oren, Frederick I of House Novellen. Little large-scale battles were fought, but much raiding occurred across the Orenian Countryside, during which, Uther proved himself as one of the Black Baron’s most zealous soldiers, being one of the few Knights to fight on behalf of the smallfolk in that war. Nobles were hanged, and manors burned, and eventually the rebels stormed the royal capital of Vienne, killing Frederick and his wife both during the battle, and subsequent sack of the city. Shortly after their victory and the establishment of the Harvest Confederacy, both Baron Gustaf and his father Hannes vanished, presumed killed, but later found out to have been kidnapped and taken into slavery by the Mori’quissir, leading only Gustaf’s young children to inherit. Because of this, Uther was then named regent of those lands, to rule them until Gustaf’s heir, Volker, came of age. As those lands were lawless, and fighting still occurred in some parts of that country, Uther invited several Hedgeknights into his service to serve as his retainers in helping police Acre and the heartlands as a whole, this chivalric warband, called The Knights of Pendraic (after the Almaric-Thaudian word for Warlord) participated in driving the Undead from the Heartlands with aid from the Lectorate of Owyn (who Uther then studied under) as well as cutting down the last pockets of Orenian resistance deep in the wooded regions on the other side of the Arentinian Alps. It was during this period that the remaining Harren’hil under Oliver Black came under Uther’s protection in exchange for submitting to him. Within his House in the Barony of Acre, Uther was named Chieftain of the Harren’hil, and Protector of the Adunians, and he was promised land to house them by his overlords, the de Vilains, as a reward for his loyal service. Though this reward was never given, Uther swiftly became the greatest leader of the Adunians in Almaris, far outnumbering the houses of Rourke, Thuri-Elendil, and Elendil. During his time in the Heartlands, Uther brokered close ties with the House of Barclay, and the Lectorate of Owyn, ties which would remain for decades thereafter. Not all would remain well however, and eventually, Volker de Vilain came of age, and his heart was black. Acting on a feud with House Galbraith, Volker led the levymen of the Harvest Confederacy to storm a church in the Kingdom of Balian in an attempted assassination of the groom. He failed miserable, and in the aftermath, the Harvest Confederacy was fractured, with lands ceded to Haense, Balian’s ally, as well as Urguan, with the Confederacy as a whole ceasing to exist, as it was soon divided between the Kingdom of Aaun and the Archduchy of Petra. Acre remained, though a shadow as it once was, as one who Uther did not know was named its new Baron, and Uther, for his part, chose to depart rather than continue to serve a family he had lost respect for. Taking his share of the plunder from the Sack of Vienne, Uther dwelt for a time among the Waldenians of Minitz, ruled by House Barclay, while drumming up support to launch a great expedition into the west to claim lands for Canondom, specifically the cursed and blighted region known as the Barrowlands, where, as a Templar, Uther sought to purge, and make clean and anew, so that life and light might be restored therein. With a goal in mind, and the wealth and manpower to support it, in the 110th year of the second age, the golden wyvern of the Brotherhood of the Pendraic was raised, and a long march began to establish a hold in the Barrowlands- And after some conflict with the local undead, they did. A castle was swiftly erected, and a city around it. And it was called Barrowton. THE DAGOR ALMARIAD The city of Barrowton arose swiftly, almost accidentally, as tents arrayed around the original keep quickly sprung up, and soon turned to wood, and from wood to stone. More desperate souls had signed onto the Harrenite venture than was originally anticipated, many of whom were not even Harrenites themselves, but instead counted among the Middlemen, or even the Kindreds of Malin (of these, the Silver Elves in particular.) Though some resistance was found among the Barrows in the form of restless undead, conjured long ago and forgotten by their masters, the Expedition, soon thereafter called simply ‘the Barrowlanders’ dispatched them swiftly, and scoured that land clean, and for a time long enough, all therein dwelt in guarded peace, and new life came to the Barrowlands. More Adunians now flocked to Uther’s banner, and not all of them Harren’hil, but some rather, Orenized Adunians long-since sundered from their westron kin. Uther accepted these folk gladly, and counted them among his own. In recognition of this, and his role as both warden and protector of his folk, Uther was soon regarded as one of the princes of Canondom, a renegade and maverick no longer. Twelve years after Barrowton was built, Uther was crowned by High Pontiff Pontian IV as Tar-Uriel, King and Protector of the Adunians. This was met with some criticism, for Tar-Uriel came from no royal line, and therefore had no true claim on the Adunic Kingship beyond a common and distant ancestry to Harren that all Adunic nobility bore, however, such criticism was drowned out by support, not only among the Adunians, but also Tar-Uriel’s allies among the Middlemen, House Barclay, the Oyashimans of Tetsugawa, and many others. This was not the only joy that came from this time, for also did Tar-Uriel wed his newly returned and long-betrothed love, Orelia Darkwood, and from them would stem the new royal line of the Adunians, at first called House Pendraic in Almaric Thaudian, but later renamed as the Arthalionath, or Descendants of the Hero King, in honor of Tar-Uriel’s own achievements. Not all would be joyful and glad for long, however, for the doom of Almaris was at hand. The Elvish race known as the Mori’Quessir, long-tainted by the Spider Goddess and the Third Druidic Aspect, Nemiisae, would begin assailing the descendant realms in innumerable force, and though Barrowton stood strong, many of the other realm fell, and fled towards the southern subcontinent of Almaris. Under perpetual siege by the Mori’Quessir, Tar-Uriel decided then, overcome with zeal, to set his own city to a blaze rather than offer it up to the enemy, or lose it in the impending battle. In the perpetual night, Barrowton was set aflamed, and the Barrowlanders then soon made towards the southern continent, wherein after it was planned they would flee Almaris with the rest of the descendant-realms. Yet this exodus did not come bloodlessly, for it came soon to pass that the Mori’Quessir once more darkened the doorstep. The final battle of Almaris would be fought upon the mont where stood the ruined city of San Luciano, which then had become the last refuge for all the peoples of Almaris. By blade and by spell, the remnants of Almaris’ Kingdoms fought valiantly, the Adunians not least of all. Yet at the last, even with the powerful sorceries of the Brev to aid them, all were forced into retreat, and they fled not by sea but under the earth into the domain which the enemy had since abandoned. And it was in those shadowed depths that they dwelled, until such time as they were, by providence, met with the sun’s light once more. THE FOUNDING OF NÚMENDIL Though much of this tale is told in other records [TBA] it shall be recounted here also that after arriving in Aevos the Adunians settled among a Farfolk known as the Sharadûn in the lands of Sharad'et'alkayaban, at the base of the Mountain, Alkayaban, for which those lands were named. However, fearing the influence of these Adunians, the Imr-khagn of the Sharadûn ordered their encampment burned, and its inhabitants enslaved. Tar-Uriel was gravely wounded in the initial raid, and was set into a deep coma, from which it was thought he would never awake. As the Adunians prepared to make a final