Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Cosmology, Myths and Religions => Topic started by: Azhira Styralias on 08 July 2008, 04:20:05



Title: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 08 July 2008, 04:20:05
Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the beliefs of the Kaaer’dár’shín people. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer’dár’shín have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer’dár’shín, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

Prevalence:

The Beastlord faith is practiced primarily by the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer’dár’shín. This tribe dwells along the southeastern section of the peninsula of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia. The tribe's ancestry consists of the Kuglimz humans and the Osther-Oc orcs. It is believed that the Beastlord faith is a mix of the Kuglimz beliefs in the All-Father and All-Mother and the primitive spiritual beliefs of the orcs.

Beliefs:

For the Kaaer’dár’shín, there are no deities as as are known in other faiths of the known world. Instead, the Kaaer’dár’shín hold that two spirits, the Great Spirit and his mate, usually depicted as a large wolves, roamed the nothingness in the beginning of time hunting for prey. The creation myth goes as such:

The Great Spirit, known as the Durgho (lit: "Leader of beasts" or the Beastlord), and his mate, created the world together. The Beastlord and his mate had been hunting in the nothingness since ages past and became lonely. The Beastlord desired children to hunt alongside him and his mate. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for his creation to live and hunt under the sun and stars forevermore.

Upon this new world, the Beastlord and his mate formed for themselves first the Hunters, created from their image, and called them the "Ahn Kal'uck" (lit: "First Ones or First Born"). Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and his mate created more children to provide a place for the First Ones to live and roam. A place of warmth and light and nourishment for the Hunters. The Hunters are the known as the First Ones and are above the other Children, but must pay no less respect to them.


The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They have long forsaken their Kuglimz and orcen ancestry. They think themselves as the Hunters, the First Born, and the servants of the Beastlord.

The Kaaer’dár’shín know and believe many other different tribes exist in the world. The orcs, dark elves and Kuglimz humans are the ones most in contact with the half-orcs during their existence. However, the Kaaer’dár’shín believe that they alone are the children of the Beastlord and other races are simply prey or enemies to be hunted; formed from the nothingness. A typical Kaaer’dár’shín will never admit to having orcs and humans as ancestors. To even suggest such a thing invites a quick death to the one suggesting. To them, they are as they always have been: The First Ones.

The tribe has a belief that certain devout worshipers of Durgho can be "touched" by him and become one like him, not only spiritually, but physically as well. This aspect of the religion is shrouded in mystery with only very few within the tribe capable of ever speaking of this aspect in detail. There are whispered myths and stories told among the Kuglimz tribes that the half-orc's deep devotion to their Beast god enables them to actually change their bodies to that of an animal such as a wolf or uncil cat. The shapeshifting myth is further coupled with the myth of the Fylja fur-folk. The Fylja, it is said, are men who can become as animals. Azhira El'rosse, a noted Kaaer’dár’shín researcher, was able to discover some detail concerning the shapeshifting rumors and it is explained elsewhere in this entry.

Origins:

It is told among the Kaaer’dár’shín that the origins of their faith was when a single Hunter was chosen by the Great Spirit to lead them. The Beastlord and his mate were pleased with their Hunter Children and chose to reveal themselves to them through visions and to bestow their wisdom upon them. They chose a special Hunter, one who had proven himself already in battle and the Hunt and whom the Beastlord came to respect. This Chosen One was to become the first Uon'kh'al'on, or “Spirit Leader”. The myth of the shamut’s origins is known as the Beastlord Speaker's Tale:

"The Beastlord looked upon his creation and saw that it was good and he was pleased that his Hunters could roam free the land. His children worked hard and provided well. However, the Beastlord saw a need to give his Hunters special wisdom and to create a closer bond with the Hunters.

Thus, the Beastlord came to the earth and touched a wise Hunter and spoke to his thoughts. The Hunter fell to his knees and heard the Beastlord speak. His thoughts and dreams welcomed the visions and his eyes were opened. He saw great things, past and future, and knew far more than his Hunter brethren. The others saw this and asked of him the Beastlord's guidance. The Hunter spoke and led. He yielded his bow and built for himself a place to speak to the spirits in quiet.

The Hunter called himself the Uon'kh'al'on, or "Spirit Leader" according to the will of the Beastlord."


The Uon'kh'al'on was henceforth given the power as an intercessor to the Spirits and the Hunters. He was commanded to pass on his knowledge to others and to teach the lesser Hunters wisdom and to guide them on the hunt.

The Kaaer’dár’shín researcher Azhira El’rosse has pointed out that the origins of the Kaaer’dár’shín beliefs likely originated during the initial Osther-Oc occupation of the Kuglimz settlers during the Third Sarvonian War. She has surmised that the Beastlord faith is in fact a mix of the of the Kuglimz and Osther-Oc faiths. The beliefs of the All-Mother and All-Father combined with the Osther-Oc’s belief in natural spirits formed, over time, the half-orc religion.

Ingeborg Picture #25 - Creation Myth (http://stuff.santharia.com/ingeborg/25.jpg) The Suriot (Light Father) shines over the newly created Gynterg (Earth Brother) during the creation of the world in Kaaer’dár’shín myth.

The Spirits:

The Great Spirit – Usually depicted as a great wolf, the Great Spirit, or Durgho, is often referred to as the all-encompassing spirit who formed the world with his mate, a lesser spirit depicted as a female. The female spirit is depicted as a small, female wolf, yet there exist very few myths about her. The Beastlord teaches the importance of honor, loyalty, faith, courage and above all, the Hunt. Through the Hunt, a Hunter becomes as the Beastlord.

The Sun - The Beastlord named its first child the Suriot (lit: "father [of] light"). The Suriot took to the sky to make light for the world and provide warmth and sustenance for its future brothers and sisters. By the will of the Beastlord does the sun shine, but in all things, there is an opposite. This is the darker, silent child known as the Night Mother.

The Moon - The silent, brooding child of the Beastlord comes forth at night and is named Leirgor (lit: "mother darkness"). The sky children get equal measure in the world as decreed by the Beastlord and provides darkness for the Hunt. The Hunters took to the silent child with ease and found that the hunt posed greater challenges when the Suriot denied its light. Under the cover of the moon, the Hunters could strike without being seen while the prey could also flee under the darkness.

The Stars - The lights twinkling and moving across the sky at night are believed to be those who have passed on to join the Beastlord in the everlasting hunt. They are ever present and shine fully under the watchful presence of the Leirgor. The Beastlord favors the nighttime in which to hunt and blesses his First Born with a place in the night sky to hunt alongside him upon their deaths. All of his First Born: men, women, and children, regardless of their status within the tribe, join the Beastlord in the afterlife in the sky. The brightest stars are believed to be the tribe's greatest warriors and wisest shamuts.

The myth of the Sky siblings goes something like this:

"The Hunters roamed the darkness and found nothing and saw nothing. The black sky above and below caused great fear in the Hunters. Thus, the Beastlord formed the Suriot and the great bright circle in the sky made the Hunters warm and gave them light to see. But as the Suriot shined, it grew tired and wished to rest. The Beastlord gave the Suriot a time to fall behind its Earth Brother and sleep.

The Hunters were again cast into the darkness and cried out for light and warmth. The Beastlord was weary and called upon the Night Mother to watch and care for the Hunters. The Hunters now had some light, but missed the warmth of the Suriot. Such was the will of the Beastlord as he is good in all things."


The Earth - The Beastlord's third child was the earth itself, Gynturg (lit: "brother [of] stone"), and was the land for which the Great Spirit's hunters could roam. Gynturg became a vast expanse of wilderness under his siblings, the Suriot and Leirgor. The Beastlord then placed his Hunters upon the Stone Brother's shoulders to live, hunt and worship.

The Water - The Bynapyrl (lit: "sister [of] water") was born next to provide further nourishment to the Hunters. Flowing cold, swift and clean, the Sister Water takes no shape and knows no peace. Always moving, the Swift Sister is born from its Stone Brother and makes its paths upon the earth's shoulders. Together, the four children exist to provide for the Hunters.

The Beasts - The Beastlord was pleased with what he and his mate created and lastly bestowed upon their hunter children the prey for which they shall hunt. The Hunters were awed at the great many creeping, crawling and flying beasts that the Beastlord formed. The Hunters were given the command to take hold of the savage wilderness and tame it to their will. The Hunters were free to hunt the beasts of the air, ground and sea, but also to respect them and hold true the very nature of the beast - powerful, savage and deadly.

The Beasts:

The predator beast holds special significance for the Kaaer’dár’shín. The Hunter is the predator and the beasts that hunt hold the example of how to hunt efficiently and successfully. As such, the half-orc culture holds that the hunt of the predator beast as the highest trophy one can attain.

The Wolf - The wolf represents fierce and unbridled killing. The wolf, among other beasts, represents endurance and family bonds that cannot be broken. The wolf is a warrior and stays loyal to its pack. The wolf works in a team and shares amongst one another. To the Kaaer’dár’shín, the wolf is the Beastlord and Beastlord is the wolf. Wolf pelts are highly prized among the tribe and only the worthiest of shamuts and warriors can wear a wolf pelt. Wolf hunts are rare celebrations and only after much ritual and supplication does a warrior embark on a wolf hunt.

The Tsor-Shotak lizard - This great mountain lizard is a deadly and fierce opponent. Only within the mountain ranges can this beast be found. Territorial and aggressive when provoked, the Tsor-Shotak holds special reverence for the tribe. The hide of the lizard is used in many things from body protective clothing to the Blood Defender. The lizard's venom is made into a potent poison for the warriors' arrows while the meat is favored as a warrior's food. The lizard represents toughness and aggression, two traits of a successful warrior.

The Eagle - Flying high amongst the clouds, this winged brother has a special bond to the Light Father. The Eagle is not a beast to be hunted, nor is it eaten. The eagle is respected as a wise and deadly predator. A true hunter of the skies. This winged brother flies high between the Stone Brother and the Light Father, watching and protecting the Hunters below.

The Uncil Cat - Stealth, and silent grace are represented by the "Ghost of the Mountain". This great cat is also hunted for its pelt, teeth and claws, but proves to be a very difficult hunt. The Uncil cat moves with silent deadliness and strikes from the dark shadows. The Hunter bears these traits as he must also be swift and silent to the kill. The Uncil cat moves amongst its rocky home, making little sound and watches with patient care for the moment to strike. Also, too, must the Hunter be patient and strike once and once only.

The Trees and Grasses

Not only do the beasts of the field, air and water hold a special place in the culture of the Kaaer’dár’shín, but also the children of the Earth Brother - the trees and plants.

"The Gynturg and his sister, the Bynapyrl, came together in all things and formed children of themselves. From the fertile ground sprang forth mighty trees of green and bushes and grasses. The Earth Brother's shoulders rolled and pitched to create vast mountains, hills and plains. The tree welcomed the light and warmth of the Suriot and cast its arms over the earth in loving care.

