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Found 11 results

  1. A humble invitation is hung on noticeboards around settlements in the Enchanted Forest and Druidic Circles. Come join the Underlight Grotto as the final of the Fae Moons pass, and we welcome the arrival of the next lunar year! Named for the first full moon during spring's first emergence from winter, or the Season of Birth, the annual festival indulges in a time of music, dancing, and craftsmanship with the lauded Kuila Crystals of the realm. As the second annual gathering, the theme has been decided; the dress attire will be inspired by the very crystal the corresponding faerie tale the festival honors! In folklore from the chroniclers of the fae, the Aspect Cerridwen awakens from her winter sleep at the height of the first full moon of the lunar calendar. From her chrysalis hidden deep in the Fae Realm, she emerges and heralds the arrival of warm spring air and green revival. Likewise, Cerridwen's Devoted of the Mother Circle celebrate this tale with the yearly festivities: A flower dance in which the seeds of wildflowers are sown while enjoying jubilant music, an open air market featuring artisans from around the realm, a dress competition, tiva crafting, and performances featuring the Druid Bard and his trusty living banjo! Come spend an evening with the Grotto at the beachside meadow! Vendors send a letter via the aviary to Aerendyl Hawksong to have space reserved for a booth. [[ OOC: Sunday, February 25th at 6:30 pm EST. IGN CornerianArwing for inquiries.]]
  2. ⋆꒷꒦‧₊˚𓆩The Narrator's Prologue𓆪˚₊‧꒦꒷⋆ [Before you, a book written and published under the name Fal'leon Kagura Maehr'uhier] We found ourselves in a space unfamiliar, cold, and devoid of life. The silence of nature was near deafening, and I was thankful for the song my staff gave off. Myself, Nemea, Elenora, Floria, Lesley, and a ‘ker unbeknownst to myself stood on the black sand, surrounded by crimson walls and a dark ceiling. The being- a man, or something emulating a man, faceless and threatening floated above us with menace. The Narrator, it so dubbed itself, and thus I shall do the same. The Narrator spoke, “Think of this as a first draft to my story. I’ve read stories with dragons and beasts, where a group of heroes save the princess.” Questions flurried from us. Where were we? What are the rules? Can we bird a friend? They were answered, though the information was hardly noteworthy. If the Narrator bore a gaze, it landed on Nemea, who had provoked it previously. Within an instant, she was atop a black stoned structure that hovered in the air. We, the heroes, I suppose, bickered for a small bout, the fault of our situation up for debate. A discussion I will save detailing. “Do you all have your weapons ready?” We were asked. Yes’s from nearly everyone, except myself and Floria. Panic struck me at that moment, but this Narrator creature is apparently not an unjust creature. But, rather, a storyteller. A glaive, my glaive formed into my grasp, thankfully. The engravings of elven, the decor, all as created. How interesting this creature is. The Narrator vanished before I had even a moment to notice, and in its place a creature of vile appearance. Its maw was large and toothy, hung open in an unpleasant manner. Its flesh, or something like flesh, was black and inky in colour, similar to the sand below us. “Thats a face only a haelun could love” “I dont think even a haelun could love THAT.” While humorous, it wasn’t a false description. This creature wasn’t something I enjoyed viewing. I can’t imagine any of us did. Our time to simply sit and observe was not long spent, as it let out a noise I can only describe as the roared version of a stomach gurgle before beginning to approach one of my comrades. We moved in tandem to encircle this creature while Lesley began to egg it onwards, yelling and running to draw its attention away from the rest of our party. I waited, my glaive ready, my breath held. The chance of this thing being peaceful remained on the table, that is, until it struck Lesley. I took this as this story’s confirmation to be on the attack, and attack I did. Decades of combat etched into the very bones of my existence, the cobwebs promptly shaken free in the moment of my approach. Swift, fluid, and on the mark. I felt my blade bury into the back of this creature with great satisfaction, and when I returned to a defensive position, saw what must have been its version of blood-- that thick black sand all around us-- leaked out. This initiation of combat wasn’t something that would go without punishment, I learned this fact