stand however, Tar-Uriel awoke, and led the countercharge, harrying the Sharadûn back to their capital, which was taken, after which, the Imrîd dynasty from which the Imr-khagn descended was extinguished, and their lands taken by Tar-Uriel, who renamed them ‘the Númenaranyë’ or ‘the Royal Realm of the Númenedain’, and thus, the name was born. Tar-Uriel himself took a third and final name by which he is known now, Tar-Númenatâr, ‘King of the Númenedain’. And thus, Tar-Númenatâr the King ruled nobly and well to this day. AFTERWORD AND CREDITS (OOC) After several long weeks of writing, the Númenedain culture is complete, and I can’t say I’m not proud. The Númenedain stemmed from a desire to return the Adunians to their LOTR-inspired roots, now that they have for the first time in many years an actual nation. If you’re interested in LOTR-style humans based off the Númenoreans, or want something a bit different from the usual ‘game of thrones’ or ‘real life but fantasy’ vibe of human roleplay, I encourage you to join us in the Númenedain discord [here] or to seek us out in-game in Númendil. A small note for clarification in ‘Languages of the Adunians’ as well as ‘Númenedain names’ sections is that the languages used to represent those languages are Welsh for Almaric Thaudian, and Tolkien’s Aduniac and Sindarin for Adunic, with the former representing the earlier (and therefore lesser-recorded) Mannish dialect, whereas Sindarin is used to represent the later, more Elven-like form of the language. Finally, I would like to thank and credit all of those without whom, neither this culture, nor the Adunian nation would exist. First, the Barrowlander community, who gave me the opportunity to be their leader. Their constant proof-reading and encouragement is what helped me finish this, which is probably one of my better posts in my time on LOTC. all of you contributed in one way or another, and so it’d be difficult to list them all. In no particular order, Josh, Hermes, Shady, Irene, Sneaky, Cindy, Seva, Pepto, Daengie, Astria, Dele, Kyrrn, James, Tom, Gilded and Fimlin. I’m sure I’m forgetting some names, sorry. I want to give a special thanks to DrHope, my dearest and oldest friend on this server, who was the one who invited me to play his squire, Uther, who became so much more. I also would like to thank JakobiWitness, Owl_7, Ilum_Tarus, and Hanrahan, the original Adunians, and obviously, Professor Tolkien, from whose works this culture, and all of fantasy is clearly inspired.
  18. THE SCROLL OF ROYAL LAW RHIM NÚMENDIL VI ANORHÎR Issued 20th The Grand Harvest, 131 SA. In the name of His Royal Majesty Tar-Númenatâr Foronathor SECTION I. Laws of State The following are those laws which outline the hierarchy of our Kingdom’s government, as well as the laws of inheritance and succession. I. The ruling monarch, hereafter referred to as ‘the Crown’ or ‘the White Throne’, shall hold full and unquestioned authority over the lands and titles of the Kingdom. II. The Crown shall have the authority to dictate, enforce and alter this code at their discretion. III. Those empowered by the Crown to enforce the law, including Knights, levies of the royal house, and others appointed to such authority by decree, shall be privileged to interpret and enforce the law as appropriate and necessary, and shall hold that privilege at the pleasure of the Crown. IV. Subjects of the White Throne shall be obligated to adhere to any and all royal decrees or taxes levies. V. The succession of the Kingdom shall be determined by appointment of the Crown. In such an event that the monarch is slain or becomes otherwise incapable of ruling without an appointed heir, the crown shall pass to the oldest trueborn child. VI. The recognized Houses of the realm shall have the right to dictate their own traditions of inheritance. However, should a dispute of inheritance threaten the peace, it may be settled at the Crown’s discretion. VII. No title held by an Adunian House or individual shall, in any circumstance other than Royal assent, pass to one not of Adunic blood. SECTION II. Laws of the Crown Listed hereafter are those laws which shall dictate the honorable conduct to which subjects of and visitors to our Kingdom are to hold themselves. I. For a subject to act to our Kingdom’s detriment in any way, be that by the raising of arms or the aiding of Her enemies, shall be considered Treason. II. To practice or to affiliate knowingly with those who practice the Dark Arts is strictly forbidden, and shall be considered the crime of Unholiness. III. No individual shall willfully slay another outside of defense of self or others, and to do so shall be considered Murder. IV. No person shall willfully do harm to another outside of defense of self or others, and to do so shall be considered Assault. V. To make use of any magic in a manner which is harmful to the Crown’s properties or to others, or in a way that is counter to the decrees of the Crown, shall be considered the crime of Sorcery. VI. To deprive or dispossess another of their rightfully owned property or goods shall be considered Theft. VII. To damage the properties of the Crown shall be considered Vandalism. VIII. To publicly encourage the practice of Pagan faiths, or to cast insult upon our Lord GOD Almighty shall be considered Blasphemy. IX. To damage properties of the Church, or to dishonor icons of the Exalted or the Saints shall be considered Sacrilege. X. Should one accused of a crime so desire, they may request trial by combat or to appeal to the Crown for royal trial. Those known for fact to be guilty do not receive this privilege.
  19. Origins The Errant Knight’s Code is an interpretation of the informal code of conduct associated with the tradition of Knighthood which has long been a staple of human (specifically Canonist) martial culture. Over the centuries, many ‘Knight’s Codes’ have been written, all of which vary greatly on the matter of emphasis, but most, unsurprisingly, uphold loyalty to nation or Emperor before all other things, in some shameful cases, even putting secular loyalty above that to the Canonist Faith. Knights were first and foremost enforcers of their Kings and Emperors, and lesser landholders as a result, such was the standard they were, and in many places, still are held to this day. During the Harvest Revolution and the violent overthrow of the Orenian Kingdom, most landholders sided, unsurprisingly with the Royalists, as such, few knights, and most of whom were destitute and desperate sided with the commonfolk. One of them being the future Tar-Númenatâr Foronathor of Númendil, at the time, a humble hedgeknight by the name of Ser Uther. In the aftermath of the Revolution, Ser Uther was charged with maintaining the peace within the wartorn Heartlands, which had barely recovered from the Brother’s War before being bled anew during the peasant’s revolt. To do this, Ser Uther put out an open call to all who would answer, offering in part wealth and honor, but chiefly a worthy cause to those who sought it. Penitence for one’s previous failings proved a popular notion in the aftermath of two bloody civil wars, and soon, Ser Uther had rallied a cadre of destitute knights, repentant highwaymen, and dispossessed mercenaries seeking redemption. Many of them he knighted himself, under the logic that, in the absence of a King, a Knight can make a Knight, should he deem one worthy. And though the Harvest Confederacy would inevitably fall, the spirit of that Brotherhood endured as Ser Uther and his tribe of Harrenites, the predecessors to the Númenedain, came to conquer the Barrowlands, and later found the Kingdom of Númendil- Where Knighthood is earned through worthy deeds of great valor, and those who wear the honor wear it with piety, rather than serving as thugs for their monarch. THE CHIVALRIC CODE As laid out by Ser Uther ‘the Pendraic’ of Acre Written 88 SA. In memoriam of Ser Rolvald