The Hunters watched as the Earth and Water gave them more to care for and spoke to the trees asking for guidance. The Gynturg gave the plants a voice and also the great power of guardians of the forests and plains. The Hunters watched as a mighty tree stepped forth before them. The Hunters called this tree the Pafalka (lit. Wood-like-man), for it appeared as a man and tree alike."


The Kaaer’dár’shín hold a special relationship with the Pafalka. It is well known that some forests guard and protect themselves from harm in the form of mighty trees that crush all those who would harm it. Stories exist in most tribes of the Pendrowe and the Drasil tree, but never has one of these creatures been studied in full. The Kaaer’dár’shín shamuts claim to be the only ones who can speak to these Pafalka and incur their blessings for use of the forest's resources.

Worshiping Practices:

The To’vatar

The beast to’vatar is a physical manifestation of the beast spirits and their likeness is carved or painted upon stone, wood, bone, cloth or hide. The carvings of the to’vatars is an example of exquisite and delicate craftsmanship only undertaken by master crafters.

Sentinel To’vatars - These to’vatars are carved directly from a log taken from the Themed'lon forests. A tree is cut and the bark removed to expose the inner core of the tree. A crafter, with the blessing of the shamut, takes the log and carves the likeness of an animal spirit in great detail. According to the shamut's visions, the craftsman's work shows the spirit in various stages of movement - be it stalking, hunting, striking its prey or simply watching. The to’vatars are placed upright within any area protected and watched over by the tribe. This could include villages, outposts, hunting grounds or camps.

Amulet To’vatars - Smaller versions of the to’vatar are carved in various natural materials and hung from a leather cord. Typically, these amulet to’vatars are warn by warriors, hunters and shamuts as protection and provide deeper communion with the beast spirits. Each bearer of the amulet chooses their significant beast that represents them and together with the shamut and craftsman, the amulet is carved and presented. Should an amulet ever be lost, it is a great dishonor for the warrior, unless the loss occurred in battle or on a hunt.

Picture To’vatars - To’vatars are not only carved but also painted. Most things from bromers to weapons have a picture of a beast spirit upon them. The T'lark, or Blood Defender, is probably the best example of a to’vatar worn in battle and highly regarded by its bearer. The beast spirits are called upon before a battle and the warrior always has their guardian with them on their war buckler.

The Shamut

The role of the shamut is significant in many ways. First, the shamut is regarded as the sole link between the beast spirits and the mortal people. Only through the shamut do the spirits speak. The beast spirits method of communication with the shamut is through visions. Traditionally, shamuts are only men, however there have been several instances where a woman has filled the roll of the shamut, and has performed just as well as the men.

A shamut is typically chosen one of two ways: by achieving an honored record of battles and hunts (recorded upon the warrior's T'lark) or by being blessed with visions from the Beastlord.

Most shamuts are older, retired warriors who have achieved many victories in battle. The tribe views such a blessed warrior as gifted by the Beastlord and thus worthy of becoming the Spirit's speaker. Given the tribe's culture of the hunt and their near constant skirmishes with orcs and dark elves, a warrior who can show that their victories are numerous not only in battle, but in tactics, is surely ready to lead and advise younger warriors. Once the veteran warrior retires in a ceremony called the "Rouk'seit" Chant (lit. "Spirit Tongue or Speaker"), he proclaims his intention to lead the tribe spiritually. A vote among the tribe's elder men is performed with the victor becoming the next shamut.

The second, and more rare, instances of choosing a shamut is through visions from the Durgho. Every so often, a child is born whom the tribe recognizes as having special gifts. The child, male or female, though more commonly male, is usually weak in body but strong in spirit. As the child ages, the visions from the Beastlord become more clear to them as the child begins to see things and hear things within their thoughts. The child is immediately chosen as a shamut in training and given high honor in the tribe. When the child reaches adulthood, his or her visions are used to guide the current shamut until his death.

The exact nature of the visions are unclear. It is known that the disease ghun'tor, or cursed blood, affects the mind in strange ways and only affects orcs or those of orcen heritage. Are children born with ghun'tlor given special consideration as shamuts? The symptoms of the disease do not allow a victim to become an especially energetic warrior as it makes the victim feel tired and undernourished. Also, the disease renders a victim incapable of eating meat hence the shamut's practice of giving up meat as a sign of sacrifice.

Or, are the visions truly signs from the Beastlord himself? The Kaaer’dár’shín have survived through numerous hardships in their violent past and continue to thrive in the harsh northern wilderness amidst orcen and dark elven tribes. In addition, they have garnered the favor of the mysterious guardians of the forest which is something rarely documented among the other tribes of Caelereth. Perhaps the tribe is blessed from a higher power.

Guide - The shamut is a guide and bestows wisdom upon the tribe and the chief warrior. Everyone in the tribe is allowed an audience with the shamut for guidance for everything in their lives. Probably most importantly, the shamut gives wisdom from the beast spirits concerning war and the hunt. All warriors are encouraged to seek the advice from the shamut as more often than not, the shamut's visions have helped lead the tribe to victory.

Healer - The shamut is a knowledgeable herbalist and healer. He teaches his craft to the warriors by asking for blessings from the Earth Brother for rich and plentiful plants and herbs. For it is from the Earth Brother and the Swift Sister that all plants are born. Herb lore has been passed down from generation to generation of shamuts and thus thus the knowledge has become deeply ingrained within the tribe's culture.

Life - All children born within the tribe receive the shamut's blessings for a good life full of victories in whatever they do. Male children are dedicated to the Beastlord for his will in their future roles as hunter, warrior, craftsman or even shamut. Female children are dedicated to the Beastlord's mate to bear future children for the tribe, to be caretakers for the home, to lead the children in honor and respect and, more often than not, to become a warrior themselves.

Death - Death is a part of the cycle of life, but death of a tribe member is celebrated, not grieved. The shamut has the special role of acting as a guide for the deceased to lead the spirit into the welcoming hands of the Beastlord to enjoy an eternal hunt in the Beastlord's realm. Women are celebrated for their life in maintaining the home and, if they bore children, for giving to the tribe. They, too, are given to the Beastlord's realm by serving his mate.

Burial Practices

The Kaaer’dár’shín bury their dead in a ritual known as the "Gynturg ergo kamas" or "The Earth Brother Welcomes". The burial signifies that the dead shall be welcomed in the arms of the Earth Brother, a child of the Durgho, before reuniting with the Beastlord in the everlasting hunt.

The tribe's burial grounds are located in a grove in the Themed'lon forests. It is a hidden vale known to few and consecrated for the dead only. The grounds are sacred and the tribe will suffer no intrusion into the grounds by outsiders or intruders.

Upon the death of a prominent warrior or shaman, the deceased's family members gather to pray over the body as a final rites before burial. The entire tribe is joined in mourning and each person is tasked with seeking the will of the Durgho in their grief. It is recognized that a warrior or shaman who dies is a positive event in that the Durgho will have a courageous leader rejoin him in the Hunt.

The body is carried on a platform made from two sturdy sticks with a leather surface tied between. Usually family members carry the body to the burial grounds, and in the absence of family, the deceased's warrior comrades assist in the carrying. The body is taken to the edge of the forest where any gathered crowd is dismissed as the forest will not suffer any large group to walk through it. Only the family and some select warriors are allowed to journey to the burial grounds itself.

Before leaving to the grounds, the shaman speaks to the gathered crowd and recounts the deceased's many victories in battle. He takes the warrior's t'lark and tells of the many battles, hunts and victories the deceased has been involved in. This speech is not only for the benefit of the crowd, but also to remind the Durgho that a valiant warrior is about to join him.

The body is then carried to the burial grounds. A prayer is made to the Gynturg before stepping foot on the sacred grounds. A hole is dug, usually one to one and half peds deep. The body is lowered inside the hole along with the deceased's t'lark if he or she had one. All warriors are buried in their full battle garb along with their weapons.

The shaman speaks a final prayer with the family to hasten the dead's spirit into the arms of the Earth Brother. A grave marker is placed on the burial location. The shaman has one of several aides that he keeps and one of their jobs is to maintain the burial grounds so as to not re-use a spot and bury someone in an already occupied location. The grounds are maintained and guarded closely by the shaman's aides.

Not all warriors and shamans are buried this way. Should a child, a female or any non-warrior die, they are laid to rest in the burial grounds, but they are not given the same prayers and speeches from the T'lark as they do not own one. Rather, they are given to the Earth Brother in a lesser order but equally as respectful way.

"A'ng'erg Pafalka" (lit. "Mask of the Tree Cousin")

One of the most powerful religious artifacts the Kaare'dar'shin shamuts possess is the "A'ng'erg Pafalka" (lit. "Mask of the Tree Cousin"). This mask is believed by the researcher Azhira El'rosse to actually be elven in origin, perhaps created by druids, and is said to be made of the bark from either a Pendrowe or Drasil tree. The shamuts claim that the Earth Brother gave them the mask long ago and gifted it with the power to speak to the flora and commune with the special memory tree hidden deep within the Themed'lon forests. The mask has become a symbol of power and authority for the shamut and is passed down as each new shamut takes the reigns of leadership. Because of a brief civil war over the mask fifty years ago, the shamut and the mask is guarded by a cadre of warriors to prevent the mask from being stolen and used by those unworthy. The mask has never been worn by anyone not being a shamut.

"Ontal gra'ng Durgho" (lit. "One with Durgho"):

The most mysterious aspect of the Beastlord faith, yet probably the most logical one, is the stories that certain powerful members of the tribe can become "one with Durgho" or become an animal. The myth of the shapeshifter is old lore, told in various places in Caelereth. Among the northern Kuglimz, the myth of the Fylja fur-folk is a common story, however it has more recently perhaps taken on a grain of truth.

The story of the lost orc boy who was rescued from the wilderness near the half-orc homeland has become a familiar tale and is perhaps the only evidence of the half-orc's shapeshifting nature. In the story, the boy recounted to his Kuglimz rescuers how he had lived with the half-orcs for as long as he could remember (which, at ten season old, the boy could remember much of his past). He told fantastic tales of painted warriors on swift ponies, people who communed with trees and plants and a shamut who wore a mask made of tree bark. All of these stories have since been proven true by some researchers, chief among them Azhira El'rosse. However, the facts surrounding the boy's description of the shapeshifting shamut has been shrouded in mystery.

Azhira El'rosse is known as a friend of the half-orcs and she uncovered some details about the supposed connection between the Fylja myths and the Kaaer’dár’shín.

The shamut never speaks of the truth to outsiders, but from gathered facts and interviews among other tribe members, Azhira was told that the shamut is indeed at the center of the shapeshifting story. The story goes that certain devoted, high ranking members of the tribe are gifted with the "touch of Durgho" and have the ability to change into various animals. The process involves a very secretive ritual and a very specific state of mind. The transformation itself is often done in secret, and never out in the open public.

