The designation "Eyashene", or more casually "Mindsmoother", does not denote a particular group, clan, or guild of people, but rather the bestowal and practice of a gods-gifted talent; Mindsmoothers are those sentient beings who share a common ability to sense and sooth emotions. They are marked by an early empathic sensitivity to others' pains and feelings, and even as children try to comfort those who are crying or upset around them. As they become adolescents, they often experience extreme emotional swings while they try to adjust to their rapidly changing abilities. They can come from any race, or level of their society, although they are more common in some races than others. Most elves, for example, have some faint mindsmoothing skills, while Therger’atene (dwarven healers) are few and far between. It is not unusual to have a higher proportion of female Eyashenes than males, in adolescence; however, the genders usually rebalance by early adulthood. Some human males have not recognized their Eyashene abilities until forty or fifty years old, while mermaids, on the other hand, display talents very early - sometimes as young as three or four years. In rare cases, gifted individuals decide to employ their ability to affect emotions for selfish or malevolent purposes. These so-called “Mindmeddlers”, who do not heal and soothe, but cause harm and distress, are discussed in their own Compendium entry.

An Eyashene Mindsmoother
View picture in full size Image description: An Eyashene Mindsmoother helping a wounded fighter. Picture from the game Magical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Illustration drawn by Faugar.

Prevalence. It is thought by some researchers that those with the gift of mindsmoothing are rare, yet that may be a human prejudice as many elves seem to have some limited talent for it. It is not known how many there are in the world as this particular ability is little understood; likely many Mindsmoothers either do not know they possess the gift, or that those who do, care not to share it publicly.

Among the central areas of the Santharian kingdom, such as the provinces of Manthria, Xaramon, Sanguia and Enthronia, Mindsmoothers are readily accepted and revered for their healing skills. The Eyashene are known to have loosely organized bands that travel from town to town offering their services in these regions. Some local populaces and barons grant the Eyashene with gifts and privileges such as horses, free room and board or protection.

It is rare to find the Eyashene in any significant numbers in the cities of Ximax or Thalambath. The magi of Ximax particularly find the Mindsmoothers to be a sort of mystery that even they cannot explain, for the ability of a Mindsmoother cannot be easily dissected and labeled using Ximaxian or even Thalambathian scholarly logic. Magi of the wind and water element persist in claiming through the years that Mindsmoothing is not possible without the knowledge and skill of elemental magic. Thus, many Eyashene in these cities are treated coldly or even dismissed as charlatans.

Among the wilds of Northern Sarvonia, the numbers of Eyashene cannot be guessed at. It is generally agreed among many scholars that Mindsmoothers are likely born with the gift among the northern tribes of humans, orcs and elves, though doubtless known by entirely different names, if they practise their abilities openly at all. The worship of the Goddess Eyasha is not common in the North, except perhaps among the elven tribes. Unfortunately, there has been so little study of Mindsmoothers in Northern Sarvonia that it is impossible to make any sort of estimate of their numbers.
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Belief Outlines. Eyashenes do not think of themselves as magic-users (such as wizards and sages) but rather as healers. They don't overtly cast spells, study books, or investigate "formal magic", as they call it. In fact, there is a sort of superstition that formal study will invalidate their gifts! Eyashenes are not averse to learning non-supernatural skills, such as art, dance, massage, and even some simple medical treatments - anything that they believe will help them help their clients. They are invariably good listeners, strongly pacifist, and, interestingly enough, vegetarian. As may be guessed by their title, they tend to pay devotion to the Goddess of Peace and Tranquility, Eyasha, and sometimes wear her three-lobed clover symbol as jewelry. However, there is an aversion on the part of Mindsmoothers to be seen as a faith, sect, business, or even the most loosely organized guild association, so they avoid anything that smacks of uniformity.
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People - Appearance and Mindset. Mindsmoothers tend to be plain-spoken, uncomplicated folk, who generally dress in common clothing so that they do not stand out in a crowd. Often they gravitate, on their own initiative, to neutral-coloured clothing; soft greys, pale greens and tans, or off-white robes. Many Eyashenes travel extensively from place to place so it is common to see them in well-worn boots, thick wander-capes, and the like.

In late adolescence many Mindsmoothers seem to feel an inner urge to seek out others of their kind to learn from. A young Eyashene often apprentices with an older, learning some practical applications of the craft, before traveling to a community where he or she can be of use. A very few cannot stand the constant emotional pressure and become recluses, living deep in the desert or high in the mountains, dealing only with the clean, uncomplicated feelings of the animals around them.

Those Eyashenes that do choose to live among society often make their homes in small, utilitarian abodes with nary a flashy decoration or bright colour. They often do not wish to call attention to themselves, and in fact, generally prefer to seek out the folk in most need of them, rather than having 'patients' come to them. Many can be found living in waterfront shacks or poorer sections of cities and towns where they can move about discreetly utilizing their gifts among the poor and needy.

Mindsmoothers are inevitably drawn to those with emotional distress, confusion and elements of disorderly thought. It is upon those mindsets that they can best use their gifts to soothe and calm. Many who live a life in constant worry or anxiousness welcome the Eyashene's ability to set their thoughts at ease, if only for a short while, so that they may experience clarity and peace. Return to the top

Symbols. The Mindsmoothers do not organize themselves in a band or group where a coat of arms would represent them as a whole. However, given their common name of "Eyashene" after the Goddess of Peace, Eyasha, the Mindsmoothers - at least many of the human ones - have accepted the three-lobed clover as their unofficial symbol. Many Mindsmoothers revere the goddess (some say clerics of Eyasha number among them as well) and they have openly taken to wearing her symbol in jewelry or even to sewing insignias on their robes.

