Earth

Belimedra, The Element of Earth

Totem: Fox
Number: 6
Colors: Green and Brown
Marking: When someone is accepted within one of the churches of Earth, a vine will appear reflected in their eyes, encircling their iris.

The followers of Earth can be as different and varied as the soil itself. Earth is seen as the nurturer and peace-bringer to the realm and those in her following strive to bring balance to the world. Although the methods are all completely different, the goal is the same, and those within her religion tend for the people as well as the world itself. Those that posses the qualities of Earth generally care little for monetary gain, and wealth is not something they actively strive to obtain. They are the givers and nurtures of the world and those who inhabit it and seek to regain the peace and balance the world has so long been without. Sometimes seen as cold or calculating, it is often that the ends justify the means with Earth, although unneeded loss of life is considered abhorrent in the eyes of the Element and her churches.

Her followers hold their personal morality above the law and pursue only what they believe in their hearts to be true. If that lines up with what the law states they are the most loyal of soldiers, but if the law differs from their personal convictions, it makes no difference to them to violate the law and they can be the craftiest of thieves or assassins. This is not to say that Earth does not believe in right and wrong, they just do not believe there are universal rights and wrongs with a few exceptions. One subject where right and wrong are clearly defined is that of children. Earth believes they have not yet had the time to fashion their own ideas and therefore should be immune from harm until they can become consciously aware of their actions and make their own choices. This also stems from Earths nurturing and caring nature that permeates into her following.

Hypocrisy is the greatest insult to Earth and isn’t tolerated within her religion. To speak or do something against your own personal beliefs is said to be completely repulsive and seen as weak of mind and character. That is not to say those of Earth do not speak lies, but there is normally a reason behind the deception. The speaker is consciously aware of manipulating the other person in order to reach some overall gain from the charade. Ignorance is also something seen as vile because you cannot form your own personal views on things without knowing all facts beforehand.

Those with an excess of Earth tend to be stubborn, and rarely change their opinions or minds on something once they have decided it to be true. On the other hand, those lacking in Earth tend to be compulsive liars and manipulators; valuing themselves above all else and tend to do things alone. Many within Earth’s influence seek the companionship and company of others, and tend struggle when on their own. Slow to anger, and yet slow to praise, Earth values consistency, and her followers may be faithful for years without seeing any rewards from the Element. At the same time, she allows those who harm and insult her to continue, until her anger is finally unleashed, and she can be as ruthless and destructive as an earthquake.

Belimedra

Belimedra herself has often been regarded as a maternal figure. After Al’Drenra, it is said that Belimedra’s heart was so moved by the mortals that she sees herself as their surrogate mother. Whether they acknowledge her or not, she cares deeply for each soul as if it was her own child, and it pains her to be forced to harm any of them, even if it is for the greater good. For this protective reason, she often finds herself in the mortal realm and takes various shapes and faces to blend in with her surroundings. It is said that she will seek revenge on behalf of those who could not seek it themselves, primarily children who were slaughtered at a young age and could not defend themselves.

To the dismay of some, it is also said the Element is constantly with each soul in the world and there is no escape from her grasp. Whether it is the wilds of the outdoors, the depths of the ocean or the confines of a building, it is said that even just a speck of dirt is enough to draw her presence.

Aurix – Aurix and Belimedra have a mutual respect for one another, but are not often found together, as Aurix tends to turn things into a competition, which annoys Belimedra to no end. She regards him as a good friend and always trusts him when he has given his word to her, as he has never betrayed it before.

Brodgeir – Belimedra is incredibly close to the Element of Stone, and calls him her “pipta” which means sibling in the ancient tongue. Much like siblings, however, the two bicker with one another, as she sees Brodgeir as far too stubborn for his own good. Despite their disagreements, the two remain as close as any family and she often looks to Brodgeir for guidance.

Jeax – Belimedra deeply respects knowledge and learning, and Jeax is often found in her company. The two will tend to bicker though, as their two understandings of the world will be at odds many times. They both see this as a way to sharpen their minds however, and no serious disagreements have ever broken out between the two.

Evoru – The fights between Belimedra and Evoru are nearly legendary, as the two seem to be squabbling over one thing or another each day. Even though the two are in constant disagreement, there has never been an all out fight between them, as Belimedra is opposed to unneeded violence, and Evoru doesn’t wish to waste resources on petty bickering.

Lamulae – Water has become one of Belimedra’s dearest friends and the two often spend time in one another’s company. She sees Lamulae as one of the more sensible Elements and often confides in her or seeks her advice on matters. The two have been rumored to walk among the mortals together as they both enjoy mingling among the people.

Udele – The Element of Spirit is Belimedra’s most trusted friend and advisor, but the two are not often together. It is not from any sort of disagreement between the two, but Belimedra finds Udele to be so wise and composed, that she feels he is far too serious for some of her games, and would just see her as frivolous.

Ri’ – Air and Earth do not often intermingle as Belimedra sees him as far too unfocused and uncontrolled for her tastes. She does not dislike him, but views him as almost childish and somewhat rebellious, and would prefer to just leave him to his own devices than spend any extended period of time with him.

Rhesk – Belimedra holds a particular spite for Fire that is legendary among the realm. It is fabled that the two were once lovers, but Earth valued monogamy, and when she discovered she had been deceived, it is said the grudge has festered within her since then and she can find no forgiveness for him, even to this day. They are the only two Elements to engage in such a dangerous fight that the rest of the Elements had to intervene to protect them from each other.