Thassion I Thou shalt maintain His Church and live piously. II Thou shalt constitute thyself the defender of All Canondom, regardless of rite, and shall never take up arms against the Church. III Thou shalt constitute thyself the defender of the innocent, the weak, and defenseless, to act else-wise is to dishonor the very concept of Knighthood. IV Thou shalt refrain from acts of wanton cruelty, to act else-wise is to dishonor the very concept of Knighthood. V Thou shalt give succor to widows, orphans and the dispossessed. VI Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy, and shall act always with valor, even if it leads to thy death. VII Thou shalt make war upon the apostate and the servants of Iblees without cessation, and thou shalt never leave the call to crusade unanswered. VIII Thou shalt guard the honor of thy fellow knights, and in turn act virtuously as not to bring dishonor to them. IX Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God. X Thou shalt always remain forthright and honest, and will be true to thy word, even if it leads to thy death. XI Thou shalt refrain from giving wanton offense. XII Thou shalt always respect and defend the honor of women. XIII Thou shalt persevere to end in any enterprise begun. XIV Thou shalt never refuse a challenge from an equal, and shall always respect the rite of single combat. XV Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone. XVI Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. Númenedain Knighthood Due to their origins in the knightly warband of Ser Uther, the Númenedain place a strong reverence on the institution, even beyond their usual adherence to absolute feudalism. The phrase A Knight is a Knight wherever he may be describes their attitude towards the profession. Titles and peerages do not carry half as much weight among the Númenedain as martial prowess and piety, in this regard, even the lowliest hedgeknight might be held in higher regard than even the mightiest king, based on how true they remain to the chivalric ideal. ‘False knights’ ie, those granted the honorific title for political reasons alone, and those lacking martial skill or moral fiber, are viewed more akin to bandits than true knights, and the Númenedain disparage those who grant them such false ‘honors’. According to the laws of the Númenedain, any Knight who deems another worthy can name someone a knight through a basic ceremony in which the recipient is asked to swear to adhere to each clause of the code one at a time, after which, the following is recited. [ Grantor] “Do you, [name] of [name], swear to uphold all these tenants, on pain of exile should ye fail?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] “Do you swear never to falter, to aid the foe willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, on pain of death should ye fail?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] “Do you swear to be an example and mentor to your children and your taken squires, so they might carry on your legacy once ye fall?” [Recipient] “I swear it.” [ Grantor] "Then by the Cross, the Flame, and the Radiant Star, I charge you all this and more- To uphold all duties required of you by your station, and to act honorably, now and always." [ Grantor] "Arise Ser [Name] of [Name]- Knight of the Realm." [Both] “So mote it be.” Traditionally, if one is also being named a Knight with vested authority, they will be declared ‘Knight of the Realm and of [kingdom name], and the Knighting ceremony will be followed immediately with a pledge of fealty. A knight may also oftentimes be landed, but this is not always the case, for Knighthood in its own right comes with associated honors and privileges, as well as the duties as laid out in the chivalric code. These rights include being permitted to fly their own banners beneath that of their served Lord, them and their household being permitted to wear their own colors into battle, and being awarded favored treatment in the eyes of the king’s law, which they are also permitted to enforce should they be pledged, and not a simple errant Hedgeknight. Knights are expected and trained to fight primarily as heavy shock-cavalry, but are required to be capable to serve in any role (though in the case of landed knights, lowly positions such as manning siege-equipment or performing menial labor is often seen as beneath them, unless commanded by greater authority.) Uniquely among the Númenedain however, is a duty unlike any other, called The Last Rite of Kings. The Last Rite of Kings is a clause which dictates that, should the reigning monarch of Númendil be willingly or unwillingly brought under the sway of the Forces of Darkness, it is not only expected, but commanded of all Knights of the Kingdom to either bring said monarch back into the light, or, failing that, raise their banners in rebellion and overthrow them in favor of the heir, or should succession be muddied, the High Steward. In the case where both the High Steward and the Heir are unavailable, regency is to be assumed by the eldest knight in service to the Kingdom. This is perhaps the only case among the Mannish Kingdoms in which regicide is not only permitted, but outright commanded per the founding principles of the Kingdom. Malchediael and the Númenedain Among the Númenedain, along with the Canonist God and his Saints, reverence will also at times be placed upon the Aengul of Courage, Malchediael, known by most by his Canonist name, Archangel Michael. Even those without the patronage of the Archangel, his Templars, have come to favor the Warrior-Angel, and call to him in battle as one might call upon the intercession of the saints. However, the Archangel is never venerated above or in place of the Creator. As well as the Aengul of Courage, Michael is oftentimes attributed to be the Archangel of War specifically, and depictions of him or his four-pointed radiant star can be found everywhere in Númendil. Notably, the Royal House of Arthalionath adopted the Radiant Star of Malchediael into their sigil after the destruction of Barrowton during the Dagor Almariad.
  20. The Old Lur traveled far and wide with his ancient Lur Wolf as an independent unit unaware of the events that transpired in San Velku. The Orc and Wolf find themselves in a dark environment full of Netherrite, Falum watches under his darkened old hood as many other descendent refugees flood into the area. The elder kept himself away from the Mori as he kept himself isolated working on his studies and practices. He would exhaust himself regularly due to his old age, but had the work ethic to continue on. For so long he allowed his mind to be clouded and for it the ancestors have punished him to a great degree. Falum’Lur traveled between the many caverns and found many of the ancient anvils amongst other things. He found many of these sites peculiar, having interest in such ancient ruins & relics. When he returned to the underdark ruins he found that many he acquainted with were not of his kind; not of Krug’s lineage. Though he searched through the ruins there was no place he would find Orcs to be taking shelter in. During his search he reminisced upon his life many centuries ago when he was displaced from his home after an attempted genocide on Krug’s people and the court execution of his father, Vorgo’Yar. The shaman returned to the ruins as he sought an isolated meditation. The Ancestors have possessed and punished the elder’s mind for decades with the lack of piety within himself and the iron horde. The orc compels himself to think with great difficulty as he rests his blood-red eyes while his Lur Wolf roams the lands of Failor on its own for prey. His eyes snap open and he leans onto his feet using his old but large and strong muscles and says to himself. “Mi shall raise a Temple to those who came before us. Ash dat will nub ever be wiped from duh memory of cubs and even the spirits themselves shall exalt.”