The exact details of the shapeshifting is not currently known. Familiar lore says that the shamut is familiar with some kind of powerful nature magic that transforms him instantly. More literal scholars have surmised that the transformation is physically painful and grotesque as the bones, skin and organs literally reshape and mold themselves from a man shape to a beast shape.

Anyone visiting the tribe's home in the Themed'lon cannot doubt the unusual presence of beasts amidst the people. Wolves, eagles and an occasional bear are common visitors to the colonies. The beasts possess an uncanny familiarity with the half-orcs and, as Azhira witnessed, the animals have an unusual self-awareness and an alert intelligence not seen in a typical beast. Could those animals be, in fact, shapeshifters? Only those within the tribe know the truth.

Regardless of the truth, the mythical Fylja fur-folk have found a connection with the half-orc Kaaer’dár’shín tribe. The two are intertwined and more stories and sightings are destined to be told going forward.



Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Tharoc Wargrider on 08 July 2008, 05:19:41
I found this very interesting, Azhira. You are 'filling out' your tribe very nicely, something I really should get back to with the Orcs!


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 08 July 2008, 17:39:05
Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the half-orc beliefs and are practiced extraordinarily well. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer'dar'shin have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, the orcs and dark elves, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

The Spirits:

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities. There is no single god or goddess who determines the fate of the people. No one god moves the sun across the sky and no one god creates all living things. Instead, the Kaaer'dar'shin hold that the Great Spirit, usually depicted as a large wolf, roamed the land in the beginning of time hunting for prey. This One Spirit, known as the Beastlord, found a mate and together they created the world. The Beastlord cast about and saw that its world was in need of others for the hunt to continue. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for its creation to hunt and live under the sun forevermore.

There are not many cultures which have single gods - I think you were carried here from our Terran belief.  Just skip the single, if you like, and it fits better (But that is just a nitpick anyway)

This is a bit unclear here: first you describe, that the Great Spirit roamed the land, and then follows, that he created the land, after he found a mate. A myth has not to be logical and you can keep it this way, but maybe your idea was a different. It is a long time till your people left the Kuglimz, it is even longer  that the anchesters of the Kuglimz left Fá'áv'cál'âr, but maybe they have still a (unconscious) memory of the elven myth and the first Wolf roamed the nothingness where he found his mate?

The Great Spirit and its mate formed themselves first the Hunters. The Kaaer'dar'shin believe themselves the first of these hunters. In the beginning, the half-orcs were without form and existed within other lower, darker spirits: the orc and the human. From these two forms, the Great Spirit decreed a higher being to be made: the Kaaer'dar'shin. The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They think themselves as the Hunters, the servants of the Beastlord.
 That's great! That gives them a lot more self esteem! 

Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and its mate created their children for the Hunter's to befriend:

The Sun (Light Father) - The Beastlord named its first child the XXX. The XXX took to the sky to make light for the world and provide warmth and sustenance for its future children. By the will of the Beastlord does the sun shine but in all things, there is an opposite. The darker, silent child known as the XXX.

The Moon (Night Mother) - The silent, brooding child of the Beastlord comes forth at night. The sky children get equal measure in the world as decreed by the Beastlord and provides darkness for the Hunt. The Hunters took to the silent child with ease and found that the hunt was more challenging when the XXX denied its light. Under the cover of the moon, the Hunters could strike without being seen while the prey could also flee under the darkness.

Just wanted to mention here, that (if the model is accepted) the moon is always bigger than the sun in your area, the moon always has the same size, where the sun-disk's diameter varies with the seasons   

The Earth (Stone Brother) - The Beastlord's third child was the earth itself, the land for which the Great Spirit's children could roam. The earth, or XXX, became a vast expanse of wilderness under the XXX (sun) and XXX (moon). The Beastlord placed his Hunters upon the Stone Brother's shoulders.

That picture of placing them on the 'shoulders' is great!   

The Water (Swift Sister) - The waters of the sea and rivers were born next to provide further nourishment to the Hunters. Flowing cold, swift and clean, the Sister Water takes no shape and knows no peace. Always moving, the Swift Sister is born from its Stone Brother and makes its paths upon the earth's shoulders. Together, the four children worked to provide for the Hunters.

The Beasts - The children spawned from the Beastlord and his mate were the animals. The Hunters were awed at the great many creeping, crawling and flying beasts that the Beastlord formed. The Hunters were given the command to take hold of the savage wilderness and tame it to their will. The Hunters were free to hunt the beasts of the air, ground and sea, but also to respect them and hold true the very nature of the beast - powerful, savage and deadly.

 There are already the four bigger children, the first were created, the other spawned, you describe them here, as if the first ones were not yet created 

The Beasts:

The predator beast holds special significance for the Kaaer'dar'shin. The Hunter is the predator and the beasts that hunt hold the example of how to hunt efficiently and successfully. As such, the half-orc culture holds that the hunt of the predator beast as the highest trophy one can attain.

The Wolf - The wolf represents fierce and unbridled killing. The wolf, among other beasts, represents endurance and family bonds that cannot be broken. The wolf is a warrior and stays loyal to its pack. The wolf works in a team and shares amongst one another. To the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wolf is the Beastlord and Beastlord is the wolf. Wolf pelts are highly prized among the tribe and only the worthiest of shamans and warriors can wear a wolf pelt. Wolf hunts are rare celebrations and only after much ritual and supplication does a warrior embark on a wolf hunt.

The Tsor-Shotak lizard - This great mountain lizard is a deadly and fierce opponent. Only within the mountain ranges can this beast be found. Territorial and aggressive when provoked, the Tsor-Shotak holds special reverence for the tribe. The hide of the lizard is used in many things from body protective clothing to the Blood Defender. The lizard's venom is made into a potent poison for the warriors' arrows while the meat is favored as a warrior's food. The lizard represents toughness and aggression, two traits of a successful warrior.

The Eagle - Flying high amongst the clouds, this winged brother has a special bond to the Light Father. The Eagle is not a beast to be hunted, nor is it eaten. The eagle is respected as a wise and deadly predator. A true hunter of the skies. This winged brother flies high between the Stone Brother and the Light Father, watching and protecting the Hunters below.

The Uncil Cat - Stealth, and silent grace are represented by the "Ghost of the Mountain". This great cat is also hunted for its pelt, teeth and claws, but proves to be a very difficult hunt. The Uncil cat moves with silent deadliness and strikes from the dark shadows. The Hunter bears these traits as he must also be swift and silent to the kill. The Uncil cat moves amongst its rocky home, making little sound and watches with patient care for the moment to strike. Also, too, must the Hunter be patient and strike once and once only.


You have your pencil on, so I suppose, other beast will follow. But I had a look now, don't know, if I have the time later.

I like what you have here very much! There are only a few questions and proposals I have to make. You don't need to follow them, for a myth is not necessarily rational build.

I remarked already above about the land where the beastlord (btw, do they know, what a 'lord' is, would they not call him differently? What names do they have for their superior leaders and warriors?) roamed before he created the land.

Now to when the children were created... I don't know, how to express myself clearly, so I just tell you how I would have chosen the order in which they were created.(with reason)

     



One variation

First you have the pair , they want to have children (the hunters, your tribe) and
- created them, only to find out, that they have no home.
--> so they create their other children, the Stone brother and the Swift Sister to have a place where to put the hunters. However, they realize, that it is dark ---> Sun is created . Now you need a reason/myth, why she is not shining all day long, then follows the moon.
- or : they are both created at the same time, find a myth, why the moon is bigger..etc..

- only now the pair discovers, that the hunters need something to hunt ---> beast

Other variation:

The pair creates the whole world first and sets in the hunters after all is done (why), maybe becasue they are bored adn want to have some entertainment? Or similar to the biblical creation myth, becasue the pair wanted to have someone who mirrowed them? Probably not fitting, if you see the beastlord as wolf.

Of course you can think of any other way how all came to life. I think the most important thing is to interlace the single steps of creation.

I'm waiting for more! :)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 09 July 2008, 03:43:05
Ok, I am done!

@ Tharoc - Thanks for the encouragement! And yes, you simply must get back (started?) on the orc stuff.  ;)

@ Talia - Thanks for the helpful comments!  :thumbup: I have made some changes according to your suggestions. See if they fit better.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 11 July 2008, 21:05:04
Couldn't finish all, maybe more tonight


Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the half-orc beliefs and are practiced extraordinarily well. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer'dar'shin have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, the orcs and dark elves, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

The Spirits:

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities. There is no single god or goddess who determines the fate of the people. No one god moves the sun across the sky and no one god creates all living things. Instead, the Kaaer'dar'shin hold that two spirits, the Great Spirit and his mate, usually depicted as a large wolves, roamed the nothingness in the beginning of time hunting for prey. The first spirit, known as the Durgho (lit: "Leader of beasts") or the Beastlord, and his mate, together created the world. The Beastlord cast about and saw that its world was in need of others for the hunt to continue. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for its creation to hunt and live under the sun forevermore.

 What discerns gods and great spirits? There are enough examples where  gods create the world and do not wish to determine the fate of the people.In Caelereth there are more beliefs which worship  several gods than just one, so this is not a good point either. Sounds good what you write, but does it make sense? Make clearer what the differences you see here are.

*thinks for a while*

I Could it be, that you want to say, that there is not such a distance between your people and the spirits than normally is assumed with gods and their worshipers? Then express that.

The Great Spirit and its mate formed themselves   who else? Disturbs the flow.. first the Hunters. The Kaaer'dar'shin believe themselves  ..to be..? Or that they were ?? the first of these hunters. In the beginning, the half-orcs were without form and existed within other lower, darker spirits: the orc and the human. From these two forms, the Great Spirit decreed a higher being to be made: the Kaaer'dar'shin. The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They think themselves as the Hunters, the servants of the Beastlord.

This is slightly disturbing -where from do the other darker spirits come? (Beastlord and mate hunted in the nothingness) You say, they are the first children of the beastlord and his mate, but then they have somehow a past? Is your tribe really aware  of its origins, or do they prefer to see themselves not related to the humans and orcs? You don't need to change this drastically, there is no problem with hunting in the nothingness , though you could ask, what do they hunt, but you don't need to. Just be aware of the small inconsistencies 

Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and its mate created more children to provide a place to roam, warmth and light and sources of nourishment for the Hunters.

I'm a bit uneasy with these different kind of children - do they have a lower rank? Are sun and moon seen as brother and sister (who serve!)?   


more later


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 11 July 2008, 21:58:50
Azhira, you called your submission beliefs, but it is nothing else as the religion of your tribe, mixed with myth. Could you have a look at the cosmology forum and try to adapt this entry to either religion or the myth template? here (http://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,11376.0.html)

You can finish it for now as you started, this would then  mainly be belief outlines. It might be easier this way.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 11 July 2008, 22:01:33
Right...good point Talia. I never considered the template. As I wrote the entry, it was more or less an outline of things but a template would organize it better. I'll work on that asap.  :D


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 16 July 2008, 05:43:13
Ok, I've formatted and revised the entry to fit into the religions template.