It is common in some areas of Santharia to see the clover symbol displayed on houses or on the gates of human towns so as to signify to passing Mindsmoothers either that they are needed or that they are welcomed. In fact, the upright clover has come to signify a place of healing or a gathering place of Eyashene followers. A clover symbol upside down is seen as a sign of urgent need or emergency. Small banners and flags are also hung outside of Eyashene residences or meeting halls as further signs of welcome to weary and worn travelers. The triparate clover symbol can most recently be found on the small medicinal kits sold to travelers and adventurers, though whether they are truly produced by Eyasha's devotees or enterprising merchants is unclear. Return to the top

Organization. Sometimes a small village or town will jointly pay an annual retainer to their chosen Eyashene, so that the townsfolk can consult him or her free of charge, but the Mindsmoother still has a steady income. However, in large cities there may often be a concentration of Mindsmoothers, and they are forced to set up shop on their own (this unfortunately encourages charlatans, bringing down the general reputation of the Eyashenes) offering a variety of services to attract customers. Some highly skilled Eyashenes are widely-renowned and sought out for counseling, while others have carved out their own niches by becoming entertainers, masseuses, matchmakers, and so on.

Because of the similar powers of healing believed to fall within the realms of Eyasha and her fellow wind god, Nehtor, it is not uncommon to find followers of both deities working together. While it would be simplistic to say that the Mindsmoothers care for the mind and spirit while the Nehtorians tend only the physical wounds - for followers of each god are able to tend both mind and body - in general Mindsmoothers derive their abilities from Eyasha, while chirogeons, bloodletters, midwives, bonesetters, and other such healers tend to receive their talents from Nehtor. Thus, major houses of healing in human cities are always comprised of both Mindsmoothers and Nehtorians. Return to the top

Myth/Lore. A few wizards have had the chance to study Eyashene talents from a distance, and speculate that they possess a passive form of telepathy as well as very faint mood-altering abilities (soothing and relaxing emotional tensions). It has also been observed by some people that threatening or physically harming an Eyashene will result in instant illness, with symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to violent headaches and even temporary blindness. Again, wizards postulate that this might be a result of a defensive involuntary Mindlash.

Every fruit has a stone, as the plainsfolk say, and so it is that Mindsmoothers are often respected and appreciated, but invariably treated with some wariness by most people. In a few societies they are regarded with fear and suspicion, and there have been cases of Eyashenes who were hunted down and imprisoned, or even stoned to death. Although the story is not well-known, even among Eyashenes, if you hunt through the judiciars’ records for Caelum, at the Bay of Skies near Ximax, you can still find the name Miranna of Thalun[1] inscribed in ink the colour of dried blood.
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Origin. The origins of the Mindsmoothers are not entirely understood. There are many recorded instances throughout Santharian history of Eyashene influence and actions, or surmised Eyashene results, but it is difficult to know where they came from or how they initially spread. The Mindsmoothers, we must stress again, do not consider themselves a group or organization, and thus have never kept organized records of their achievements or migration routes around the continent. Generally, the Eyashene have no intention of making history or seeking positions of high stature or power.

Since it is thought that Mindsmoothers can be born from any tribe or race, contemporary sages have been unable to determine an exact point of origin for the group. A study of various of tribal histories often reveals people of extraordinary healing or leadership skills, but rarely does history reveal an undoubted Mindsmoother. The term "Mindsmoother" is said to be a relatively new one among humans, with the name not commonly used among the elves.

One of the oldest human myths of Eyasha herself says that she was once a gifted human woman who lived in ancient times before the fall of the city of Fá'áv'cál'âr during the Era of the Anvil. She is believed to have been an extraordinary healer who brought order to many years of chaos during early human history, and who was said to have been able to heal an entire battlefield of wounded overnight, restoring them to their homes with no evil memories of their suffering or even of the battle itself. After the fall of the great city, the humans spread all over Caelereth and in their need of a calming goddess, Eyasha was deified and revered as an actively soothing influence among the world.

A popular Eyelian story says that around 28 b.S., a man named Be’allouf rose to power by brokering peace among some of the tribes' infighting that almost led to a civil war. He also was said to be a great healer who could "calm the wildest man into submission" with merely a thought and a glance. Be’allouf left the tribe as an old man and traveled to many nearby towns and regions sharing his gift. Be’allouf's ultimate fate is unknown, since one legend says he died while attempting to calm escalating hostilities among some warring barons, while another story says he became a recluse and died atop Mount Evermourn where Eyasha herself carried his spirit away to dwell in a place of eternal peace. Many scholars have come to agree that this is the first verifiable instance in recorded history of a practicing Mindsmoother.
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Importance. Many people from all races and regions of Santharia can claim to have been blessed by the work of a Mindsmoother in their lives. The Eyashene are respected in many provinces of the south and, despite their own wishes, the Eyashene are praised and honored greatly as capable healers and counselors. Though they are not fully understood, even by themselves, the Mindsmoothers' gifts cannot be denied and few question their origins. The world is rife with uncertainty, anxiousness, fear and turmoil in everyone's lives to varying degrees. We are blessed when we do not have to search far for a Mindsmoother to calm those fears; like an avatar of Eyasha in the flesh, the healer of the mind practises the art of calmness, serenity, and tranquility. And for such gifts there is no price.
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[1] "Miranna of Thalun and the Corrupt Regent - A Story of Truth and Betrayal" [Back]

 Date of last edit 7th Sleeping Dreameress 1670 a.S.

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