quickly. I had kept my distance from the beast, the length of my blade allowing such, however not enough it seemed. Claws raked my face and seared pain through me. The sting of combat, a masochistic joy I seldom admit to miss. I felt the blood seep down, and with two of us bearing injury, a silent acknowledgement of the severity of our situation sunk in. Even if the Narrator wouldn’t allow us to die, a prospect we had no proof of, we could leave with severe injuries. Perhaps that realization is what caused everyone to move in at once. In succession, Elenora, myself, the ‘ker and Floria all moved to strike the creature down where it stood. Axe, glaive, trident and spear, all sunk into various places. Myself, I aimed for the very arm that dared to strike me. And, as swiftly as it had formed, the creature fell to sand as its jaw unhinged. We stood together, still seeing red, our chests heaving. I was brought from my trance by Nemea falling from above and landing next to me, and realized then it had ended. “Tutorial complete.” The Narrator floated above us once more, and I craned to view it. I wonder now, in recalling this, if it had expected the majority of us to have enjoyed the experience, or perhaps it was disappointed by such. It was hard to tell what a faceless creature was feeling, given it couldn’t emote such to us, and certainly wouldn’t give word. What it did inform us of, is that this was hardly the end of our new story. This was, in all senses of the word, a test. Our toes dipped into the waters of this tale, of the format in which this writer would be crafting its next book. Concerningly, excitingly, I’m under the impression that these chapters -- as I’ve been calling it -- will increase in difficulty going forward. This prologue was easy, but if the Narrator is as much a craftsman of chronicles as it claims to be, then things will grow more interesting with time. “I will give you two years' rest.” Two years. That’s the amount of time we have to prepare ourselves for the first real chapter of this tale, and hone the skills we have. What this Narrator is, its powersource, is unbeknownst to any of us. Voidal in nature, it is not, this is something I am sure of. Thus, it remains a mystery I hope to solve. I hope these next two years treat us well enough that we may be prepared for what lies ahead.
  3. "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.
  4. "When the moon rises in hue of strawberry, then has come the hour of the flower faerie. On beams of moonlight, they paint and dance, a springtime eve to enchant!" Excerpt from the folktale of the Wildblossom Faeries When the Crystal Moon has set, the druids of the Mother Circle pay homage to the arrival of true spring by observing one the season's more prominent faerie tales. After the Fae Queen Cerridwen emerges from her winter chrysalis, the Springmother breathes the first warm winds onto the land and blesses the dormant ground with life. Upon the perfumed breezes of moonlit nights come the Wildblossom Faeries, thought to act as the paintbrushes of the Aspect herself. The vibrant hues of spring, nearly endless in color and shape, make the living world not just a vessel of life from the Aspect, but also a reflection of her eternal beauty. Sometimes depicted as riders of springtime birds such as cardinals, robins, or hummingbirds, the faeries are believed to serve as the helpers of the Mani Kholibrii until the arrival of the next moon. _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ During the passing of the Painted Moon, the Mother Circle celebrates the lunar month as one of creation and artistry. Wine and liqour is bottled with essence of spring, new clothing is sewn, performances are entertained, and the colors of the wilds are welcomed into the grove. Great care is taken to foster the growth of the blooms brought by the passing of the Painted Moon, avoiding harvest of the flowers until the time of the faeries' crossing has passed. In folklore, it is thought that those who have earned favor with the Fae Queen will discover many blooms around their house, and find their family blessed with prosperity and health. Some devout druids may choose to cultivate a certain color of flower during the season in hopes to provide their space with some living air of inspiration, such as red blooms for courage or white flowers for peace. While the Mother Circle celebrates the Painted Moon and awaits the arrival of the next, the druids offer a creation of their own to Cerridwen in hopes that when the fruits and berries of summer come, the Aspect promises a good harvest for the druids in return for their faith.