Personally, I'd rather keep some of the aspects of the religion (I like to call it the Beastlord Faith) rather vague and not so defined. I feel that some of the aspects of the belief are for the shamans to decide and interpret, especially through the visions.

I still have some small tweaking to do here and there...but it is done overall.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Takór Salenár on 16 July 2008, 06:03:42
I was just revising it. A minute and I post it.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Takór Salenár on 16 July 2008, 06:12:21
Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the half-orc beliefs and are practiced extraordinarily well. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer'dar'shin have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

Ahh, that is much better now! There is one thing left to consider (I think you got carried away again from images too well known) :   "from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon" - I think , your cold, bleak moon does not fit very well to how you describe the moon later, as the nightmother, dark, silent, but cold and bleak? Does your tribe not associate warmth with the mother as other cultures do?


Prevalence:

The Beastlord faith is practiced primarily by the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin. This tribe dwells along the southeastern section of the peninsula of Caael'heroth.

The Spirits:

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities. There is no single god or goddess who determines the fate of the people. like in the religion of the ???   
No one god moves the sun across the sky and no one god dreamed  the world
 all living things like the ...do.   
. Instead, the Kaaer'dar'shin hold that two spirits, the Great Spirit and his mate, usually depicted as a large wolves, roamed the nothingness in the beginning of time hunting for prey. The first spirit, known as the Durgho (lit: "Leader of beasts") or the Beastlord, and his mate, together created the world.  Grammar? created the world together?? 
The Beastlord cast about and saw that his    world was in need of others for the hunt to continue. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for its creation to hunt and live under the sun forevermore.

In which Caelerethian religion is life/fate determined by the gods?  If there is none, this example does not fit

"...in need of others for the hunt to continue"  Is continue here the right word? That sounds a bit as if he wants to stop hunting.

That last sentences does not fit well to your creation myth of the sun as first child.

 


The Great Spirit and its mate formed themselves first the Hunters. The Kaaer'dar'shin believe themselves the first of these hunters. In the beginning, the half-orcs were without form and existed within other lower, darker spirits: the orc and the human. From these two forms, the Great Spirit decreed a higher being to be made: the Kaaer'dar'shin. The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They think themselves as the Hunters, the servants of the Beastlord.

Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and its mate created more children to provide a place to roam, warmth and light and sources of nourishment for the Hunters.

The Sun - The Beastlord named its first child the Suriot (lit: "father [of] light"). The Suriot took to the sky to make light for the world and provide warmth and sustenance for its future brothers and sisters. By the will of the Beastlord does the sun shine, but in all things, there is an opposite. The darker, silent child known as the Night Mother.

The Moon - The silent, brooding child of the Beastlord comes forth at night and is named Leirgor (lit: "mother darkness"). The sky children get equal measure in the world as decreed by the Beastlord and provides darkness for the Hunt. The Hunters took to the silent child with ease and found that the hunt posed greater challenges when the XXX denied its light. Under the cover of the moon, the Hunters could strike without being seen while the prey could also flee under the darkness.

The myth of the Sky siblings goes something like this:

"The Hunters roamed the darkness and found nothing and saw nothing. The black sky above and below caused great fear in the Hunters. Thus, the Beastlord formed the Suriot and the great bright circle in the sky made the Hunters warm and gave them light to see. But as the Suriot shined, it grew tired and wished to rest. The Beastlord gave the Suriot a time to fall behind its Earth Brother and sleep.

The Hunters were again cast into the darkness and cried out for light and warmth. The Beastlord was weary and called upon the Night Mother to watch and care for the Hunters. The Gynturg cast very little light and rejoiced in the darkness. The Hunters had some light, but missed the warmth of the Suriot. Such was the will of the Beastlord as he is good in all things."

The Earth - The Beastlord's third child was the earth itself, Gynturg (lit: "brother [of] stone"), and was the land for which the Great Spirit's hunters could roam. Gynturg became a vast expanse of wilderness under his siblings, the Suriot and Leirgor. The Beastlord then placed his Hunters upon the Stone Brother's shoulders to live, hunt and worship.

The Water - The Bynapyrl (lit: "sister [of] water") was born next to provide further nourishment to the Hunters. Flowing cold, swift and clean, the Sister Water takes no shape and knows no peace. Always moving, the Swift Sister is born from its Stone Brother and makes its paths upon the earth's shoulders. Together, the four children exist to provide for the Hunters.

The Beasts - The Beastlord was pleased with what he and his mate created and lastly bestowed upon their hunter children the prey for which they shall hunt. The Hunters were awed at the great many creeping, crawling and flying beasts that the Beastlord formed. The Hunters were given the command to take hold of the savage wilderness and tame it to their will. The Hunters were free to hunt the beasts of the air, ground and sea, but also to respect them and hold true the very nature of the beast - powerful, savage and deadly.


Azhira, you need to organize your myth-description a bit better, the told myth as well as the about-myth part. Maybe you could tell it as told-myth alone.  What you have is nicely worded, but some interlinking words miss and the order is disturbing.

What about:
- The beastlord and his mate are hunting in the nothingness. (it is not necessary to look for a prey, though the thought could arise)
 --> Why are they creating the world?
- Both feel  lonely in the nothingness, so they create the hunters out of themselves, (as their image??) . But the hunters are not like them, they dislike the nothingness and ask for a home

(OR,  if you like to include the orc and human heritage: They feel lonely and out of the dark spirits they are hunting (see question for prey above), the orc spirit and the human-spirit, they form the hunters. )

- The beastlord and his companion mate and brother world is born and his sister, sister water.
- The hunter are happy, but it is still cold and dark - brother sun is born.. and sister nightmother

- Then the hunters ask for prey.. the beasts are created, or are they children as the sun, the moon as well? or are they nearer to the hunters??

The Beasts:

The predator beast holds special significance for the Kaaer'dar'shin. The Hunter is the predator and the beasts that hunt hold the example of how to hunt efficiently and successfully. As such, the half-orc culture holds that the hunt of the predator beast as the highest trophy one can attain.

The Wolf - The wolf represents fierce and unbridled killing. The wolf, among other beasts, represents endurance and family bonds that cannot be broken. The wolf is a warrior and stays loyal to its pack. The wolf works in a team and shares amongst one another. To the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wolf is the Beastlord and Beastlord is the wolf. Wolf pelts are highly prized among the tribe and only the worthiest of shamans and warriors can wear a wolf pelt. Wolf hunts are rare celebrations and only after much ritual and supplication does a warrior embark on a wolf hunt.

The Tsor-Shotak lizard - This great mountain lizard is a deadly and fierce opponent. Only within the mountain ranges can this beast be found. Territorial and aggressive when provoked, the Tsor-Shotak holds special reverence for the tribe. The hide of the lizard is used in many things from body protective clothing to the Blood Defender. The lizard's venom is made into a potent poison for the warriors' arrows while the meat is favored as a warrior's food. The lizard represents toughness and aggression, two traits of a successful warrior.

The Eagle - Flying high amongst the clouds, this winged brother has a special bond to the Light Father. The Eagle is not a beast to be hunted, nor is it eaten. The eagle is respected as a wise and deadly predator. A true hunter of the skies. This winged brother flies high between the Stone Brother and the Light Father, watching and protecting the Hunters below.

The Uncil Cat - Stealth, and silent grace are represented by the "Ghost of the Mountain". This great cat is also hunted for its pelt, teeth and claws, but proves to be a very difficult hunt. The Uncil cat moves with silent deadliness and strikes from the dark shadows. The Hunter bears these traits as he must also be swift and silent to the kill. The Uncil cat moves amongst its rocky home, making little sound and watches with patient care for the moment to strike. Also, too, must the Hunter be patient and strike once and once only.

The Totem

The beasts totem a physical manifestation of the beast spirits and their likeness is carved or painted upon stone, wood, bone, cloth or hide. The carvings of the totems is an example of exquisite and delicate craftsmanship only undertaken by master crafters. There are different..   

Sentinel Totems - These totems are carved directly from a log taken from the Themed'lon forests. A tree is cut and the bark removed to expose the inner core of the tree. A crafter, with the blessing of the shaman, takes the log and carves the likeness of an animal spirit in great detail. According to the shaman's visions, the craftsman's work shows the spirit in various stages of movement - be it stalking, hunting, striking its prey or simply watching. The totems are placed upright within a village to watch and protect the people.Where in a village? How different are these totems from village to village? colours?   

Amulet Totems - Smaller versions of the totem are carved in various natural materials and hung from a leather cord. Typically, these amulet totems are warn by warriors, hunters and shamans as protection and provide deeper communion with the beast spirits. Each bearer of the amulet chooses their significant beast that represents them and together with the shaman and craftsman, the amulet is carved and presented.  So they are not hidden, but openly displayed? What if one gets lost, stolen, removed? 

Picture Totems - Totems are not only carved but also painted. Most things from bromers to weapons have a picture of a beast spirit upon them. The T'lark, or Blood Defender, is probably the best example of a totem worn in battle and highly regarded by its bearer. The beast spirits are called upon before a battle and the warrior always has their guardian with them on their war buckler.

The Shaman

The role of the shaman is significant in many ways. First, the shaman is regarded as the sole link between the beast spirits and the mortal people. Only through the shaman do the spirits speak. The beast spirits method of communication with the shaman is through visions.

Guide - The shaman is a guide and bestows wisdom upon the tribe and the chief warrior. Everyone in the tribe is allowed an audience with the shaman for guidance for everything in their lives. Probably most importantly, the shaman gives wisdom from the beast spirits concerning war and the hunt. All warriors are encouraged to seek the advice from the shaman as more often than not, the shaman's visions have led the tribe to victory.

Healer - The shaman is a knowledgable herbalist and healer. He teaches his craft to the warriors by asking for blessings from the Earth Brother for rich and plentiful plants and herbs. For it is from the Earth Brother and the Swift Sister that all plants are born. Herb lore has been passed down from generation to generation of shamans and thus thus the knowledge has become deeply ingrained within the tribe's culture.

Life - All children born within the tribe receive the shaman's blessings for a good life full of victories in whatever they do. Male children are given to the Beastlord for his will in their future roles as hunter, warrior, craftsman or even shaman. Female children are given to the Beastlord's mate to bear future children for the tribe.

Death - Death is a part of the cycle of life, but death of a tribe member is celebrated, not grieved. The shaman has the special role of acting as a guide for the deceased to lead the spirit into the welcoming hands of the Beastlord to enjoy an eternal hunt in the Beastlord's realm. Women are celebrated for their life in maintaining the home and, if they bore children, for giving to the tribe. They, too, are given to the Beastlord's realm by serving his mate.