  21. The Brathmordikan Temple of Almaris was overrun by the Mori and Duren held onto the body of a fatally wounded Ireheart dragging him closer to the city square. Before making an escape the elder Ireheart observed as the Dwed of the underground gallantly fought and with great valor able to defeat many Mori though were still being pushed back. Upon a retreat, Duren takes one look back at the Temple and witnesses a grand miracle conjured by another’s magic. A manifestation of Lord Dungrimm spilled out into the Temple slamming a large hammer upon many of the Mori causing the walls to collapse and providing time for escape. Duren glances back as he evacuates into the valley from the city and a bright light shines upon the mountain where his grand-son Balor rests. He squeezes his eyes closed from shedding a tear as he whispers a prayer for his fallen kin “ᚱᛖᛊᛏ ᛁᚾ ᛈᛖᚲᛖ ᛒᚨᛚᛟᚱ”. He hesitantly turns his body to continue the evacuation leaving his late grand-son in the care of Dungrimm. Duren and his great-grandson Balor II carrying the injured body of their Ireheart kin out of the mountains to safety. Once they reached the harbor the exhaustion from being the vanguard at the Temple finally overcame them. Some stone years later, Duren & many other of the Dwarves have reached the survival lands of Failor and established Camp Dwed to subsist despite the odds. Though many of them had not rallied for so long since the exodus. They have managed to continue their councils without even proper courts or temples. Celebrations and ale-pouring commonly occur as the camp cherishes the life spared to them by the Gods and also mourning for those who were lost. Even in the face of insecurity the Dwarves of Urguan keep to the pursuit of Yemekar, striking the earth!
  22. The Soaring Faith and Kæmhan Culture General Overview: The Kæmhan are mostly composed by open minded individuals, including but not limitted to, honorable warriors, scholars, merchants as well as liberated slaves. All of the above, have 1 trait that connects to such a deep level, putting everything else aside, that being their collective thirst for freedom, accompanied their devotion and dedication to see through their ambissions in order shape their own faith how they see fit. Population wise however, they are very diverse, as anyone is allowed to partake in their faith or merely follow their ideologies, as of now, they are mostly populated by Elfs of all sorts as well as humans. History: Due to their vastly questionable backgrounds and general location, an exact origin is still unknown until this day, however, only around the time that the descendants landed upon the lands of Almaris did the Kæmhan begin rising, slowly emerging from the shadows. From the high and might mountains of the east, to the thick jungles of the wests, many splinter groups have been formed, never quite lasting that long all together, with the only settlement ever recorded in their history, being Aethervale, a small village near the Urguani mountains, which also was short lived. While they do not have a perfered climate of choice, they do prefer areas with higher winds, however, due to diversity of their population, such places rarely become their homes. General Values: The Kæmhan are not the typical type of 'religous' as one might think they are, as they view their gods more like a pathway to self enlightenment, or a general value, to impower them mentally so that they may keep pushing forward. Due to their mix backgrounds, one would think that they would be a lot of bickering, however, due to the general belief and thought systems that have been passed down, they mostly co-exist in harmony amongst one another, even amongst the oposite ends of spectrums. They seem to haven unspoken understandings, since, they all have gotten through different trials throught heir lifes, allowing them to see how much they needed True Freedom, be it spiritually or physically. They rarely ever try to push their beliefs or religion towards other people and even at some cases, they seem protective of it, even excluding some, as they couldnt grasp the 'Aspect Of Freedom' that they hold so very dear. Because of that, they have no problem with other religions, some even adapting more than one, since they do not view it just as a religion, more of a way of living, thus rarely would they ever scold one of their own for disrespecting the Kæmhan culture, with very few examples, such us kneeling or bowing down, since it implies that you are willingly putting themselfs under someone else, in which cases, a devoted Riogh would receive major punishments. All children are taught their right to freedom from birth and they are also taught to protect and respect not only their own, but others as well. The younger lifes of a Kæmhan child are seperate in 2 categories: - A Kæmhan male, will be trained in their arts of combat and honor, so that they may grow up to protect their faith and loved ones. Their training begins with basic combat trainings with blunt weaponry, going to extreme ends near the end of their teen years, in which they are ready to enter adulthood through a trial. The trials can vary, depending on the Clan of the child, since each clan warships its on deity, but they can be anything, from preparing a might feast, to hunting a bear with only a spear or even liberating a slave. Once they have passed their trial they are given a choice, either continue trainings, to enter the army or pickup an art, such as blacksmithing, music or even cooking, however, there is one more choice, a choice that once it has been peaked, the only way back is a path of shame for them and their Kin. Usually picked by the Eldest sons of the Kæmhan Clans, they can choose to follow the path of the Riogh. The Riogh are a secrate legion of mighty warriors, trained to the extreme, with the single goal of perserving their and their peoples Freedom, going to extreme extents to do so. Such a path requires the ultimate sacrfice in the Kæmhan culture, to put aside your own opinions and needs and to devote yourself to Feidelhm's teachings, becoming the True Liberators. (More in the military section) - A Kæmhan female on the other hand, while still having the same choices as a male, usually the case for more muscular and promising females, or follow a more mentally challenging path. Since their partners are out there fighting for freedom, or merely working to provide for their family, they have to represent the family, putting all of the heavy burdens of raising their sons and daughters properly, managing their territories and even their economy, because of this, most of Kæmhan 'Officials' are women, with female Clan heads being as common as male. Beliefs And Faith: The basic beliefs of your average Kæmhan are simple, they strive for a peaceful and free life, devoid of impure or unfair doings. However, most often that not, to achieve that they need to go out of the way to do so, which is why they go through such harsh trainings as children, so that they can learn to over come any obsticles, be it alone or as a team, bound togother by their faith. The Kæmhan still 'believe' in their deitys, perhaps not in the way one may think. They do warship them, however, not only through sacrifcies or offerings of items, but by actions, such as liberating a slave, a small prayer before a duel or battle, or any other small task, depending on the deity of choice. The Soaring Faith: The Kæmhan Faith is fairly straight forward, there is one true god, the creator, who is no longer alive, but his children have been left behind, to guide the descendants through their image, so that they may trancend their mortal bounds and become spiritually immortal. They devide their faith in groups, usually each clan belongs to a different deity, as they bare said deitys spiritual animal (in some ideration) as their clan crest. The Deitys along with their beliefs are as follows: The Creator: Parthalan: The now dead creator that set the path for the rest of pantheon. He is viewed passively by the Kæmhan, they do not really warship him in any extend, merely celebrating him every first day of the new year, as respect for his creation. Information about him has been lost due to the passing of time and the fact that the Kæmhan have been nomads with no written history, their beliefs and history itself being passed generation to generation via verbal stories, with only few written records ever found and recoverd. The Primordials Feidelhm: The one true Raven, the protector of freedom and the most respected deity amongst the pantheon. Though every individual who calls thy self a Kæmhan warships him, Feidelhm is the the god that their entire belief system is mainly based off, since he is the one who guides the descendants through the rough path until they reach the vast and windy hilltops. He is most frequently portraid as a man with a heavy plated armor, a mixture of black and deep crimson red color are the plates of such armor. Decorated with a coat of jet-black feathers, earning him his Raven tittle. It is said that he is missing his left eye, legends say that he lost it in his own journey to reach true freedom, which is a direct reference