  5. “Then the world was dark and silent. Long and lonely are the nights of deep winter. Rejoice! The wind, Cerridwen’s Breath Has come to melt away the bitter cold!” ____________________________________ A painter's depiction of Cerridwen's springtime rebirth As the previous moon wanes to a sliver, the folklore of the Mother Circle stories the great rebirth of Cerridwen from her deep winter sleep. In her slumber she is veiled in the crystalline ice of the coldest nights of the year and her court empties. The turning of the seasonal wheel comes to a quiet halt; the longest night of the year swallows the realm. Then, as ever faithfully as spring comes to winter, the hand of time turns backwards. From her chrysalis, Cerridwen reawakens. The faerie tale of the Springmother is celebrated during the Crystal Moon, the first phase of the new lunar year of the Mother Circle. Through traditions and rites, the Mother Circle honors the end of the Wild Hunts of Cernunnos and embraces the Breath of the Springmother: the very wind of life that paints with bright green in a cold, grey realm. During the days of early spring, artisans set to work carving with traditional faerie stones: carved gemstones or kuila. The Crystal Moon was rumored to be so named after the phenomenon of naturally growing cave quartz or minerals, seeming to grow and bloom as a flower might. In likeness to the Fae Queen's chrysalis, the minerals are made into offerings to Cerridwen or placed around the grove to pray for a prosperous spring. ________________________________________________ The Jackelope Faerie Told alongside the rebirth of Cerridwen is the curious faerie tale of the rare Jackelope; a horned rabbit thought to be a Herald of Spring. Emerging to bring news of the Fae Queen's revival, they The rabbit of folklore breaks stubborn ice with jagged horns, leaping great bounds over the ground, the thunderous thumping of rabbits foot in the brush sowing the seeds of berries and flowers that will soon bloom and grow. A sighting is considered very rare, and is believed as a symbol of luck. While depicted as soft, innocent creatures, they are rumored to bare a voracious appetite without discretion, including prey. To see the jackelope and escape certain devouring is to embody luck itself. Particularly paranoid followers of the faerie culture might craft a rabbit's foot talisman in hopes to sway luck in their favor, and keep the Jackelopes at bay.
  6. The Rite of Rebirth The most celebrated ritual of the Mother Circle is that of Attunement, or the Rite of Rebirth. Toiling for years in the wilds and among the great druidic family, a dedicant that has successfully proven themselves will earn the chance to be presented to Cerridwen within the Mother's Sorrow. There, guide and student arrive together in the crystal waters to immerse the spirit within the crystal clear waters, symbolizing the tears the Great Mother sheds to bring the druids the miracle of rebirth; to experience the light of life through the transcendence of the soul and into the web of life. For every miracle of birth, there is death, and in those tears of understanding are druids born into this realm anew. The Lyric of Rebirth During the Rite, the lights of the grove are dimmed. The attuning druid prays to the Great Mother through song, asking for her guidance as the druid ascends into the cerulean dream. The prayer is in gratitude to the Mother for providing the blessing of sharing the gifts through rebirth and for life itself, and for her watchful eye over the life and eventual death of all of her children. This is often performed with the gift of singing, so that the newborn druid may rest easier and find comfort after attunement. For times of childbirth among the mothering druids and for when a brother or sister must be said goodbye to, the lyric is often heard in accompaniment to a similar ceremony. Kae matayna salume I experience the great life Ahaelun, mataliiyna’ito Great Mother, within my essence Nae elasirameonn myumiera You have brought Rebirth (Attunement) Fitayna, Fi’Talonnionn (You brought) New Life, New Child (Of the great family) Mawynn taliiyna’ito Great Joy is within the heart Mawynn taliiyna’ito Great Joy is within the heart Kaean ahernan ito nae We thank you Kernan’tayna For the nights of Life Kaean ahernan ito nae We thank you Karinan’tayna For the days of Life O Cerridwen, O Cerridwen Hiylu’evar, fidruii Welcome, newborn druid Kae ito Ma’Talonni I bring you into the Great Family Kae elsul salume I experience the light Ito maillern, fitaynan kaeleh’ito A miracle, a birth from me Mawynn taliiyna’ito Great Joy is within the heart Mawynn taliiyna’ito Great Joy is within the heart Kaean ahernan ito nae We thank you Kernan’tayna For the nights of Life Kaean ahernan ito nae We thank you Karinan’tayna For the days of life O Cerridwen, O Cerridwen