 Are only men shamans? 

The myth of the shaman, known as the Beastlord Speaker's Tale:

"The Beastlord looked    upon his creation and saw that it was good and he was pleased that his Hunters could roam free the land. His children worked hard and provided well. However, the Beastlord saw a need to give his Hunters special wisdom and to create a closer bond with the Hunters.

Thus, the Beastlord came to the earth and touched a wise Hunter and spoke to his thoughts. The Hunter fell to his knees and heard the Beastlord speak. His thoughts and dreams welcomed the visions and his eyes were opened. He saw great things, past and future, and knew far more than his Hunter brethren. The others saw this and asked of him the Beastlord's guidance. The Hunter spoke and led. He yielded his bow and build for himself a place to speak to the spirits in quiet.

Hunter called himself the Uon'kh'al'on, or "Spirit Leader" according to the will of the Beastlord."

The Trees and Grasses

Not only do the beasts of the field, air and water hold a special place in the culture of the Kaaer'dar'shin, but also the children of the Earth Brother - the trees and plants.

"The Gynturg and his sister, the Bynapyrl, came together in all things and formed children of themselves. From the fertile ground sprang forth mighty trees of green and bushes and grasses. The Earth Brother's shoulders rolled and pitched to create vast mountains, hills and plains. The tree welcomed the light and warmth of the Suriot and cast its arms over the earth in loving care.

The Hunters watched as the Earth and Water gave them more to care for and spoke to the trees asking for guidance. The Gynturg gave the plants a voice and also the great power of guardians of the forests and plains. The Hunters watched as a mighty tree stepped forth before them. The Hunters called this tree the Pafalka (lit. Wood-like-man), for it appeared as a man and tree alike."

The Kaaer'dar'shin hold a special relationship with the Pafalka. It is well known that some forests guard and protect themselves from harm in the form of mighty trees that crush all those who would harm it. Stories exist in most tribes of the Pendrowe and the Drasil tree, but never has one of these creatures been studied in full. The Kaaer'dar'shin shamans claim to be the only ones who can speak to these Pafalka and incure their blessings for use of the forest's resources.


 Nicely done! I would connect the trees/plant myth to the main myth above, here at the end it looks a bit like a appendage.

As i said above, IMHO you need to rearrange things a bit more clearly.
There are still some points to fill in the template. What you have here, is a mixture of belief outline and gods, I would keep it this way when organized better , if Art does not insist on using the template. But origins is still missing and worship practise. But work on what you have first, worshipping  practices is a chapter for itself.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 16 July 2008, 11:48:03
Oops...Takor, you've edited the old version of the entry. The revised, template version is up at the top and includes origin, worship practices and the myths are rearranged as you noted in the first URI.

I will address your other issues tomorrow.  :)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Takór Salenár on 16 July 2008, 14:35:19
Did you put up the new version after I started the revision? OH, I thought you were finished...Oh well.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 16 July 2008, 21:02:24
Tekor,

I think we may have been editing and working on it at the same time.

I have integrated your second URI check issues in Yellow. You'll probably have to re-read the entry again in its new template form.  :)

I've kept the language of the entry intentionally simple. The Kaaer are a simple tribe and are simple in their beliefs in nature and the spirits. Alot of the entry is told in myth as that was easier to put forth and explain than trying to explain it otherwise.

Also, some of the phrasing may be different as some words are changed around to give it a simpler reading (together they created the world). You may find some of these issues, and they are correct in the English language, but perhaps different that what you're used to.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth on 17 July 2008, 06:41:58
How is the Shaman chosen?
What happens when a Shaman dies?
How do the half-orcs explain the other tribes genesis?
Just a few small questions in response to an excellent and intriguing entry.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 17 July 2008, 23:22:29
Excellent suggestions, Nsiki.  :thumbup: I was actually going to develop the shamans and revise the tribal entry with it but I guess it belongs here as well.

Your comments in Lime Green.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Takór Salenár on 18 July 2008, 00:02:08
I'll try to get to it ..soon. :)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth on 18 July 2008, 02:33:02
Very nice, looks good, and I'm glad to help  :D


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 18 July 2008, 05:39:37
i'm not through yet with reading the entry, but I was wondering what the picture will actually represent. Does it stand for Durgho, the first spirit? Is there any significance to the tree up there at the center of the lake? I see you mentin a special significance of trees and grasses, but I'm not sure where the exact connection to the picture lies. Maybe I've just missed it on skimming through the entry - maybe you can explain?


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 18 July 2008, 05:44:13
yeah, Arti... I was thinking on that. The tree in the center kinda throws the image out of place. I thought of a myth concerning the tree, perhaps a Pendrowe or something, but it is too much centered in the image.

I'll probably use another picture instead.

The picture was supposed to represent the creation of the world - the Light Father, the Earth Brother, the Swift Sister and the Trees...a typical creation of the world picture. Trying to grasp a creation image is hard and that was the best I could do (I am desperate for a picture for my entries...any picture! :lol:)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 18 July 2008, 05:52:46
Yeah, I see it's not easy to find one that fits the purpose best. This picture I suggested a while ago to Pikel could represent a special druid for example who sacrificed himself for some reason (he's now the tree) and the light somehow represents this holy transformation. But getting something Pendrowish in here, which has a key role is quite hard, but it's so prominently featured in here.  :huh:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 22 July 2008, 05:11:55
Bumping so Takor doesn't forget... :grin:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Takór Salenár on 22 July 2008, 18:03:49
I never forget anything, that's Talia!

A last brush with the fine comp, my young apprentice ;)

Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the half-orc  half-orc, half-human? could be dwarves as well, and you a reader might not know your other entries beliefs and are practiced extraordinarily well. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer'dar'shin have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

Prevalence:

The Beastlord faith is practiced primarily by the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin. This tribe dwells along the southeastern section of the peninsula of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia.
Maybe say a sentence here about the origins of this tribe,orcs from here and humans from there   

Beliefs:

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities as known in other parts of the worlds like in Santharia (these spirits are their deities)   . Instead, the Kaaer'dar'shin hold that two spirits, the Great Spirit and his mate, usually depicted as a large wolves, roamed the nothingness in the beginning of time hunting for prey. The creation myth goes as such:

The first spirit, known as the Durgho (lit: "Leader of beasts" or the Beastlord), and his mate, created the world together. The Beastlord and his mate?wife?   had been hunting in the nothingness since ages past and became lonely. The Beastlord desired children to hunt along side him and his mate. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for his creation to live and hunt under the sun and stars forevermore.

Upon this new world, the Beastlord and his mate formed for themselves first the Hunters, created from their image, and called them the First Ones. Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and his mate created more children to provide a place for the First Ones to live and roam. A place of warmth and light and nourishment for the Hunters. The Hunters are the?? known as the First Ones and are above the other Children, but must pay no less respect to them.

The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They have long forsaken their Kuglimz and orcen ancestry. They think themselves as the Hunters, the First Born, and the servants of the Beastlord.

The Kaaer'dar'shin know and believe many other different tribes exist in the world. The orcs, dark elves and Kuglimz humans being the ones most in contact with the half-orcs during their existence. However, the Kaaer'dar'shin believe that they alone are the children of the Beastlord and other races are simply prey or enemies to be hunted; formed from the nothingness. A typical Kaaer'dar'shin will never admit to having orcs and humans as ancestors. To even suggest such a thing invites a quick death to the one suggesting. To them, they are as they always have been: The First Ones.

 Good 

Origins:

It is told among the Kaaer’dar’shin that the beginnings of their beliefs was when a single Hunter was chosen by the Great Spirit to lead them. This Chosen One was to become the first Uon'kh'al'on, or “Spirit Leader”. The myth of the shaman’s origins is known as the Beastlord Speaker's Tale:

 There must be more than just the decision that a single hunter should lead. Your myth is ok and contains it already, but I think you should add this in your description as well: Proposal: The Two Spirits  were so pleased with how the Hunters had evolved, that they choose to reveal themselves to them etc (wisdom). So they choose a hunter which had great merits in their eyes (or anything else) and decided to reveal their existence to him and to make him the spiritual leader of the tribe...--> 

"The Beastlord look upon his creation and saw that it was good and he was pleased that his Hunters could roam free the land. His children worked hard and provided well. However, the Beastlord saw a need to give his Hunters special wisdom and to create a closer bond with the Hunters.

Thus, the Beastlord came to the earth and touched a wise Hunter and spoke to his thoughts. The Hunter fell to his knees and heard the Beastlord speak. His thoughts and dreams welcomed the visions and his eyes were opened. He saw great things, past and future, and knew far more than his Hunter brethren. The others saw this and asked of him the Beastlord's guidance. The Hunter spoke and led. He yielded his bow and build for himself a place to speak to the spirits in quiet.

Hunter called himself the Uon'kh'al'on, or "Spirit Leader" according to the will of the Beastlord."

The Uon'kh'al'on was henceforth given the power as an intercessor to the Spirits and the Hunters.  He   was commanded to pass on his knowledge to others and to teach the lesser Hunters wisdom and to guide them on the hunt.

The Kaaer’dar’shin researcher Azhira El’rosse has pointed out that the origins of the Kaaer’dar’shin beliefs likely originated during the initial Osther-Oc occupation of the Kuglimz settlers during the Third Sarvonian War. She has surmised that the Beastlord faith is in fact a mix of the of the Kuglimz and Osther-Oc faiths. The beliefs of the All-Mother and All-Father combined with the Osther-Oc’s belief in natural spirits formed, over time, the half-orc religion.
Yes, I do like this! :)   

The Spirits:

The Great Spirit – Usually depicted as a great wolf, the Great Spirit, or Beastlord, is often referred to as the all-encompassing spirit who formed the world with his mate, a lesser spirit depicted as a female. The female spirit is depicted as a small, female wolf, yet there exist very few myths about her. The Beastlord teaches the importance of honor, loyalty, faith, courage and above all, the Hunt. Through the Hunt, a Hunter becomes as the Beastlord.

The Sun - The Beastlord named its first child the Suriot (lit: "father [of] light"). The Suriot took to the sky to make light for the world and provide warmth and sustenance for its future brothers and sisters. By the will of the Beastlord does the sun shine, but in all things, there is an opposite. The darker, silent child known as the Night Mother.

The Moon - The silent, brooding child of the Beastlord comes forth at night and is named Leirgor (lit: "mother darkness"). The sky children get equal measure in the world as decreed by the Beastlord and provides darkness for the Hunt. The Hunters took to the silent child with ease and found that the hunt posed greater challenges when the XXX denied its light. Under the cover of the moon, the Hunters could strike without being seen while the prey could also flee under the darkness.

