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Author Topic: The Hunt of the Beastlord - Kaaer'dar'shin Beliefs - 1st Revision  (Read 13505 times)
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #15 on: 18 July 2008, 00:02:08 »

I'll try to get to it ..soon. :)
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Nsikigan Ho´Tonanese Yourth
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« Reply #16 on: 18 July 2008, 02:33:02 »

Very nice, looks good, and I'm glad to help  :D
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #17 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?
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« Reply #18 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)
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #19 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
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« Reply #20 on: 22 July 2008, 05:11:55 »

Bumping so Takor doesn't forget... grin
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #21 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. 
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« Reply #22 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!
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« Reply #23 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.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #24 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.
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« Reply #25 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
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« Reply #26 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.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #27 on: 24 July 2008, 01:10:49 »

Yes, I do! And the brightest stars have been the greatest warriors? :)
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« Reply #28 on: 24 July 2008, 01:38:14 »

Yes, I do! And the brightest stars have been the greatest warriors? :)

Indeed, they do now!  thumbup
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #29 on: 31 July 2008, 23:28:29 »

I have added Ingeborg's Picture #25 for the Beastlord Creation Myth into the entry.  thumbup
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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