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The Circle of Crows Followers of the Divine Unknown Founded on the 23rd of Malin’s Welcome, Year 1844 of the Second Age _______________________________________ To the denizens of Almaris, We are the Circle of Crows. We are those who have lurked in the shadows for countless years, moving between the lands, doing our duties alone and without fail. With the troublesome creation of the Voidal Hollow and other untold imbalances that threaten our realm, we as a Circle have come to an agreement. Many of our members have thought it best to make ourselves known in the realm, to those who follow the same path, and to those who wish to join us in our endeavors. We are here to serve a new purpose in this world, to stay present in the development of things that might affect the balance, and to actively protect that balance no matter the cost. In short, we may pursue things differently from that of the current Circles. Henceforth, we have found a home in the lands of the Elvendom, previously known as Elvenesse. We urge that those who wish to join our ranks, simply reach out by letter or in person. Signed,
Da Seers Eron Hefruth ᛏᚺᛖ ᛋᛖᛖᚱᛋ ᛟᚠ ᚺᛖᚠᚱᚢᛏᚺ ~=~ Origins & Belief of the Order Da Seers eron Hefruth act as the religious guides of Hefrumm, bestowing knowledge, hosting festivals, and teaching rituals of the Brathmordakin to their kin. Although they vary from Da Kirkja Dverga in practice, beliefs of the Brathmordakin are identical between the groups. In practice, Seers focus much more on seeing the everyday signs and messages the dwarven gods bestow upon them in little ways. The very first known Seer dates back to Ru Firebeard, a dwarf that taught Baldin Frostbeard all he knew about the secrets of the world. Baldin would with time become the High Preceptor of the Kirkja Dverga, however left the order after a disagreement with newer religious leadership figures, and made an oath never to teach again, retiring to Athera for the life of a hermit. As a result, Baldin’s son Karl Blackroot began to instruct his folk on the teachings passed down in his family, building upon the existing traditions of Hefrumm with the unique ideology of the Seers. One of the core beliefs of the Seers was a resurgence of Divination, although an admittedly weaker form of the ancient art that made no claim to Prophetic Ability, placed a greater emphasis on experiencing the Brathmordakin through rites that specifically were designed to conjure visions, semi-controversially utilizing psychedelics. The Seers as we know them came to be through Karl Blackroot, who became Chief of the Blackroot Clan and later went on to be elected to High Chief of Hefrumm. His unusual founding ceremonies and rituals quickly fell under scrutiny by da Kirkja Dverga, due to the use of psychedelic herbs that he declared gave him visions of the dwarven gods. Even so, the message of the Seers spread quickly through Hefrumm and Karl ascended his first few members into the religious leadership. Since embarking to the new land of Almaris, da Seers eron Hefruth and da Kirkja Dverga have cooperated in teaching all dwarves of Urguan, hosting together the Feast of Paragon Bjor Cottonwood. History of Divination Divination is a complicated and confusing art of the dwarves, an art so ancient that its history is filled with holes and contradictions. The earliest dwarf to possess the ability of divination is often attributed by modern Seers to Urguan Silverbeard. Using this ability they say he was able to look beyond the mortal planes to have deep and meaningful encounters with the Brathmordakin, and such is how he received the powerful craftsmanship magic of Runesmithing and achieved other supernatural feats. It is largely understood by all creeds of dwarves that with the art of Runesmithing, runic relics were made that allowed all dwarves to have direct encounters with the Brathmordakin, and the earliest forms of the clergy took shape to spread this knowledge, their rituals being the first form of what can be attributed as widespread divination. This art continued to grow overtime, notable encounters being the visions of Silverbeard kings, however just as with any growth there became a cancer; the Khorvadic Cult. Today it is believed by the Seers that it was through the heightened powers of ancient runic divination that the Ironborn began contact with Khorvad and began their mad claims for power. At the height of Ironborn rule, the Runelords stood against the empire and were severely punished, virtually all ancient dwarven lore on Runesmithing, runic divination, and traditions of the Brathmordakin were lost, the period dubbed the Great Collapse. With the Great Collapse that brought about the destruction of the ancient art of Runesmithing, the ancient and more true forms of divination were lost. Most of Urguan’s sons gave up on any divination and dedicated themselves only to practicing what traditions and powerless rituals they could recover from their past as instructed. However the ideals of the practice remained, and dwarves would often teach that one could feel the powers of the Brathmordakin through their everyday actions, and to no group of dwarves was this more important than the simple folk of the forest, the Sons of Gloin. While the dwarves above and under the mountain busied themself with trade and complex infrastructure, the forest dwarves maintained a heavy focus on the connection to the Brathmordakin any dwarf has just in everyday life, and it became a core tenant of their culture, the forest dwarves carving powerless runes into many objects in reference to the origins of their beliefs. Ranks of the Order Adhering to the value of Hefrumm's unity and seeing the Brathmordakin as their ultimate guides of leadership, the Seers only vary in ranks from those enlightened and those yet to be. Council of Seers The order of the seers