to the path that his strict followers must abide by, that sacrifices must be made to reach such noble goals. Such strict followers are usually the spiritual leaders of the Kæmhan, called Fæ'id. They are the ones who look over their people and usually they have the last word for major decissions regarding their followers. A Fæ'id is viewed as a direct messanger of Feidelhm and they devote their lifes to their people and their needs. Every leader bears a mark of the clan they were born in, in which they were given after passing their Riogh trials, however if one was to become a Fæ'id, they are also given the appropriate mark called "The Sin Of Freedom", which depicts a Raven surrounded by a ring of black and crimson fire. Feidelhm does not require any sacrifices or prayers on a regular basis, one should only pray to him when they feel like the freedom of a loved one, or their own, is in danger, or whenever they are in the process of 'Liberating' someone. Though altars for him can be found in the house of the Fæ'id, which are mostly decorated with a bird cage, the left of which has been removed forcefully, as well as the symbol of his image. Their only purpose, is for them to be used as a place for the Fæ'id to draw their blood, as they pledge themselfs for the cause. Rioghnach: The one who fights, the protector of the free and the punisher of the injust, Rioghnach the brave is the one who guides the Grivs and Plumes through the trenches, the mud and dirt and all other terrain safely, so that they may reach the battlefield to fight and defend their faith. He is the ideal soldier, he embodies the true meaning of honor and glory, as he awaits for all those who fall in battle honnorably, at the iternal mountaintop of the primordials, where they can sit and rest until they are needed to fend off the injust spirits. However, he forbids cowardice fighting, that sadly includes for a soldier to die by a stab in the back, which intails they were neither careful of their foes and perhaps not even their friends. His symbol is a mighty brown bear, as he is often protraid as a tall, muscular male with silver armor, covered in the hide of a giant bear, weilding a might spear and shield, which is also why most of the Kæmhan legions are equiped with this combitination, as it also endorces comrodary and trust in your fellow soldiers, as they must be impenetrable unit. The greatest disgrace one can bestow upon Rioghnach and those who warship him is for a soldier to lose their shield, since that ruins the formation and leaves his fellow soldiers wide open. The devoted followers of Rioghnach are on the wilder side in between man and beast. As their trials for reaching adulthood for both men and women are extreme, since they are left in the wilderness, without any weapons, food, water, tools nor clothes and they are told to survive and find their way back home, after slaying a wild beast. Thus, whoever survives this trial is welcomed back, usually majorly different than how they left, now ready to serve in the front lines of the legions, or as acting commanders at greater scale conflicts. Followers of Rioghnach avoid praying as much as possible, with their prayers boiling down to prayers for a successful conflict or hunt. They are also the first who are marked with full body markings apart from the standard circular mark of any other deity. Though varying from clan to clan, they usually begin from the persons ribs, going behind their lower back and up to the shoulders, in which they sprouth out to the arms and hands, ending on the knuckles. Their spiritual mark is usually placed on their chest or lower back in between the other pattern. The only acting tradition of these followers, which is also common practice after a war or other major conflict, is offering up the body of the mightiest warrior of the enemy side that was slain, be it man or beast, in which case, they place them upon a stone altar, covered in flammable plants and other fibers, essentially creamating them as they pray for the warriors soul to reach the aforementioned mountain-top of the primordials. They later return the asses to the deseaced family, or they scutter them atop a mountain. Einherjar: The one true protector of all, the one who knows true sacrifice and punishes the selfish, Einherjar is the one who protects the ideals of his brothers, Feidelhm and Rioghnach, sacrificing himself, become a the litteral shiled that protects the mortal plains from Llue's curse. He imbodies the meaning of self-sacrifice, giving ones life to save anothers, often seen in Kæmhan culture, as high possition militants have jumped forth to take blows for their lower ranking brothers in arms. His true followers are few, yet they are the most respected, second only to those of Feidelhm. They are usually tasked with protecting the lands of the Kæmhan that go out to war, just in case war comes to their doorstep. Einherjar himself is portraid as a man with a sturdy turtle shell on his back, that is seemingly one with the rest of his armor, a moving fortress of some sort. His followers dress alike, in times of war or other conflicts they can be heard roaming their lands, patrolling for intruders or thiefs, being very noticable by their heavy steps due to the weigth of their armor. Due to their lack of numbers, most of these folk have grown fond of socializing, often resembling hermits, yet they still hold dear any friendships made from connections earlier in their childhood. Following that pattern, their trainings as well as their trial into adulthood is uknown to anyone apart from the very few left, though its speculated that the only requirement is the for one to be either crazy or brave enough to become a human shield. Even through all that however, they are usually the most attending parents, since their roles allow them to always be near their partners and children. As for their traditions they currently only celebrate the date of the death of a fellow follower of Einherjar every 10 years. In which, they use an empty turtle shell, as they fill it half-way with fresh sea water, as they pour the aforementioned fallen comrade's favourite bevarage, setting the shell down upon the ground, as they use a stick to steer the contents of the shell, before offering a prayer to the three brothers and then pushing the turtle shell into the waters, as it gets swept away by them. Llue: The hateful, the unjust, Llue is the neutral evil goddess of the depths, the one who released her infinite hatred towards the world, pushing us away from the eternal mountain-top of the primordials, leaving behind an infinite sea of destruction, our only vessel being our faith. She represents the hate of the close minded people, who flood the world full of lies and illussions just so they do not accept the truth about true freedom. She is portraid as a blue skinned woman with purple hair, however, that hair is actually tentacles, which are used to drag down into the cold depths those who oppose her. She is mostly hated by the Kæmhan people, thus there has not been any recorded instances of warship towards her, even if they were however, they would have been swiftly been dealt with by the Rioghs as they are strictly forbiden. Minor Deitys And Spirits: Haertha: The one births. Haertha is the mother of nature, she is kinda and warm to all those who care for nature, with her being warshiped primarily by woodelfs of the Kæmhan society, even if she is not considered as a primordial. In the pantheon, she is considered a Minor Deity of Forests and Mountains, while also being charged with animals, oceans and essentially all flora and fauna. She is depicted as a young woman, with enormous antlers sprouting from atop her skull, through her messy hair. In the traditional Kæmhan faith, she is viewed merely as a force of nature, that she will treat you how you treat her, thus all Kæmhan folk, regardless if they warship her or not, will always try to preserve nature if possible. Her followers also refrain from sacrifices, only going as far as preserve nature but, there have been many reports of them going to great lengths to punish those who harm it. Iðunn: The one who sees, the one who warns. Iðunn is less of a deity and more of a 'prophet', entirely 'warshiped' only by one person in the Kæmhan, which would be the Fæ'id, as they would seek his knowledge and foresight for up coming conflicts, diplomatic afairs or even how this year's crops would turn out. He is depicted as frail old man in purple robes, a long grey beard on his chin and neck, with the only other noticable feature being his missing left eye, that leaves behind a deep black smoke effect. Sacrifices are usually minor things, such as burning specific leaves or other ingredients, in order to create a smoke like trans so that he may pass down any predictions via a vision. Embla: The one who hosts. Embla is the Minor Deity of Fertility and Hospitality, as well as the wife of Einherjar. She represents family and the bonds that one family might hold dear. This would also include non-blood relatives, such as adopted children, since family is what you make of it and not it makes of you. Most Clan Leader warship her to some