History

There are often tales of Earth interacting with the moral realm and her influence within the lives of those which inhabit the world. It is said when she takes a lover, she stays with them monogamously until they day they die and she has a special sacred burial chamber for their bodies. At the same time, there are far more horrific tales of her wrath and what happens to those who have crossed her.

There is a story of a man who slaughtered his first five children because he did not see them as perfect for various reasons. He could not have his oldest be a female, so the first two children were killed. The boy that came next was premature, and so was small and weak from birth, and the father could not have such a meager boy in his house. The final two were also two more little girls that could not be trusted, in the man’s eyes, to run his farm. Earth stayed her brooding temper for years, and finally the farmer kept a set of twin boys when his wife died in childbirth. She waited until the man was old and could barely move from his chair anymore. One morning, his two sons, their wives and all eight of his grandchildren came to visit the elderly man on his farm. As the children clung to their aging grandfather and kissed his cheeks, one by one they succumbed to a deep slumber, till all were strewn about the man’s feet. Belimedra spoke in a terrible, thundering voice and ordered the man to choose five of those children to die. The man begged and pleaded that he loved all of his grandchildren, and could never choose between them. She thundered back that he had chosen between his own children and this was no different. The elderly man begged and pleaded for the lives of his grandchildren until Belimedra inquired what he was willing to give. He offered his house, his land, whatever he owned he would give to the element. The earth trembled beneath the house and she thundered “I already own such things, what are you willing to give? Are you willing to give of yourself?” Of course the man thought this meant giving his own life and began shouting the names of the grandchildren “Take them! Take them all, just spare me and my sons, I beg of you!” The Element, disgusted with the man, awoke the children from their slumber and they all instinctively ran from the house, followed by their fathers, as none had heard what had just transpired. The mothers, however, had not been slumbering, and heard the old mans choosing of his life over their children’s. It is said the two women forced a funnel into the man’s throat and dumped sand into it until he suffocated to death, a giggling Belimedra in the form of a young child sitting upon his lap as he passed.

Religion

Church of the Tending – It is said that those that are in the Tending often make the greatest diplomats and ambassadors, and many high priests and priestess have held such positions in their lifetimes. Focusing mainly on creating peace and balance or tending to the serenity already there, many of these followers are said to sit or lie in the dirt and mud to hope that the wisdom of Belimedra will permeate their minds. Their temples leave the floors bare as it is said they feel more connected to Earth that way and decorate their temples very humbly.

There is a belief within this church that Belimedra will bless faithful members with her own children, as she does not play favorites, even with her own biological offspring. For this reason, many of their temples have become orphanages where they tend for abandoned and unwanted children of the realm. It is said that highest act of shame and disgrace to leave an abandoned child where it lays, and there are even rumors that those who commit such a vile wrong are buried alive to suffer the wrath of Earth and die within her cold grasp.

Church of the Harvest – Those within the Harvest tend to create order and peace where only chaos and greediness exist. They have little regard for the laws in place, and see theirs as a higher law from Belimedra herself. Often thieves and mercenaries make up the ranks of this more pro-active church, but they will not hire themselves out to just anyone. They must believe the cause is worth the trouble, and somehow, within their logic, there is some sort of wrong being incurred that they need to fix. They take as little life as possible to obtain their goal, and often give much of their earnings away, either to those they feel deserve it, or to the Church of the Tending.

There is a ritual that is undergone before a job that involves the church as a whole is taken that is required from the lowest layman, to the high priests and priestesses themselves. Before the church will condone any sort of violence against another living creature, it is said that they will build a mound of earth, circle about it, and call upon Earth to guide them to the most logical choice. They all take a small bit of the pile of earth and press it to their foreheads and remain in prayer until each member has prayed. They then break into the mound to receive their answer. If the earth has not changed, it is said that Belimedra is still considering it, and will address her following at a later time. If the inside has turned to fine, alabaster sand, it is said the Element approves and that the job may be taken. If within the mound, black, muddy soil seeps out, Belimedra believes there is no logical reason to pursue such an endeavor, and it is an insult to her to do such. It is said that those who have gone ahead anyway with the job have suffered terrible consequences that are even considered to horrific to utter aloud.

Church of the Bounty – The Church of the Bounty is dedicated to healing both the souls and bodies of anyone in need. They are said to be the greatest of counselors and healers in the realm, and can ease the minds and bodies of any who seeks it. Many of their temples double as hospitals where they will take no sides and treat anyone in need; from the ruler of a country, to the most bloodthirsty murderer, it makes no difference to them. For this reason, all the temples are considered sanctuaries, and no one is allowed to fight or be taken forcefully from its walls except under the orders of a high priest or priestess. None dare try, for it is said that the wrath of Belimedra will be visited upon their houses for years to come.

There is a cleansing ritual within the church for anyone who asks for it that the highest member of the church that is present performs (even a layman is authorized if no one else is able). For those souls who cannot escape a past that haunts them and cannot experience the joy of life often come to the church for aid. There is a special bath set in a room behind the altar where clay jars line the walls. Within these containers is the finest of sand that is said to sing when it poured from the jar. The person lies in the tub and is buried in the silky sand up to their neck so only their head is exposed. They are left alone in the chamber until they feel the impulse to leave. It is said the spirit of Belimedra surrounds them and eases their pain so they may once again be at peace within themselves.

Posted July 7, 2011 by Evoru

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