The myth of the Sky siblings goes something like this:

"The Hunters roamed the darkness and found nothing and saw nothing. The black sky above and below caused great fear in the Hunters. Thus, the Beastlord formed the Suriot and the great bright circle in the sky made the Hunters warm and gave them light to see. But as the Suriot shined, it grew tired and wished to rest. The Beastlord gave the Suriot a time to fall behind its Earth Brother and sleep.

The Hunters were again cast into the darkness and cried out for light and warmth. The Beastlord was weary and called upon the Night Mother to watch and care for the Hunters. The Gynturg cast very little light and rejoiced in the darkness. The Hunters had some light, but missed the warmth of the Suriot. Such was the will of the Beastlord as he is good in all things."

The Earth - The Beastlord's third child was the earth itself, Gynturg (lit: "brother [of] stone"), and was the land for which the Great Spirit's hunters could roam. Gynturg became a vast expanse of wilderness under his siblings, the Suriot and Leirgor. The Beastlord then placed his Hunters upon the Stone Brother's shoulders to live, hunt and worship.

The Water - The Bynapyrl (lit: "sister [of] water") was born next to provide further nourishment to the Hunters. Flowing cold, swift and clean, the Sister Water takes no shape and knows no peace. Always moving, the Swift Sister is born from its Stone Brother and makes its paths upon the earth's shoulders. Together, the four children exist to provide for the Hunters.

The Beasts - The Beastlord was pleased with what he and his mate created and lastly bestowed upon their hunter children the prey for which they shall hunt. The Hunters were awed at the great many creeping, crawling and flying beasts that the Beastlord formed. The Hunters were given the command to take hold of the savage wilderness and tame it to their will. The Hunters were free to hunt the beasts of the air, ground and sea, but also to respect them and hold true the very nature of the beast - powerful, savage and deadly.

The Beasts:

The predator beast holds special significance for the Kaaer'dar'shin. The Hunter is the predator and the beasts that hunt hold the example of how to hunt efficiently and successfully. As such, the half-orc culture holds that the hunt of the predator beast as the highest trophy one can attain.

The Wolf - The wolf represents fierce and unbridled killing. The wolf, among other beasts, represents endurance and family bonds that cannot be broken. The wolf is a warrior and stays loyal to its pack. The wolf works in a team and shares amongst one another. To the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wolf is the Beastlord and Beastlord is the wolf. Wolf pelts are highly prized among the tribe and only the worthiest of shamans and warriors can wear a wolf pelt. Wolf hunts are rare celebrations and only after much ritual and supplication does a warrior embark on a wolf hunt.

The Tsor-Shotak lizard - This great mountain lizard is a deadly and fierce opponent. Only within the mountain ranges can this beast be found. Territorial and aggressive when provoked, the Tsor-Shotak holds special reverence for the tribe. The hide of the lizard is used in many things from body protective clothing to the Blood Defender. The lizard's venom is made into a potent poison for the warriors' arrows while the meat is favored as a warrior's food. The lizard represents toughness and aggression, two traits of a successful warrior.

The Eagle - Flying high amongst the clouds, this winged brother has a special bond to the Light Father. The Eagle is not a beast to be hunted, nor is it eaten. The eagle is respected as a wise and deadly predator. A true hunter of the skies. This winged brother flies high between the Stone Brother and the Light Father, watching and protecting the Hunters below.

The Uncil Cat - Stealth, and silent grace are represented by the "Ghost of the Mountain". This great cat is also hunted for its pelt, teeth and claws, but proves to be a very difficult hunt. The Uncil cat moves with silent deadliness and strikes from the dark shadows. The Hunter bears these traits as he must also be swift and silent to the kill. The Uncil cat moves amongst its rocky home, making little sound and watches with patient care for the moment to strike. Also, too, must the Hunter be patient and strike once and once only.

The Trees and Grasses

Not only do the beasts of the field, air and water hold a special place in the culture of the Kaaer'dar'shin, but also the children of the Earth Brother - the trees and plants.

"The Gynturg and his sister, the Bynapyrl, came together in all things and formed children of themselves. From the fertile ground sprang forth mighty trees of green and bushes and grasses. The Earth Brother's shoulders rolled and pitched to create vast mountains, hills and plains. The tree welcomed the light and warmth of the Suriot and cast its arms over the earth in loving care.

The Hunters watched as the Earth and Water gave them more to care for and spoke to the trees asking for guidance. The Gynturg gave the plants a voice and also the great power of guardians of the forests and plains. The Hunters watched as a mighty tree stepped forth before them. The Hunters called this tree the Pafalka (lit. Wood-like-man), for it appeared as a man and tree alike."

The Kaaer'dar'shin hold a special relationship with the Pafalka. It is well known that some forests guard and protect themselves from harm in the form of mighty trees that crush all those who would harm it. Stories exist in most tribes of the Pendrowe and the Drasil tree, but never has one of these creatures been studied in full. The Kaaer'dar'shin shamans claim to be the only ones who can speak to these Pafalka and incure their blessings for use of the forest's resources.

I miss the stars, though the sky might be often cloudy. You say in your initial myth "..to live and hunt under the sun and stars forevermore." But where are they now? Maybe children of sun and moon?
   

Worshipping Practices:

The Totem

The beast totem is a physical manifestation of the beast spirits and their likeness is carved or painted upon stone, wood, bone, cloth or hide. The carvings of the totems is an example of exquisite and delicate craftsmanship only undertaken by master crafters.

Sentinel Totems - These totems are carved directly from a log taken from the Themed'lon forests. A tree is cut and the bark removed to expose the inner core of the tree. A crafter, with the blessing of the shaman, takes the log and carves the likeness of an animal spirit in great detail. According to the shaman's visions, the craftsman's work shows the spirit in various stages of movement - be it stalking, hunting, striking its prey or simply watching. The totems are placed upright within any area protected and watched over by the tribe. This could include villages, outposts, hunting grounds or camps.

Amulet Totems - Smaller versions of the totem are carved in various natural materials and hung from a leather cord. Typically, these amulet totems are warn by warriors, hunters and shamans as protection and provide deeper communion with the beast spirits. Each bearer of the amulet chooses their significant beast that represents them and together with the shaman and craftsman, the amulet is carved and presented. Should an amulet ever be lost, it is a great dishonor for the warrior, unless the loss occurred in battle or on a hunt.

Picture Totems - Totems are not only carved but also painted. Most things from bromers to weapons have a picture of a beast spirit upon them. The T'lark, or Blood Defender, is probably the best example of a totem worn in battle and highly regarded by its bearer. The beast spirits are called upon before a battle and the warrior always has their guardian with them on their war buckler.

The Shaman

The role of the shaman is significant in many ways. First, the shaman is regarded as the sole link between the beast spirits and the mortal people. Only through the shaman do the spirits speak. The beast spirits method of communication with the shaman is through visions. Traditionally, shamans are only men.
 I always try to weaken those strict rules with a "Only very few women are known who took this position" or similar.So you can always invent a nice dramatic story of a warrior woman who became finaly a shaman OR a very gifted child with this disease who saved the tribe at one point in history...



A shaman is typically chosen one of two ways: by achieving an honored record of battles and hunts (recorded upon the warrior's T'lark) or by being blessed with visions from the Beastlord.

Most shamans are older, retired warriors who have achieved many victories in battle. The tribe views such a blessed warrior as gifted by the Beastlord and thus worthy of becoming the Spirit's speaker. Given the tribe's culture of the hunt and their near constant skirmishes with orcs and dark elves, a warrior who can show that their victories are numerous not only in battle, but in tactics, is surely ready to lead and advise younger warriors. Once the veteran warrior retires in a ceremony called the XXX (lit. "Spirit Speaker"), he proclaims his intention to lead the tribe spiritualy. A vote among the tribe's elder men is performed with the victor becoming the next shaman.

The second, and more rare, instances of choosing a shaman is through visions from the Beastlord. Every so often, a child is born whom the tribe recognizes as having special gifts. The child (can be male or female) is usually weak in body but strong in spirit. As the child ages, the visions from the Beastlord become more clear to them as the child begins to see things and hear things within their thoughts. The child is immediately chosen as a shaman in training and given high honor in the tribe. When the child reaches adulthood, his or her visions are used to guide the current shaman until his death.

The exact nature of the visions are unclear. It is known that the disease ghun'tor, or cursed blood, affects the mind in strange ways and only affects orcs or those of orcen heritage. Are children born with ghun'tlor given special consideration as shamans? The symptoms of the disease do not allow a victim to become an especially energetic warrior as it makes the victim feel tired and undernourished. Also, the disease renders a victim incapable of eating meat hence the shaman's practice of giving up meat as a sign of sacrifice.

Or, are the visions truly signs from the Beastlord himself? The Kaaer'dar'shin have survived through numerous hardships in their violent past and continue to thrive in the harsh northern wilderness amidst orcen and dark elven tribes. In addition, they have garnered the favor of the mysterious guardians of the forest which is something rarely documented among the other tribes of Caelereth. Perhaps the tribe is blessed from a higher power after all.

 I like that very much, though it might not be as neutral as Art wants to have it. But I need to discuss this out with him anyway, keep it ;)
Your spirit speaker needs a name.

Guide - The shaman is a guide and bestows wisdom upon the tribe and the chief warrior. Everyone in the tribe is allowed an audience with the shaman for guidance for everything in their lives. Probably most importantly, the shaman gives wisdom from the beast spirits concerning war and the hunt. All warriors are encouraged to seek the advice from the shaman as more often than not, the shaman's visions have led the tribe to victory.
 May this cause problems with the chief warrior? 

Healer - The shaman is a knowledgable herbalist and healer. He teaches his craft to the warriors by asking for blessings from the Earth Brother for rich and plentiful plants and herbs. For it is from the Earth Brother and the Swift Sister that all plants are born. Herb lore has been passed down from generation to generation of shamans and thus thus the knowledge has become deeply ingrained within the tribe's culture.

Life - All children born within the tribe receive the shaman's blessings for a good life full of victories in whatever they do. Male children are given to the Beastlord for his will in their future roles as hunter, warrior, craftsman or even shaman. Female children are given to the Beastlord's mate to bear future children for the tribe.

Hey, there must be more to them than just have children! Azhira, you are a modern woman ;) What about caring for the family, strengthening the back of her husband, so he is able to be a strong warrior. Midwife? Herb-woman (collector?) or does this all the shaman?   

Death - Death is a part of the cycle of life, but death of a tribe member is celebrated, not grieved. The shaman has the special role of acting as a guide for the deceased to lead the spirit into the welcoming hands of the Beastlord to enjoy an eternal hunt in the Beastlord's realm. Women are celebrated for their life in maintaining the home and, if they bore children, for giving to the tribe. They, too, are given to the Beastlord's realm by serving his mate.


  As you see, I have not much to comment and the rest is done in half an hour . I still miss some more detailed worshipping practices (how do they pray,at which occasions, burn essences, do they sing, make music or anything like that), but I would say, enough for now, you can always do an extra entry about it.