extent, prayer that she may bring hope and luck into their extended house holds, however, other individuals such as mothers make offerings to her, so that they may see their already existant kin rise, or if they wish to become a mother again. Offerings to her are small yet meaning full, such as singing a lullaby in front of a fire place or doorstep of their house, or hanging up small artifacts with meaning to them or their kin atop the fire place. A must for all her followers however, is to provide hospitality to anyone who may seek shelter within their walls. They will have to welcome any guests, provide for them food, drinks, a warm bath and bed to sleep for at least 3 days. When that has been done, the land owner can choose wether or not they allow the guest(s) to stay any longer. If not, then they will be given some neately homemade food and sent on their way. Sjofn: The mad one, the hateful one. Sjofn an evil spirit, that ressembles the feelings of pitty, jealousy, revenge and other injust negative emotions. She is often depicted as old hag, with white hair and pinkish eyes, as her leggs are those of a goat, causing her to have a commically short appearance. She is not typically warshiped, but one might decided to say a prayer to her if they wish for another to be plagued by bad luck or to be overcome with negative feelings. She also has a reputation of deception, as her jealousy of the mortals who have transended into a higher spiritual level anger her, thus she tries to temp them into stooping on her level by implanting them with feelings of doubt, this is also frequently seem amongst the spiritual warriors of the Kæmhan. Hodur: The who creeps, the one who haunts. Hodur is an abomination, hiding in plain sight, she is associated with dreams, specifically with nightmares and also works as a bad omen, though she is not just the messanger. She disguises herself as a young girl with a yellow hood, as she roams ones dreams, waiting for them to spot her, when that is done, the individual can feel their stomach drop, as she slowly makes her way towards them through the dream, altering it from small to incredibly horrific and gory details. Near the end of the dream she will reveal herself directly, a clear depiction of her face remains unknown, all anyone can remember is a cold feeling, as through that whole where her face should be, a dark void stares back, as a symbol slowly can be made out, before the individual awakens, drenched in cold sweat. The symbols vary drastically, yet some have been decyphered through the years, witht he most common being the following: -Fish: Death looms near those who are assosiated with the individual. -Wild Cat: Wild cats indicate a feature with worries. -Rotten Egg: Bad luck lays ahead. -Calm Water: Peace is near. -Leaves falling: Change is near. -Raven: Good luck lays ahead. Military And Hierarchy Hierarchy Structure: Both the Military and general Hierarchy structure for the Kæmhan is essentially the same, in the sense that there isnt one, not the in the typical sense at least. Within their communities, their exists no royalty, no kings or queens, nor princes and princesses. The general structure for the people is as follow: -Spiritual Leader, The Liberator, The Fæ'id: The Fæ'id is not born into the possiton, unlike most other hierarchies, he is instead elected, not only through the people, but also through the Primordials as well. Before one may even begin to consider becoming the Fæ'id, they must first go through the trials appointed to them by their Clan (The Maturity Trials), which on their own are challenge enougn, however, that is nothing compared to the mental training that they are put through, usually through the current Fæ'id or by an elder member of their Clan. The Fæ'id is the 'Leader' in more than one ways. While there is a Clan council within Kæmhan communities, it is not very common due to their current population that is not only thin but also spread all across the world, thus the Fæ'id has taken on the sole burden of 'leadership' of their people, which can be anything from managing religious events to even being in charge at times of war, since its the Fæ'id's responsibility to protect and serve their people. Due to all of this, the Fæ'id (like mentioned above) goes through intense physical and mental challenges, thus by the time a Fæ'id steps up to replace the old one, they are filled with knowledge, experience and ambitions. The one trait that the Fæ'id must lead by example with is True Neutruality, as at times they may be forced into being 'Judge, Jury and Excecutioner.' both literally and metaphorically, for both interal and external affairs. The view of the Fæ'id summarized with a simple example is the following: "The world is like a coin, it seemingly has two sides, heads and tails, yet people always seem to acknowledge the thrid sides, which is the ring around it, a very thin and fine line that belongs to neither of the aphromentioned two. Maintaining a place within that line is like a fine pressure, that can either create a diamon, or grind you into dust." Apart from that, the Fæ'id is also responsible for teaching people within or outside of their community (if they are willing) about the Soaring Faith and their belief systems in general. It is also their job to train the Preachers of the Soaring Faith, known as the Trauc'er. -The Trauc'ers, Preachers and Liberators: The Trauc'ers have a simple yet crucial role within the Kæmhan community, which is to preach and help the willing, via expanding their horizons through the teachings of the Soaring Faith, or to simply provide advice for those in need, believers or not. They are the ones who help the Fæ'id with any religious responsibilities and act like disciples of the Soaring Faith. -The Extended Kæmhan Military: The military structure of the Kæmhan is vast yet straight forward, however in a social ladder they stand right bellow the Preachers of the Soaring Faith and this category includes any and all military related personal, from the Plumes up to the Kriyell and everything in between. They are all respected and at some cases, usually the rather extreme Squadrons of the Spiritual warriors such as the Rioghna's, are usually feared as well due to their extreme skills and devotion to the cause. -The Kæmhan People: This includes everyone not included within the categories mentioned above, regardless of birth, power or economic status. They are the 'common-folk', with a majority of backgrounds much like the rest of the Kæmhan, ranging from liberated slaves, repented thieves up to warriors, scholars and merchants, as all are welcome in the eyes of the Kæmhan people, as long as they are willing to co-operate of course, with even cases of non-descendant races/creatures joining their ranks. Everyone within this category is essentially the backbone of the Kæmhan community, as they are the ones who keep it alive either through devotion to the faith, or simply because they feel like they want to help in any way they can and support the cause, without the need for warship. The Kæmhan Military and The Warriors Of The Soaring Faith Military Overview: The warriors of the Soaring Faith and the Kæmhan Military are essentially one entity working with different views and systems with the common feature of no clear hierarchy, in the sense that, no person is more important than any other, as they are all people fighting for their beliefs and their freedom. The Kæmhan Military focuses on protecting the people and any land owned by the Kæmhan as well as fighting in any and all conflicts if instructed by the Fæ'id while the Warriors of the Soaring Faith, regardless of the deity they warship or their possition, are always fighting under the direct command of the Fæ'id witht he own common purpose of Liberation of the people of the mortal realm, as well as the maintance of the peace and freedom of the Kæmhan people from any outside threat. Kæmhan Military Structure: The Kriyell: The Kriyell can be described as a General for the Kæmhan forces, acting directly under the Fæ'id in terms of military leadership, taking lead in the Fæ'id's absense as long as permission is given. Only one may be entitled to this role at a time period. The Grivs: The Griv are the 'Special' forces of the Kæmhan Military, a speciallized unit of honorable warriors that, for whatever reason, has chosen to refrain from the Soaring Faith or they just did not want to go through the trials to join one of the Spiritual Warrior groups of the Soaring Faith. They are the elite soldiers of the Kæmhan Military, with admirable brotherhood amongst the troops, perhaps at the cost of devotion to the Liberating cause of the Soaring Faith. The Plumes: The Plumes are the common soldier of the Kæmhan military, yet at the same time the most important part, as they are the backbone to the army themselfs, brotherhood also runs deep amongst them, with shared bonds and the wish to protect their land, homes and those who they hold dear. One might think that they are not as compotent as the Grivs, however, through sear determination and teamwork, they have overcome great foes and they continue to do so. Warriors Of The Soaring