  7. An artists' depiction of the Court of the Faerie Queen "She is the breath of life in our lungs, the rain that both mourns the fallen and nourishes the living. She is the kaleidoscope of colors in spring; the heartbeat of the world. Her name is Cerridwen, Queen of the Fae." Mythology of the Mother Circle Oft regarded as the orchestrater of the druidic gifts herself, Cerridwen has been a lauded symbol of motherhood, guidance, and life itself. The Mother Circle has cultivated a rich culture in reverence to the Aspect of life, and hosts many notable shrines and sacred glades dedicated to her role in the Balance. Even if she is as silent as her equal counterpart Aspect, Cernunnos, the evidence of her eternal role in the Balance is just as clear and colorful. While the Father's symbol is fire, the Mother's is water. Her seasons are spring and autumn, when the flowers and harvest are at their strongest. In the mythology of the Mother Circle, Cerridwen holds dominion over all living things, but particularly of the fae who are thought to be the richest representation of life's potential. As such, the lunar calendar is a visible symbol of Cerridwen's three eternal promises: birth, life, and decay. The Lunar Phases and the Fae Moons The calendar is separated into three seasons to represent the flow of life. Additionally, each Archdruid of the Grove represents a lunar season. The Moons of Birth - Spring to early Summer, depicted as the Waxing Moon The Moons of Life - Summer to early Autumn, depicted as the Full Moon The Moons of Decay - Autumn through Winter, depicted as the Waning Moon Rarely, a thirteenth moon will be visible during the lunar calendar. Known as the Fae Queen's Moon, it is believed that Cerridwen's influence over the realm reaches a crescendo at the height of the full moon, calling the wandering fae and the souls of deceased druids home to her court in the Fae Realm. Phenomena of whimsical and beautiful natural wonder are storied to emerge on this sacred night, bathing the world in the pure light of the Mother's radiance. Depiction and Worship The Mother Circle traditionally displays Cerridwen as a winged being of wondrous bioluminescence, crowned with wisps and butterflies. When depicted in physical means either through statues or shrines, she is also seen as a green lady with misty eyes and wild tresses of ivy. Chiefest of the sacred places within the grove is known as the Mother's Sorrow, where the Cerridwen's glowing gaze looks down upon the pool in which the Rite of Rebirth, or Attunement, is performed. Here, a descendant is born again, bathed in the tears of the Mother. Just as in the labors of childbirth, Cerridwen baptizes her newborns in both tears of joy and tears of sorrow, for even druids will too decay, and suffer the eventual toll of death. The druids of the Mother Circle believe that all life is merely borrowed from Cerridwen, and in time it must be given back. The crying statue of Cerridwen within the Mother's Sorrow, overlooking the Attunement pool In addition to the physical worship of the Aspect, the Mother Circle believes the Fae Queen's pure spirits, known as faeries or the fae, are the manifestation of a mother's specific lessons, cherished traits, or even enactors of the will of the Aspects themselves. While not truly worshiped in the same manner as the Aspects, they are revered as sacred beings and are sometimes claimed to be seen fulfilling phenomena in nature. The StormTreader Stags, for example, are pure white faeries of deer that are believed to the source of lightning when they crash their antlers to smite the souls of draoi or evil spirits.
  8. "You can't see it... but you can see where it's been. It's the lightning that starts the forest fire, or the rain that will douse it. Fate's a funny thing... but I've seen stranger." A Huntsman's Grimoire on the Faerie Legend of the Windrunner One of the more abstract faerie tales regarded by the Mother Circle is the story of the Windrunner, oft depicted as either an eerie winged beast as the shadow of death, or as a guardian of the harvest boughs and abundant life. The Mother Circle druids regard this faerie as a Fae of the Wild Hunt, but more specifically one of the hunter's preservation and destruction of life. Some have claimed to be haunted by the cold eyes of the faerie after surviving a near-death experience, courting with paranoia of the thing after cheating death. Thought to be associated with the wordless will of fate within the Balance, the faerie is believed to manifest as the creeping cold of winter, or the autumn feast for the hunter. One will never give unless the other takes, as it is with the Balance and the perpetual flow of time. The Mother Circle, during the height of the Crimson Moon's passing, a great feast is held. It is a time of thanksgiving and toasts to good health and fortitude for the coming winter, but also a day to remember those whose fates had been decided. The toll of death is best not forgotten, for the harvest of the now is seldom achieved without sacrifice. At the end of the feast, offerings are given to the sculpture of the faerie in hopes that the rejection of excess might align themselves further with the Balance, and to honor the aspect Cernunnos and his Wild Hunt. As it is in the Huntsman's Creed, the druids of the Atoll remain humble in harvest. Only when the dead have been honored and the feast concluded, the Mother Circle druids prepare for the frosts and hardship left behind from the Crimson Moon's arrival.