That is a nicely done, rounded entry which is good to read. It will look even better if Art sets  the myth apart from the rest.

Bravo  :thumbup: - you can blarrow it, as soon as you have added the last things. 


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Bard Judith on 22 July 2008, 18:55:34
One little objection, if I might....

This is indeed a great entry with a lot of detail.  What would put it into the category of just about perfect for me would be to change the too-evocative words 'totem' and 'shaman'.  Even one would be too suggestive of Terran Native cultures - both simply reduce this to cliche, unfortunately.

And it would be so easy to fix with a simple substitution....


""To'vatars are  physical manifestationsof the beast spirits; their likeness is carved or painted upon stone, wood, bone, cloth or hide. The carvings of these to'vatars is an example of exquisite and delicate craftsmanship only undertaken by master crafters."

"The role of the shamut is significant in many ways. First, the shamut is regarded as the sole link between the beast spirits and the mortal people. Only through the shamut do the spirits speak."



And, interestingly enough, though you may not wish to alter the entry this drastically, terran shamans were often people of ambiguous gender or sexuality.  They were believed to straddle the physical and spiritual worlds and be the most fitting representatives.  Since mainstream Santharian society tends to medieval homophobia, exiling their 'misfits' to the Greylers and the like,  it would be nice to have some cultures which are in contrast to this.  Just a thought!


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 22 July 2008, 21:11:14
Blarrowed!  :thumbup:

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions, Tekor and Judy!

@ Tekor - I've highlighted your last comments in Yellow. You've pointed out some good stuff, thanks.

@ Judy - Language is not a strong suit of mine and I never was comfortable with the totem and shaman words, so I am glad you came along with some replacements. They work well and have been integrated.

As for the male dominated religion, I purposely geared the faith to be male oriented as hunters and religious leaders throughout time in many cultures have been male. Yes, in our modern world we disdain such sexist roles, but I did not want to push my own personal beliefs of a "woman can do everything a man can do" kind of mentality on this religion. I've changed some of the bits so as to allow a woman to be a warrior or shamut, but for the most part, they shall remain traditionally men only.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 23 July 2008, 21:08:44
Errmm?

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities as are known in other faiths of the known world. (Right?)


Stars? (You can't tell a passionate astronomer, that your people don't notice them ;) ) But is up to you!

----> As the moon will probably not be seen all time, the stars may give some light? If you do anything with them, be aware, that they are moving randomly, apart from a few fixed constellations. There is a special one in the north, I think, would have to look it up.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Alysse the Likely on 23 July 2008, 22:10:55
Right!  Here's my comments (finally!)

Overview:

The Hunt. The stealth. The swift kill. These are the basic tenants of the beliefs of the Kaaer'dar'shin people. The oneness with nature, the zest for living and savagery of the wilds form the whole basis of the half-orc culture. The Kaaer'dar'shin have long ago cast aside the worship of distant, immoral deities. They shun philosophical ethics and arcane magics. For the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wilds of nature form their world and all within it are revered and respected from the lowly snake to the mighty dragon, from the warm sun to the bleak, cold moon. From the wind and rain to the night's embrace. The half-orcs live for the hunt, the destruction of their enemies, and believe themselves the masters of the wild.

Prevalence:

The Beastlord faith is practiced primarily by the half-orc tribe of the Kaaer'dar'shin. This tribe dwells along the southeastern section of the peninsula of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia. The tribe's ancestry consists of the Kuglimz humans and the Osther-Oc orcs. It is believed that the Beastlord faith is a mix of the Kuglimz beliefs in the All-Father and All-Mother and the primitive spiritual beliefs of the orcs.

Beliefs:

For the Kaaer'dar'shin, there are no deities as are known in other faiths of Caelereth. Instead, the Kaaer'dar'shin hold that two spirits, the Great Spirit and his mate, usually depicted as a large wolves, roamed the nothingness in the beginning of time hunting for prey. The creation myth goes as such:

The first spirit, known as the Durgho (lit: "Leader of beasts" or the Beastlord), and his mate, created the world together. The Beastlord and his mate had been hunting in the nothingness since ages past and became lonely. The Beastlord desired children to hunt alongside him and his mate. The world came about as a result of the Beastlord's desire for his creation to live and hunt under the sun and stars forevermore.

Upon this new world, the Beastlord and his mate formed for themselves first the Hunters, created from their image, and called them the First Ones. Once the Hunters were formed, the Beastlord and his mate created more children to provide a place for the First Ones to live and roam. A place of warmth and light and nourishment for the Hunters. The Hunters are the known as the First Ones and are above the other Children, but must pay no less respect to them.

The tribe does not think themselves as half-orcs. They have long forsaken their Kuglimz and orcen ancestry. They think themselves as the Hunters, the First Born, and the servants of the Beastlord.

The Kaaer'dar'shin know and believe many other different tribes exist in the world. The orcs, dark elves and Kuglimz humans are the ones most in contact with the half-orcs during their existence. However, the Kaaer'dar'shin believe that they alone are the children of the Beastlord and other races are simply prey or enemies to be hunted; formed from the nothingness. A typical Kaaer'dar'shin will never admit to having orcs and humans as ancestors. To even suggest such a thing invites a quick death to the one suggesting. To them, they are as they always have been: The First Ones.

Origins:

It is told among the Kaaer’dar’shin that the origins of their faith was when a single Hunter was chosen by the Great Spirit to lead them. The Beastlord and his mate were pleased with their Hunter Children and chose to reveal themselves to them through visions and to bestow their wisdom upon them. They chose a special Hunter, one who had proven himself already in battle and the Hunt and whom the Beastlord came to respect. This Chosen One was to become the first Uon'kh'al'on, or “Spirit Leader”. The myth of the shamut’s origins is known as the Beastlord Speaker's Tale:

"The Beastlord looked upon his creation and saw that it was good and he was pleased that his Hunters could roam free the land. His children worked hard and provided well. However, the Beastlord saw a need to give his Hunters special wisdom and to create a closer bond with the Hunters.

Thus, the Beastlord came to the earth and touched a wise Hunter and spoke to his thoughts. The Hunter fell to his knees and heard the Beastlord speak. His thoughts and dreams welcomed the visions and his eyes were opened. He saw great things, past and future, and knew far more than his Hunter brethren. The others saw this and asked of him the Beastlord's guidance. The Hunter spoke and led. He yielded his bow and built for himself a place to speak to the spirits in quiet.

The Hunter called himself the Uon'kh'al'on, or "Spirit Leader" according to the will of the Beastlord."

The Uon'kh'al'on was henceforth given the power as an intercessor to the Spirits and the Hunters. He was commanded to pass on his knowledge to others and to teach the lesser Hunters wisdom and to guide them on the hunt.

The Kaaer’dar’shin researcher Azhira El’rosse has pointed out that the origins of the Kaaer’dar’shin beliefs likely originated during the initial Osther-Oc occupation of the Kuglimz settlers during the Third Sarvonian War. She has surmised that the Beastlord faith is in fact a mix of the of the Kuglimz and Osther-Oc faiths. The beliefs of the All-Mother and All-Father combined with the Osther-Oc’s belief in natural spirits formed, over time, the half-orc religion.

The Spirits:

The Great Spirit – Usually depicted as a great wolf, the Great Spirit, or Beastlord, is often referred to as the all-encompassing spirit who formed the world with his mate, a lesser spirit depicted as a female. The female spirit is depicted as a small, female wolf, yet there exist very few myths about her. The Beastlord teaches the importance of honor, loyalty, faith, courage and above all, the Hunt. Through the Hunt, a Hunter becomes as the Beastlord.

The Sun - The Beastlord named its first child the Suriot (lit: "father [of] light"). The Suriot took to the sky to make light for the world and provide warmth and sustenance for its future brothers and sisters. By the will of the Beastlord does the sun shine, but in all things, there is an opposite. This is  the darker, silent child known as the Night Mother.

The Moon - The silent, brooding child of the Beastlord comes forth at night and is named Leirgor (lit: "mother darkness"). The sky children get equal measure in the world as decreed by the Beastlord and provides darkness for the Hunt. The Hunters took to the silent child with ease and found that the hunt posed greater challenges when the Suriot denied its light. Under the cover of the moon, the Hunters could strike without being seen while the prey could also flee under the darkness.

The myth of the Sky siblings goes something like this:

"The Hunters roamed the darkness and found nothing and saw nothing. The black sky above and below caused great fear in the Hunters. Thus, the Beastlord formed the Suriot and the great bright circle in the sky made the Hunters warm and gave them light to see. But as the Suriot shined, it grew tired and wished to rest. The Beastlord gave the Suriot a time to fall behind its Earth Brother and sleep.

The Hunters were again cast into the darkness and cried out for light and warmth. The Beastlord was weary and called upon the Night Mother to watch and care for the Hunters. The Gynturg cast very little light and rejoiced in the darkness. (This sentence doesn't seem to belong here, especially as we don't know yet what the Gynturg is) The Hunters had some light, but missed the warmth of the Suriot. Such was the will of the Beastlord as he is good in all things."

The Earth - The Beastlord's third child was the earth itself, Gynturg (lit: "brother [of] stone"), and was the land for which the Great Spirit's hunters could roam. Gynturg became a vast expanse of wilderness under his siblings, the Suriot and Leirgor. The Beastlord then placed his Hunters upon the Stone Brother's shoulders to live, hunt and worship.

The Water - The Bynapyrl (lit: "sister [of] water") was born next to provide further nourishment to the Hunters. Flowing cold, swift and clean, the Sister Water takes no shape and knows no peace. Always moving, the Swift Sister is born from its Stone Brother and makes its paths upon the earth's shoulders. Together, the four children exist to provide for the Hunters.

The Beasts - The Beastlord was pleased with what he and his mate created and lastly bestowed upon their hunter children the prey for which they shall hunt. The Hunters were awed at the great many creeping, crawling and flying beasts that the Beastlord formed. The Hunters were given the command to take hold of the savage wilderness and tame it to their will. The Hunters were free to hunt the beasts of the air, ground and sea, but also to respect them and hold true the very nature of the beast - powerful, savage and deadly.

The Beasts:

The predator beast holds special significance for the Kaaer'dar'shin. The Hunter is the predator and the beasts that hunt hold the example of how to hunt efficiently and successfully. As such, the half-orc culture holds that the hunt of the predator beast as the highest trophy one can attain.

The Wolf - The wolf represents fierce and unbridled killing. The wolf, among other beasts, represents endurance and family bonds that cannot be broken. The wolf is a warrior and stays loyal to its pack. The wolf works in a team and shares amongst one another. To the Kaaer'dar'shin, the wolf is the Beastlord and Beastlord is the wolf. Wolf pelts are highly prized among the tribe and only the worthiest of shamuts and warriors can wear a wolf pelt. Wolf hunts are rare celebrations and only after much ritual and supplication does a warrior embark on a wolf hunt.