Faith: These people are the absolute pride of the Soaring Faith, as they are the truely devoted Liberators of the people across the mortal realm, carrying out the will of the Fæ'id via special missions, using their experience, expertise and other special skills that they may have acquired. They are split into divisions based ont heir Deity of choice and they specialize in different types of tasks, from assasins to frontlines and everything in between. Little is known about them due to the nature of their lifestyle, since their devotion leaves little space for them to engage in any activities, hobbies or anything else apart from family. Tradditions (More to be added in the future) Funerals & Grievings: The Kæmhan culture is straight forward towards funerals, as an ordinary citizen, believer or not , will be given a burrial and will be read a prayer by a Trauc'er in the hopes of salvation for their soul. Where as a warrior, will be cremated, and their asses will be spread wherever their family deems worthy. At the chance of no known relatives they will be again cremated, however this time, depending on who they were, based on beliefs and their service to the Kæmhan military, they might spread in the ocean or on a mountain top. Kæmhan Afterlife: The Kæmhan have their own version of 'Heaven' and 'Hell' without anything too specific being mentioned in their records. They refer to their version of heaven as "The Eternal Hilltop" and its a place high up upon the mountains where those who lived free lives go after they die. When they do die, they are judged by Feidelhm, the true Liberator of mortals, and depending on ones life, the god they warshiped and the deeds of their life, they get to join the deity they warshiped, or if they didnt warship one at all, they would be sent to the one that suited their life style the most. The warriors who fought and died to protect their brothers and sisters in arms go to Rioghnach, so that they may fight once more if they are ever needed to fend off against Llue. The warriors of Einherjar, who have protected their lands and their families, who have been the frontline for their brothers and sisters in arms, they will be the shield and frontline against Llue if she ever dares come back. And the Liberators of Feidelhm, they who have sacrificed everything for the freedom of their people, they shall join in him in the eternal journey to reclaim the birthright of Freedom for those who seek it. As of those who lived twisted lifes, that took advantage of others, who did not care about their fellow descendants, they shall be thrown into the deepest trench of Llues ever flowing oceans, made a slave for her ever present hold on people who hesitate to do the right thing. Forever alone in dispair, with no hope of salvation. Marriage and Relatiosnhips: Kæmhan tradition does not prohibit relationships before marriage, however it is frowned upon for a couple to have a child before they get married, with exceptions being made for couples who have adopted children. Marriage in the Kæmhan community is like mating for life, typically Kæmhan people only have one partner, however there have been rare exceptions through the years as well as same gender marriages, in both cases, it is acceptable like any other marriage, perhaps rarer. The marital ceremony is simple. After either man or woman proposes, a feast is hosted for the soon-to-be-wed couple, there traditional foods and drinks must be served by both families of the pair and at the end if the groom is the one that got proposed to, then his family must dump the remaining alcoholic and not alcoholic beverages on him, as a sign of good faith, of being washed over any last minute doubt and insecurities. (In the case of same-gender marriage, the one who got proposed to will be the one who will get the beverages dumbed upon them.) The wedding itself has very few limitations, such as guests requiring whatever they may judge as "formal" attire, only excluding any religious warriors of the Kæmhan, which are encouraged to wear clothing that reveals their marks, as a show of respect towards the couple. The choice of a priest is up to the couple, but anything is acceptable, from priests from other religions to even the Fæ'id themself. The couple is encouraged to create vowes much like other religions and even to exchange something apart from the usual ring, something of spiritual value, something symbolic of their bond.
  23. Issued by the QUEEN SOFIA OF HYSPIA On this 7th day of Joma ag Umund of 477 E.S. VA BIRODEO HERZENAV AG EDLERVIK, The Tale of Horse and Crow, one symbolic of my recent marriage to King Georg I, is written and intended for any future children our union may have and for that of the next generation of our Kingdom. I chose these two for the Horse and Crow to represent our joined houses, and I hope in the future, for our blessed children to read this and learn to work together, much like the Horse and Crow in this tale. And as promised, special credit to Ser Sterling Amador, my Marian Knight for it was he who suggested the trial used in this tale! IV JOVEO MAAN Her Royal Majesty, Sofia of Hyspia, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess of Hyspia, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Siegrad, Werdenburg, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, and Toruv, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Buck, Thurant and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, Protector and Lady of the Highlanders, etcetera.
  24. "He is strength, will, and action given form His hooves swallow the earth Thorns and antlers crown his fierce eyes He flies without wings His eyes are as sharp as his star-tipped arrows He is Cernunnos - King of Centaurs" Mythology of the Mother Circle Long have druids known Cernunnos as the Horned Lord; Aspect of the hunt, hunger, and primal instincts. Sometimes he is associated with the gnawing grip of disease, the ferocity of the wildfire, and the tempest's roar. For the Mother Circle, the Legend of Cernunnos stories the Hunt Father as a massive beast-man, depicted as either half stag or horse with strong body, large forked antlers and a bow of legendary strength. His arrows pierce the soul, shattering the mortal coil that delays the rebirth of nature. He and his many sons and daughters travel freely from the Court of the Fae Queen to guide the natural flow of the balance, and during the season of autumn oft associated with the Centaur King, he will blow the Horn of the Wild Hunt, beginning the greatest season of change. The leaves will recoil and shrivel into dark, fiery colors, the prey will be driven from their burrows. Hunters and gatherers alike will rejoice in the fair weather in which they will toil for the spoils of autumn, feasting on the weak and plentiful before the cold inevitabilities of winter. The celebrations of Cernunnos traditionally begin during the Fox Moon, or final Phase of Life. To honor the Hunt Father, the Mother Circle will coordinate adventures into the surrounding realms of the Grove. Before every hunt, a communal prayer is held before the grove is departed. The Huntsman's Creed is recited, the bows and blades of the hunters are blessed, and the hunters are sent off while the hearths and feasting grounds are prepared. The Creed is storied to be the self-imposed rules of any honorable hunter worshipping Cernunnos, including the sparing of young and mothers, the focus upon hunting the elder animal, and respect of animal population in reverence to the balance. Needless slaughter is taboo, and is said to invite the attention of mischievous or malevolent fae. The Huntsman's Creed With blade and bow, O Father, may I remain humble in harvest Grant my feet and arrows swiftness, may my eyes and sword be sharp When the heart is pierced, the throat cut May your arrow loft this animal's spirit to the Forest In their rebirth, may I remember this hunt Keep me their memory, the animal honored And in your will may the Wild Hunt forever come Cernunnos and Astrology of the Mother Circle While a majority of the kills sustained during the months of the Wild Hunts, there is some game that is coveted by Cernunnos himself. For the Mother Circle, a druid has become a part of the natural cycle once they arise from the waters of attunement. Druid and Draoi alike will eventually meet their end at the hands of Cernunnos' bow. Fabled to be tipped with the stars themselves, Cernunnos is also the artist of the constellations in the night sky, for every great hunt must preserve a story to honor the fallen. It is said that when Druids finally enter the Eternal Forest for rest, or Draoi for eternal turmoil, the wake of Cernunnos' soul-reaping organizes the stars into a memorial. Rumored to be the arrows of Cernunnos' bow themselves, comets or falling stars are oft seen as an omen of change. The graves of the fallen are typically marked with the simple pattern of stars and connecting lines forming the druid's memorial constellation, which are best seen from the Mother Circle's observatory. There the living druids ponder wisdom left by the fallen, warnings of those who have failed the Aspects, and legends of the Order's history.