  9. _________________________________________ _________________________________________ A painting of the sunken city of merfolk faeries " It is a realm not quite near, and not quite so far... In those sunken, forgotten halls The Ocean's daughter mourns evermore. " Excerpt from the Faerie Legend of the Sea Maiden During the third and final full moon of the summer months, the Mother Circle reflects upon the legend of the Sea Maiden, a mermaid queen fabled to be the source of all ocean treasures. There, deep in the cerulean city of the ocean's splendor, she guards and keeps the tides, waiting for a day that shall never come. When the the world was young, and the seas without graveyards, a Son of Malin ventured into the surf with silver sails to glide over the water's surface as a shooting star in the night sky would. His hair was as pearly as the sea-foam upon the shore, and his eyes glimmered with the wondrous blue of the deep ocean. From her young throne, the Sea Maiden, Queen of Sirens and Mermaid Fae gazed up from her throne and knew that no pearl, no shell nor jewel was fairer than he. Yet, when the Sea Maiden erupted from the surface to meet her beloved... He denied her. For the elf with a mane of stars and eyes of tempest sought not love nor beauty... He sought glory that she could not give. Then, the world experienced the first cataclysm of the sea's legendary rage. As the sailor departed, the white hull of his vessel trailed a terrible, sorrowful storm. The tides swelled as the Ocean's daughter wept day and night. Even the land trembled beneath the black clouds; wailing, tumultuous pain of love that will never be. The typhoon raged across the land and deposited all of the riches of the ocean onto white shores. Pearl, fossils, coral, and shells and jewels like a kaleidoscope of treasure showered the shores of Kings and peasants alike. The Sea Maiden had rejected all of the Ocean's wealth that day. Her heart longed not for the shimmering coat of pearls and gems, but for the diamond-hair of her sailor. Still, she sings a mourning song in the depths of the sea, hoping that one day her sailor might return and join her atop the Cerulean Throne. It is rumored that sirens and mermaids are drawn to sailors, so that they might lure them into the abyss to bring the Sea Maiden her true love in which she searches for even still today. An artists' depiction of the Mermaid Queen To celebrate the fable of the Sea Maiden, the Mother Circle holds a great Ocean Ball at the end of the summer cycle. Donning sea-side treasures such as pearl, abalone, and coral are seen as a gesture of good fortune, as the Sea Maiden supposedly sends trinkets into the surf to those that reject fame and glory for the quieter fates of life.
  10. The breeze was warm, the sky as clear as crystal while the druids steadily weaved through the crags and cliffs of the Atoll. Gulls cried above their heads in delight, curiously flocking overhead once the druids had found their destination; a shallow bay with hundreds of shades of coral. The water was clear, calm and inviting, hinting at pleasant hours of scavenging for simple shells, pearls, and sea stones. However, something was amiss... The song of the sea faltered in the perception of the druids. Somewhere, the gentle hum of the tropical coast weakened and whimpered near-silently. Sinking waist-deep into the water, they hone their senses to the center of the bay. Whatever was disrupting the gentle, flowing song of the sea was somewhere out of reach. The five adventurers push boats into the gentle surf, gliding across the still water with ease. Further and further they slowly paddled, the song of nature quieting until nothing but the wind billowed past their ears. Where there was crystal blue water all around them, this portion of the bay was stained with a strange purple hue. The most curious took a small drink from the ocean to find it soured; astringent and nauseatingly salty. The brave dove down, determined to find the source of the somber song... The rigging of the simple brigandine rose like dark spires from the shallow sea floor. It's grave was the corpse of a ruined reef, suffering and dying under the weight of the broken timber and lost cargo. Deeper, and deeper did the druids brave the depths, until the cause of the rampant decay was obvious. The ship once carried fine wine, crates and barrels of luxurious drink from around the world. The broken bottles slowly leaked into the bay, tainting and discoloring the calm water. Fish dared not risk their health, swimming circles curiously around the blight of their once thriving home. For the druids, the time to act was clear to them; today was not a day of leisure