The Tsor-Shotak lizard - This great mountain lizard is a deadly and fierce opponent. Only within the mountain ranges can this beast be found. Territorial and aggressive when provoked, the Tsor-Shotak holds special reverence for the tribe. The hide of the lizard is used in many things from body protective clothing to the Blood Defender. The lizard's venom is made into a potent poison for the warriors' arrows while the meat is favored as a warrior's food. The lizard represents toughness and aggression, two traits of a successful warrior.

The Eagle - Flying high amongst the clouds, this winged brother has a special bond to the Light Father. The Eagle is not a beast to be hunted, nor is it eaten. The eagle is respected as a wise and deadly predator. A true hunter of the skies. This winged brother flies high between the Stone Brother and the Light Father, watching and protecting the Hunters below.

The Uncil Cat - Stealth, and silent grace are represented by the "Ghost of the Mountain". This great cat is also hunted for its pelt, teeth and claws, but proves to be a very difficult hunt. The Uncil cat moves with silent deadliness and strikes from the dark shadows. The Hunter bears these traits as he must also be swift and silent to the kill. The Uncil cat moves amongst its rocky home, making little sound and watches with patient care for the moment to strike. Also, too, must the Hunter be patient and strike once and once only.

The Trees and Grasses

Not only do the beasts of the field, air and water hold a special place in the culture of the Kaaer'dar'shin, but also the children of the Earth Brother - the trees and plants.

"The Gynturg and his sister, the Bynapyrl, came together in all things and formed children of themselves. From the fertile ground sprang forth mighty trees of green and bushes and grasses. The Earth Brother's shoulders rolled and pitched to create vast mountains, hills and plains. The tree welcomed the light and warmth of the Suriot and cast its arms over the earth in loving care.

The Hunters watched as the Earth and Water gave them more to care for and spoke to the trees asking for guidance. The Gynturg gave the plants a voice and also the great power of guardians of the forests and plains. The Hunters watched as a mighty tree stepped forth before them. The Hunters called this tree the Pafalka (lit. Wood-like-man), for it appeared as a man and tree alike."

The Kaaer'dar'shin hold a special relationship with the Pafalka. It is well known that some forests guard and protect themselves from harm in the form of mighty trees that crush all those who would harm it. Stories exist in most tribes of the Pendrowe and the Drasil tree, but never has one of these creatures been studied in full. The Kaaer'dar'shin shamuts claim to be the only ones who can speak to these Pafalka and incur their blessings for use of the forest's resources.

Worshipping Practices:

The To’vatar

The beast to’vatar is a physical manifestation of the beast spirits and their likeness is carved or painted upon stone, wood, bone, cloth or hide. The carvings of the to’vatars is an example of exquisite and delicate craftsmanship only undertaken by master crafters.

Sentinel To’vatars - These to’vatars are carved directly from a log taken from the Themed'lon forests. A tree is cut and the bark removed to expose the inner core of the tree. A crafter, with the blessing of the shamut, takes the log and carves the likeness of an animal spirit in great detail. According to the shamut's visions, the craftsman's work shows the spirit in various stages of movement - be it stalking, hunting, striking its prey or simply watching. The to’vatars are placed upright within any area protected and watched over by the tribe. This could include villages, outposts, hunting grounds or camps.

Amulet To’vatars - Smaller versions of the to’vatar are carved in various natural materials and hung from a leather cord. Typically, these amulet to’vatars are warn by warriors, hunters and shamuts as protection and provide deeper communion with the beast spirits. Each bearer of the amulet chooses their significant beast that represents them and together with the shamut and craftsman, the amulet is carved and presented. Should an amulet ever be lost, it is a great dishonor for the warrior, unless the loss occurred in battle or on a hunt.

Picture To’vatars - To’vatars are not only carved but also painted. Most things from bromers to weapons have a picture of a beast spirit upon them. The T'lark, or Blood Defender, is probably the best example of a to’vatar worn in battle and highly regarded by its bearer. The beast spirits are called upon before a battle and the warrior always has their guardian with them on their war buckler.

The Shamut

The role of the shamut is significant in many ways. First, the shamut is regarded as the sole link between the beast spirits and the mortal people. Only through the shamut do the spirits speak. The beast spirits method of communication with the shamut is through visions. Traditionally, shamuts are only men, however there have been several instances where a woman has filled the roll of the shamut, and has performed just as well as the men.

A shamut is typically chosen one of two ways: by achieving an honored record of battles and hunts (recorded upon the warrior's T'lark) or by being blessed with visions from the Beastlord.

Most shamuts are older, retired warriors who have achieved many victories in battle. The tribe views such a blessed warrior as gifted by the Beastlord and thus worthy of becoming the Spirit's speaker. Given the tribe's culture of the hunt and their near constant skirmishes with orcs and dark elves, a warrior who can show that their victories are numerous not only in battle, but in tactics, is surely ready to lead and advise younger warriors. Once the veteran warrior retires in a ceremony called the "Rouk'seit" Chant (lit. "Spirit Tongue or Speaker"), he proclaims his intention to lead the tribe spiritually. A vote among the tribe's elder men is performed with the victor becoming the next shamut.

The second, and more rare, instances of choosing a shamut is through visions from the Beastlord. Every so often, a child is born whom the tribe recognizes as having special gifts. The child (male or female, though more commonly male) is usually weak in body but strong in spirit. As the child ages, the visions from the Beastlord become more clear to them as the child begins to see things and hear things within their thoughts. The child is immediately chosen as a shamut in training and given high honor in the tribe. When the child reaches adulthood, his or her visions are used to guide the current shamut until his death.

The exact nature of the visions are unclear. It is known that the disease ghun'tor, or cursed blood, affects the mind in strange ways and only affects orcs or those of orcen heritage. Are children born with ghun'tlor given special consideration as shamuts? The symptoms of the disease do not allow a victim to become an especially energetic warrior as it makes the victim feel tired and undernourished. Also, the disease renders a victim incapable of eating meat hence the shamut's practice of giving up meat as a sign of sacrifice.

Or, are the visions truly signs from the Beastlord himself? The Kaaer'dar'shin have survived through numerous hardships in their violent past and continue to thrive in the harsh northern wilderness amidst orcen and dark elven tribes. In addition, they have garnered the favor of the mysterious guardians of the forest which is something rarely documented among the other tribes of Caelereth. Perhaps the tribe is blessed from a higher power.

Guide - The shamut is a guide and bestows wisdom upon the tribe and the chief warrior. Everyone in the tribe is allowed an audience with the shamut for guidance for everything in their lives. Probably most importantly, the shamut gives wisdom from the beast spirits concerning war and the hunt. All warriors are encouraged to seek the advice from the shamut as more often than not, the shamut's visions have helped lead the tribe to victory.

Healer - The shamut is a knowledgeable herbalist and healer. He teaches his craft to the warriors by asking for blessings from the Earth Brother for rich and plentiful plants and herbs. For it is from the Earth Brother and the Swift Sister that all plants are born. Herb lore has been passed down from generation to generation of shamuts and thus thus the knowledge has become deeply ingrained within the tribe's culture.

Life - All children born within the tribe receive the shamut's blessings for a good life full of victories in whatever they do. Male children are dedicated to the Beastlord for his will in their future roles as hunter, warrior, craftsman or even shamut. Female children are dedicated to the Beastlord's mate to bear future children for the tribe, to be caretakers for the home, to lead the children in honor and respect and, more often than not, to become a warrior themselves.(The women can be warriors?)

Death - Death is a part of the cycle of life, but death of a tribe member is celebrated, not grieved. The shamut has the special role of acting as a guide for the deceased to lead the spirit into the welcoming hands of the Beastlord to enjoy an eternal hunt in the Beastlord's realm. Women are celebrated for their life in maintaining the home and, if they bore children, for giving to the tribe. They, too, are given to the Beastlord's realm by serving his mate.


This is really good, Azhira!  Only a few corrections/suggestions here and there.  I'd say this is nearly ready for blarrowing.

@Talia's comment about the stars--Perhaps they could be the spirits of departed warriors?  There should be some explanation for them.  Maybe the smaller ones are the women and children and the big ones are the men?  Just a thought.

Alysse


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 23 July 2008, 23:06:19
Ahh, thank you Alysse. I've made your corrections. Forgive me if they are not colored as I didn't want to take the time to color small words and things...can you trust me that I made them anyway?  ;)

I've added a bit of the stars origin. I liked Alysse's suggestion of them being the spirits of departed warriors joining the Beastlord on his hunt. It fits well with the wolf hunting at night, the Beastlord as a wolf, and the darkness to hunt in.

See if you like it or not.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 24 July 2008, 01:10:49
Yes, I do! And the brightest stars have been the greatest warriors? :)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 24 July 2008, 01:38:14
Yes, I do! And the brightest stars have been the greatest warriors? :)

Indeed, they do now!  :thumbup:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 31 July 2008, 23:28:29
I have added Ingeborg's Picture #25 for the Beastlord Creation Myth into the entry.  :thumbup:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 31 July 2008, 23:41:22
Any text you could add to go with the picture? Even if it's kept rather general, some text would be good ;)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 01 August 2008, 21:51:46
Arti, I added some text to go with the picture now. Basic as all it shows is the Suriot over the Gynterg, but it's a nice, simple creation image that I have liked for awhile.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 14 August 2008, 23:32:57
I have added some more elements to the religion entry...additions in Yellow

- Added a section about the Mask of the Tree Cousin, destined to become its own entry as soon as I can.

- Added some semi-ambiguous bits concerning the Fylja fur-folk and the shapeshifting element.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 15 August 2008, 04:15:03
Yup, makes things even more complete. :) All the little bits you add are nicely linked to Santharian stuff: mask mystery - elven origin - perhaps druids - made from pendrowe/drasil - embedded in Themed'lon, central location for th Kaaer etc. And now the connection to the Fylja fur-folk - it all comes together and that's what makes these additions so exciting to really contribute to make things more complete.  :thumbup:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 19 August 2008, 00:57:24
Also added a section on the tribe's burial practices...also colored Yellow.


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Decipher Ziron on 19 August 2008, 16:15:16
 :shocked:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 13 September 2008, 03:49:15
Bump...

Talia, do you want to peek at my revisions before the update? If you are not able to, this can wait or can go up as Arti has approved it.

Thanks!  ;)


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 03 October 2008, 08:29:18
Arti has approved my revisions, and so do I, so I therefore Blarrow my entry now.  :heart:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 03 October 2008, 22:57:26
*hehe* Can you feel the power of being moderator already? It's great to be able to approve the own entries, eh? And tomorrow we'll conquer the world! :lol:


Title: Re: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 03 October 2008, 23:41:30
and absolute power ...