is not led by any one individual. Influenced by the forest dwarf way, the seers act as a group with one voice. The ones that dictate what that voice says is the council of seers, a council composed by all the seers of the order. At the end of their meetings one of them is chosen to announce what they have discussed. Seer A Seer is declared as such when they have undergone The Journey of The Brathmordakin, Ceremony of Ascension, and have been recognized as enlightened by other members, now capable to host rituals of their own. Already established Seers are guides for those still in training. All Seers are granted a seat in the Seer’s Council where beliefs, ideas, and theories are discussed and valued. Seer in Training Those that would like to join must seek guidance of enlightened Seers. To help further their progress, they should be sure to attend every ritual and festival hosted by the Seers, until they are decidedly ready by the council to undergo The Journey of The Brathmordakin and Ceremony of Ascension. Trials Journey of the Brathmordakin A test of will and devotion to the Brathmordakin, Seers in Training will embark on a psychedelic journey through the mountainous Path of the Gods with a Seer as their guide. By consuming “Anbella’s gift,” they will be granted sight to admire visions of the Brathmordakin appearing before each alter, telling a story of their existence through images. If any of these visions begin to appear other than they should, the Seer in Training will fail the journey and must repeat it after making amends with themselves for whatever they perceived wrong on their first attempt. Ceremony of Ascension Once successfully enlightened from the Journey, the final step for Seers in Training is the Ceremony of Ascension. With every Seer in attendance, the dwarf must undergo a final test of devotion, The Trial of Shadows, facing their deepest fears by the shadow of Khorvad. This Trial is only meant for Seers in Training who have proven to be insanely strong of will, for a failed Trial of Shadows could result in wounds left on the mind, and at times, even death. When the Seer in Training has successfully surpassed their greatest fears by Khorvad’s shadow, the Seers will allow them to ascend and become a member by marking them with the blessing of the Brathmordakin that guided them to the light. This can be shown by placing flowers of Anbella in their hair, tattoos of any Brath’s symbol on their body, or any other marking of devotion the dwarf prefers. In extreme cases, dwarves can even undergo full physiological changes as a way to show devotion towards a particular Brathmordakin. Traditions of Anbella Gifts of Anbella The Seers regularly hold rituals of storytelling, aided by the use of psychedelic herbs, or “Anbella’s gifts,” as they’re referred to by the forest dwarves. Typically uniting beside a fire in the center of the village, these rituals consist of strikingly realistic, at times overwhelming, visions of the Brathmordakin and all stories associated. The Seers act as guides to the forest dwarves that partake, whatever they may be experiencing, as the visions can be very unpredictable. Festival of Anbella Anbella being the most cherished of the Brathmordakin to the forest dwarves of Hefrumm, the Seers kick off the year with a celebration of life, nature, and family. Finely woven banners and decorations cover the village; a day full of laughter, ale, and kinship. Typically beginning in the tavern of Hefrumm, The Sugary ***, the festival calls every forest dwarf clan to bring an offering of Anbella with them. From finely baked bread to freshly hunted boar, the day concludes with a great feast in which Seers thank Anbella for their most personally valued gifts of hers. Be it family, forest, home, or peace, every dwarf gathers to say their thanks for what the Hearth Mother has bestowed to them. Rescue Ceremony The spirit of the wild needs to be in all creatures owned by dwarves, in this way their animals never lose their connection to The Tribunal. To do this the seers prepare rescue ceremonies where dwarves go out into the wilderness to capture animals to bring back to their farms. This allows the dwarves to have strong, energetic, and meaty animals for their feasts, races, and armies. An animal of every species collected needs to be sacrificed to be sent to Anbella’s realm as a sign of respect to the deity. Anbella’s Pact Ever since their discovery of epiphytes, they have been noticed to be individuals with close ties to nature. In the ways of the Seers, the process of becoming an epiphyte is a self sacrifice to Anbella. One willingly sacrifices their body sending it to Anbella’s realm, encasing their soul that remains behind into a body composed of natural elements more attuned to her call. Despite its higher spiritual elements this new body makes the individual completely infertile. It is said that the pact only lasts around one century, after which the soul of the individual returns to the body in Anbella’s realm. In exchange for one’s sacrifice and a century of service Anbella grants the individual one offspring which is born in Anbella’s realm and whose soul is sent into the mortal realm in the same form as their parent. Despite being able to be done in natural circumstances the likelihood of woodmadness to kick in is more likely as the mind of those individuals tends to not be trained in any way and are just individuals that are attuned to nature. The best way to avoid woodmadness is by doing Anbella’s Pact under guidance and supervision of a Seer that has done it in the past. Traditions of Yemekar Festival of Creation In honor of The Father and Creator of the dwarven race himself, this festival is a day of creativity, innovation, and balance. For forest dwarves, this means woodworking, brewing, branch weaving, and several other products made by the dwarves of Hefrumm. Each dwarf