  25. An beatiful paitning of the Aurentian Alps could be seen The mountains. It is said that like how waves tower on the beaches, so do the mountains tower over that of the land. Perhaps it could even be said that the mountains are the waves of the land. The waves are a beautiful sight to behold on the beach and such are the mountains on the land. There are many beautiful waves in this land of Almaris… but there is one only truly great mountain range, that of the Aurentian Alps. The Aurentian alps… a luscious mountain escape from the busy world. Luscious and green were the long flowing grasses on those hills. The air always felt fresh and clean. As one traveled up those mountains, one could feel the warm sun peeking over the alps. As the gentle light of the sun embraced you and the beauty of the nature around you met you, one could almost feel the embrace of God himself. And on those alps lay a lovely Viscounty called Hohengarten on the Outremont pass. It was a lovely keep with its bright colors and grape vines that supplied many a beautiful and lovely wine for feasts. The house, like the alps itself, contained plenty of greenery and flowers. In fact, it was almost as if the House was essentially a part of the alps itself in its beauty There existed in that lovely Viscounty, a lovely family. A kind but proud grandmother with a gentle-hearted grandfather. Currently, she shared that household with her 8 children, and her 4 children and daughter-in law of her adopted son. She had a total of 8 grandchildren. Half of them came from her adopted family. And in that adopted family, there existed a cute little blonde boy named Richard von Leopold, the twin brother to Peter Von Leopold and younger brother to his sister Helena and Anne von Leopold. And in that lovely family, the young child Richard was sent on a quest to explore his beautiful little world in the mountains and return with a precious item. “Richard, mein grandson, find zhe item dur Uncle James left on one of the mountain peaks near here… trust mich mein grandson du vill it know vhen du have found it” A Portrait of the young Richard Von Lepold could be seen here And so young Richard Von Leopold began his quest. Armed with a small sword, some food his mother had prepared for him and with hugs and kisses from his sisters and brothers, he walked along those verdant alps, the sun just starting to peak over those tall Alpan mountains. As he walked up those mountains, he breathed in the fresh country air. Perhaps it was a wonderful thing that Hohengarten stood so far out from the world. It was peaceful, away from the troubles of the world. Away from those evil Adrians and those evil Mori who seemed beset upon conquering his little mountain world in the Laurentian Alps. He felt the breeze of the light country air, as the wind was slowed and gentle. The breeze itself was a product of strong winds meeting the even stronger and mighty Alpan mountains that forced the winds to slow, making their breezes gentle and calm. The air felt invigorating and full of life in those luscious mountains. Richard continued his hike, he climbed up on a mountain and he would reach its peak and with a light huff, he found there to be nothing and sighed “Awww, nien, nien, nien!” he said in frustration. He would then look to the other mountains that his grandmother had pointed to and realized he maybe had 5 more to go to! He sighed and kept walking, his legs quite strong and able for a lad his age. For, he had always been an excited lad, running around his quant house and mansion in Hohengarten and never getting tired. Now, what most people don’t realize is that life in the Alps is a bit harder on newer visitors. The high altitudes often tended to make newcomers to Hohengarten a bit shorter of breath than they were used to living in lower altitudes. Eventually, as one got used to living so high above, one would adapt to mountain life and find themselves to be more capable of doing things and last longer in their exercises. But Richard, a child his age, would have no idea of this and he kept walking amazed at just how far he had traveled. His home vanished into the mountains as he continued his walk. Richard would then find the second mountain and climb to its top only to find no object upon its peak. With a sigh, the young Waldenian would find himself thirsty and after drinking the bottle of water that he had. He found himself needing more and so he stood tall upon that mountain and like an eagle he looked around until he found a small creek that he could use that took him to the direction of the third mountain top. And after a bit of a struggle the young Waldenian made it to the creek and would proceed to drink from it. Splashing some of the water in his face, his cute rosey cheeks would redden at the coldness of the creek but it would be a refreshing feeling given his weary traveling so far. The young Richard looked around and smiled for the mountains truly do bring upon great small little wonder and this place was one of them. An protrait of the creek could be seen made by a young Richard Von Leopold for the next time he traveled to this creek The noon sun made the young lilies shined brightly, their petals if felt would have felt soft to the touch. They had a wonderful smell to them and as Richard plucked one. He would giggle and smile at the softness of the lilies and its wonderful. “Ich zhould save zhis and give it to mozher und find anozher for grandmutter” he said with a smile as he took two lilies and put them in his bag. The grass like the lilies, showed a bright shade of green. They were as high as Richard ankles, undisturbed by the presence of man in these mountains as hikers and travelrs were few in this section of the Alps and so Richard like the young lad he was, rolled around in the grass like a child, giggling and laughing like many young little Waldenian children do. As he rolled, the dandelions that were in the grass, would realize their fluffs, surprised by the presence of the child. As he smelled the grass… he could feel something.. Almost as if he could feel the alps themselves speaking to him. And then with a happy and tired sigh, he would stand up and realize “Ich should travel to zhe next mountain!” he said with a giggle and trying his best to remember how he got here for another time. He would then proceed to hike up the third mountain, his legs been rested at the creek, he would proceed to walk onto its peak and finally as he reached the peak he saw the sword stuck in between two rocks in the mountain. Hours at passed, it had long been since mid-day but the sun was still brightly shining. It was msolty likely 3-4 in the day. He giggled in elation as he finally found the sword and he would quickly move to take it. The sword was a bit heavier for Richard… but it came with a backstrap and so he used and put the sword on his back as he returned home. An image of the sword with its scabbard could be seen After that, Richard would then proceed to return home with the only companion he had with him in his travels… the Sun, for it it had been there when he started his trail and now, it was setting down over the mountains as Richard knocked on the door to Hohengarten. “Hallo! It’s mich Richard!” At those words, an elderly red-haired lady, followed by her younger adult red-head daughters and son, a young blonde mother carried in tow with her adolescent blonde twin daughters rushed over to Richard. What came next was a series of hugs and kisses and jubilancy in Hohengarten. “Grandmutter! Ich found zhe svord!” he said then giving her the sword and with that his grandmother Cosima, Countess of Hohengarten would smile “Zhat’s mein gutte little grandson!” she said taking the sword, hugging her grandson and placing a kiss on his forehead. And then looking to her now growing family, she would smile and say “Come! Now we celebrate” she said, then ushering the family to the upside patio, where a wonderful Waldenian dinner would be prepared. A portrait of a sunset over the Aurentian Alps could be seen
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