and chatter, but of action. Slowly, the adventurers retrieve the broken boxes and bottles. Sweat, toil, rope-burnt palms and heads light from diving, the wine spill is slowly cleared. Raising their staffs together, summoning the cleansing grace of the Aspect's gifts, the water takes on a bright, bioluminescent glow as the druids purge taint from the water. The arduous task of purging the reef completed, the druids clamber back into the boats to make their trek home. Then, a bottle thumps against the boats. Within, a simple scroll reads: "The six mermaid stones rest on Sharktooth Isle." The route to the island wasn't long. Voyage completed within an hour, the druids set foot upon Sharktooth Isle. Indeed, the great whites circled the island hungrily, watching for any fool that might think themselves mightier than the beasts of the sea. On shore, the sailors took respite under a lone tree's shade. "I found a cave!" A druid shouts. Just as quickly as they sought a moment to breathe, the adventures scrambled to their feet, delving into the leaky cave below. At the bottom of the damp stone bowels of the island laid the final resting place of a bearded sailor. He was a dwarf, his beard still glittering with braid-beads and gold of his former splendor. There he slumbers eternally, clutching a key to his chest. The sharp eyes of the druids discern the key's intended purpose. A simple false wall of stone, concealing a dwarven sailor's treasure hoard. With the simple wall opening, before the druids appeared a treasure hoard of six stones. Three of pure, massive opalite, the light of a tropical ocean dawn sealed within the luxurious stones, and three of peacock green alexandrite that shifted to a royal hummingbird purple in the torchlight. The dead captain's note guarded the hoard, old and worn. His final wishes still legible, the druid reads aloud... "Here lays my heart, six in pieces. One for each daughter I should have loved, before the sea stole my heart. Take care of them, for I could not."
  11. "She is the breath of life in our lungs, the rain that both mourns the fallen and nourishes the living. She is the kaleidoscope of colors in spring, the heartbeat of the world. Her name is Cerridwen, Queen of the Fae." [Link] -From the writings of Aerendyl, Archdruid of Song __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Revived from an age of dormancy, the eldest circle is comprised of druids from many paths and creeds united in devotion to the preservation of the Balance. Believing that all life is merely borrowed from the Faerie Queen, these faithful druids commit their living years to the preservation of the Balance, stewardship of the wilds, and the proliferation of a culture of reverent storytelling until the Great Mother calls them to give back that life afforded to them and take rest within the boughs of her enchanted court deep in the Eternal Forest. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ From merciful healers to inviolable guardians, the Mother Circle druids serve nature in lockstep with the dual ordinance of the King and Queen in the woods, Cernunnos and Cerridwen. Believing that the will of the Aspects can be discerned by the natural phenomena of the lunar cycle, astral events, and seasonal change, the circle observes the progression of the Lunar Calendar; a timetable of twelve moons and occasionally a rare thirteenth moon that is divided into three seasons that reflect the promises of the Great Mother: Birth, Life, and Decay. The Phases of Birth The Phases of Life The Phases of Decay The beginning of the The middle of the The end of the Calendar, calendar, the emergence Calendar, the arrival Summer’s degradation into Of Spring from Winter of Summer from Spring Autumn and Winter _______________________ _______________________ ________________________ The Crystal Moon The Storm Moon The Crimson Moon The Painted Moon The Lion Moon The Pumpkin Moon The Flower Moon The Ocean Moon The Night Moon The Cloud Moon The Fox Moon The Wolf Moon The Fae Queen’s Moon _______________________________ A rare thirteenth moon that sometimes arises during the lunar calendar, and is considered most sacred of the thirteen. During its arrival, it is believed that the souls of departed druids and wandering faeries are summoned to Cerridwen’s Court deep in the Eternal Forest, guided by the light of the full moon. On the night of its arrival, the druids celebrate the Gathering of the Lights, a ritual that involves the interpretation of constellations and the ascension of faerie fire lanterns carrying prayers to the Aspects into the night sky. "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” [Link] The Huntman’s Creed Honored