should bring a handmade creation to offer to Yemekar at the altar in Hefrumm. Traditions of Dungrimm Ceremony of the Ancestors A ceremony hosted by the Seers to honor the dead. In the ceremony of Dungrimm dwarves gather to commemorate their ancestors. It is a time to ask for blessings from them and wisdom. During these ceremonies there also tends to be tournaments of strength and valor to entertain those in Kaz’a’Dentrumm and in other realms of the Brathmordakin. Festival of War In times of war captured enemies can be given an honorable death by fighting each other as a sacrifice to Dungrimm in the arena. Those that die honorably in the arena are said to be reincarnated as dwarves in the next life, their soul returning to Yemekar’s forge to be reshaped into a better quality of life. Ceremony of the Dead After the burial of a dwarf has taken place, the ceremony of the dead has to proceed. In this ceremony the friends and relatives of the fallen dwarf gather to talk about the exploits of the fallen. This is done after the burial of the individual so that the Brathmordakin can witness the ceremony before bidding on the soul of the dead. The hope is that after hearing of the achievements of the fallen they will be more inclined to bid for him/her. Dungrimm’s Pact Saprophytes, similar to epiphytes, can appear naturally, but to avoid woodmadness the guidance of the Seers is recommended. Those that choose to become Saprophytes understand the need for decomposition and death in the balance of the tribunal. Like with the epiphytes, saprophytes are infertile, and after a century of service to Dungrimm their soul returns to their body in his realm and a son/daughter is given as a reward. Traditions of Belka Ceremony of the Roses This Ceremony is meant for a dwarf to find a partner. When a dwarf seeks to find a partner they are able to go to a Seer for help. The Seer will take notes of the desires of the dwarf, and will call for the ceremony. All contestants will come to the single dwarf and they will have a conversation for a limited amount of time, in turns. If the single dwarf likes the contestant he/she will give that contestant a rose, which the Seer will hand out. If a proper partner is found the Seer will sacrifice a rabbit to give good luck to the couple. Lover's Brawl To commemorate Belka’s passion the ceremony of the Lovers Brawl can be organised by a Seer. In this event couples take turns in the arena beating each other up until one wins. This duel is meant to represent the passion and strength of their love. Two rabbits tend to be sacrificed before the ceremony to summon the attention of Belka. Parade of Joy To celebrate the survival of the dwarven race despite Khorvad’s attempts to destroy it, the Seers organise a parade. In these parades the dwarves dress up and march around the continent, expressing the might of the dwarven race in a non-aggressive, cheerful manor. Traditions of Ograhad Ograhad’s Day of Study For the wisest of dwarven kin, this occasion is focused on educating the village on the traditions of Hefrumm. Each Seer will be expected to bring a piece of ancient knowledge to bestow in Ograhad’s honor. Following each lesson, said traditions will be taught and participated in. Assimilation Ceremony When a way/ceremony/festival or any other activity has shown results in bringing people closer to the Brathmordakin the Seers’ Council meet and give offerings to Ograhad, then they discuss this new activity and how it works. The council after reaching an agreement decides whether the activity should be added to the list of ceremonies practiced by the Seers. The Ceremony of Tales In this ceremony dwarves bring any tales they wish to the gathering. Once there they will each take turns telling and enjoying each other's stories. These tales can be song, read out, or acted. At the end of the day the goal is to entertain Ograhad with great tales that he can add to his great library. Traditions of Armakak Sun Festival In the Sun festival dwarves come to the gathering bringing their oddities. Once there dwarves trade and barter with each other for the items in their possession. Despite this being aimed at dwarves, all living beings are welcomed if they come to barter. Legends claim that before the creation of the mina there were yearly festivals where folk bartered and traded each other's goods in honor to the Sun God. Traditions of Grimdugan The Brothers’ Rivalry The Brothers’ Rivalry is a tradition dedicated to Grimdugan and Armakak. In this event dwarves are divided into two teams. One representing Armakak, and one representing Grimdugan. Both teams have a stone week to gather as much wealth as they can. Both teams are allowed to mine for it, but the team of Armakak is allowed to use their shops to gain wealth, and the team of Grimdugan is allowed to steal from non-dwarves for theirs. When the end date arrives the wealth of both teams will be placed in the chests of their respective team. The team that has the most wealth in their chest will win. Those that lost will have to give half of what they have gained to the winning team. The Wild Hunt When the dwarves are at war with another nation the Council of Seers can call for the Wild Hunt to take place. This bloody event can last for years, depending on the conflict the dwarves are in. During the Wild Hunt dwarves are invited to swarm the territories of their enemies, raiding, and stealing the wealth of those that inhabit that land. For the Wild Hunt not to just be a call for personal enrichment, part of the collected wealth needs to be burned as an offering to Grimdugan. ~=~ "In dedication to Karl Blackroot, may he forever rest in Anbella's embrace and da Seers Eron Hefruth thrive in his honor." High Chief of Hefrumm, OOC: For more information regarding the Seers of Hefrumm or to join the Order, contact: Yazmorra Blackroot (Lady_Dietz) or via discord; Dietz#2343