equally, Cernunnos is worshiped as the Protector of the Fae Queen’s Court and Master of the Wild Hunt; a recurring age of great autumnal change, harvest, predatory drive and perseverance. The beginning is marked by the arrival of the Fox Moon and ends at the final waning crescent of the Wolf Moon, during which time the circle honors the arrival of the Centaur King’s chiefest huntsman including both Mani and faeries alike. Thought to bear star-tipped arrows that shatter the mortal coil and reap souls to return to the ever-cycling flow of life, the Mother Circle recognizes Cerunnunos as the artist of constellations and chronicles the celestial signs diligently. The Astral Observatory doubles as a graveyard for departed druids of the Order, where their specific constellations can be viewed in the reflected firmament upon the mirror sheen of the observatory’s viewing pool. Druids seeking spiritual purpose from the Huntsmaster himself may dedicate themselves to further service through induction into the Wildwood Rangers, a loose fellowship of druids whose duties are to roam the realm, seek out threats to the Balance before catastrophe strikes and fiercely protect any who dare threaten the glades of Cerridwen’s Devoted. The Rangers are encouraged to remain active in exploration and stewardship, scorning slothfulness and exclusivity. Requiring only to follow the ethics of Cernunnos’ Huntsmen and memorization of the Creed, the duties of the Ranger remain a popular purpose for Mother Circle druids to pursue. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Druids of the Mother Circle, collectively known as Cerridwen’s Devoted, are considered equal among their peers. Nominated by existing archdruids or the whole circle in absence of leadership, the Circle is organized by three roles of oversight. The number three is thought to be sacred among Cerridwen’s Devoted, harkening to the lunar cycle and the three promises of the Great Mother. The Mother’s Song Aerendyl Hawksong Responsible for cultural worship, inspiration and guidance of the Circle’s learning Druids, and outreach to nations and realms The Mother's Mercy The Mother's Wrath Suika Lorenthus Vanari Amethyst Vanari Responsible for the advisement of Responsible for the detection the focus in the Circle's efforts of threats to the Circle to preserve the Balance and preservation of unity The Mother Circle Druid Inaugurated either by attunement through the Rite of Rebirth or through three basic trials, these druids actively participate in the Circle’s core duties and assigned missions. Foreign druids may choose to complete the following tasks to attain recognition as a part of Cerridwen’s Devoted: the performance of the Rite of Rebirth, the leading of a hunt with the recital of the Huntsman’s Creed, and a held sermon on the lunar calendar, fae, mani or Aspects. Some may choose to take the Ilmyumier markings of the Circle, which depicts three blue faerie roses woven together in any place of choosing. The Dedicant Those prospects who have pledged to follow the path of druidism are known as dedicants. Through years of diligence in studies and tasks, the dedicant is prepared by their guide and mentors within the circle to be presented to the Aspects through the Rite of Rebirth, in which the King and Queen in the woods will pass their final judgment. The Sylvan Warden -Vacant- To manage and coordinate the Wildwood Rangers, a symbolic figurehead is chosen to organize outings and communicate with the three Archdruids. Keeping the tasks and missions of the Rangers enigmatic to outsiders, the Warden’s primary role is to keep the Rangers engaged. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Rite of Rebirth [Link] When a dedicant has fulfilled the requirements of dedicancy, the circle gathers in the Mother’s Sorrow to immerse the druid in the living waters of the grove. Believing that Cerridwen herself labors to offer descendants a renewal of life through attunement and the gifts, the Lyric of Rebirth is sung in prayer as the dedicant is presented to the Aspects for judgment. This rite is also performed to usher the souls of departed druids to the Eternal Forest. Sounding of the Horn [Link] To herald the season of the Wild Hunt, the massive horn of the Circle is blown at the height of noon on the first day of the Fox Moon. The druids have infused the horn with potent gifts, so much so that nature itself quakes in fervor at the call of the Centaur King’s Huntsmen. While primarily used for ceremonial purposes, the horn will sound when the grove is threatened to instill druidic energy in the environment and prepare the glades for battle.
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