Metal

Evoru, the Element of Metal

Totem: Badger
Number: 8
Colors: Black and Gold
Marking: Those who follow Metal show their devotion in the form of a sacred ring, which varies in appearance depending upon the sect.

Metal embodies as many qualities as there are uses for it. It has been known to be focused, such as when a farmer uses it to plough a field; strong, like the chains it forms; dedicated, as with the rings that pledge fidelity between two lovers. All Elements have a dark side, however, and Metal is no exception. It is greedy as the coins that are made from it, sharp as the blades it forms, and bitter as the copper taste blood leaves in the mouth.

Many would not think the cold, sharp, demanding nature of Metal makes for a social creature, but nothing could be further from the truth. Metal is threaded throughout the soil of much of Valindir, but only truly comes into its own when shaped by the hands of mortals. Those who have a strong affinity with Metal share this trait, as by themselves they can be strong or brilliant, but when surrounded by people who challenge and shape them they excel.

Often, those who feel the strong pull of Metal in their blood are drawn to positions that offer great amounts of power. Metal is not known to be a humble Element, the phrase “What’s in it for me?” being almost a motto for them. The drive to acquire (and maintain) this power can make Metal somewhat callous of the lives and feelings of those around them, especially if Metal feels that they are expendable or have served their purpose.

Evoru

The Cold Lady, the Barren One, the Blade Mistress…these are only a few of the titles of Metal, whose oldest and most widely-known form is that of Evoru. There is some evidence to suggest that Metal’s favorite guise is modelled after an actual mortal that died during Al’Drenra. Hanging in a corridor in the Etesco palace is the portrait of a woman that bears a striking similarity to the incarnation…yet the plaque names her as Lisette DuPrielle, a priestess in the service of the goddess Tomae. Her name has been listed as one of the followers of the gods who, heartbroken by their deities’ disregard for the lives of their creations, sacrificed their lives in a petition to the Elements to intervene.

The close companion of Fire, the two have often been seen in one guise or another, travelling together and haggling over the devotions of people. Their relationship is a tempestuous one, but aside from a few casualties they seem content to keep their squabbles to themselves, and their followers out of it. In this and other situations, Evoru enjoys taking mortal form and striding into battle with Her two swords. Mortals have entered into spars with Her, much to Her delight, and whether they win or not She usually rewards those brave enough to contend against an Element.

Aurix – Evoru will never quite understand why Aurix does not press his advantages. She enjoys watching his hunts, but letting prey escape because it’s “sportsman-like” is a concept that escapes her. She grants him a grudging respect for his cunning, but ultimately feels like he misses the big picture (which, to her mind, entails expansion and progress at any cost).

Belimedra – Even as metal comes from the ground, so Evoru will always be drawn to Belimedra. She has seen Evoru at her weakest, and while Metal will always return to seek comfort and council when she has need, it is something for which she will never forgive Earth. While she will not risk an all-out battle, she voices her resentment in barbs and snide remarks…before she, inevitably, returns for solace.

Brodgeir – Set in his ways, Evoru often has a difficult time trying to manipulate Brodgeir to her own ends. She is usually successful, as she is as focused as a chisel with marble, but Stone inevitably resents her for trying to change him, and tries all the harder to avoid her in the future. Evoru was said to have once held an attraction for Brodgeir, but he was unable to tolerate her cold and dominating ways, and the two parted on bad terms.

Caraleria – Magic is a tricky and confusing Element under the best of times, and often Evoru is at a loss as to how best to deal with him. Long ago she challenged him to a duel and was soundly (and embarrassingly) defeated. When he offered her a means to defeat him in the future, she eagerly agreed, offering him her favourite shrine in return. She was quite irked, however, when he enchanted her blades (as only magic, he gleefully explained, could best magic) and turned her shrine into a statue of a goat standing atop its head.

Lamulae – The Elements all exist to maintain the balance of things, but if Evoru can be said to have one of her own kind as an enemy it would be Lamulae. Water has a tendency to eat away at Metal, making her weak and unsure of herself with Lamulae’s tendency towards emotions and healing (things completely at odd with Evoru’s path). While Belimedra has always been there to catch Evoru when she falls, Lamulae is adept at seeing through her games to the heart of the matter, and exposing a side of Evoru she’d rather not explore.

Rhesk – Comrade and lover, rival and foe, the relationship between Rhesk and Evoru is a complex one, full of struggle. Patrons of battle, the two most often squabble over warriors they feel would come to their full potential under their private tutelage. Bitter fights aside, Rhesk is the closest confidant of Evoru, and has stepped in to save her (sometimes from herself) when things have gotten too far out of hand.

‘Ri – Evoru is quite fond of Air, often taking the flighty, fun-loving Element under her wing. Raging storms, violent hurricanes, even deadly tornados are all said to be the result of Evoru’s influence upon the eager-to-please ‘Ri, but that is not to say It does not have a gentling effect upon Evoru in return. Air is one of the few in existence that can elicit a genuine smile from Metal, though She will never admit it.

Udele – Seldom is Evoru content to follow the lead of another, but in the case of Udele, first of the Elements, Metal delights in accompanying him. This may be because some followers of Spirit are rumoured to be as good or better with a blade than the more martial of Evoru’s sects, but likely it’s as simple as Evoru have a nature that gravitates towards power…and Spirit certainly has that.

History

One of the more visible Elements, and thus more closely bound by mortal rules, Evoru has always been one for testing the mettle of her devoted by challenging them to duels (either of the physical or mental sort), and rewarding those clever enough to hold their own with a token, whether they win or not. Metal may appear in many guises during these challenges, though she has appeared most frequently as a winged Drakien woman and as a tall female Centaur. From time to time, and especially to children in whom she takes an interest, she appears as her totem animal, the badger. A few stories relate children that are bonded to Metal being in danger, only to have a massive badger sow defend them and spirit them away on her back.

The most common evidence of Metal in history, however, is to be found in accounts of war and trading, both of which are blessed by the Element. It is said that she appeared in a dream to merchants long ago and led them to the site of Danzibar, instructing them to build and honour her with a temple to ensure profits. Whether or not this is true, Danzibar possesses the largest temple to the Element in Valindir, and was built by the Centaurs at the founding of the city to honour her. Though the war between the Centaurs and Humans has caused a rift between the peoples, during her religious holidays both sides are forced into an uneasy truce in order to pay Metal her due, lest she remove her blessing from the city.

The Death of Evoru

The argument between Metal and Fire (that being which is more important: passion or ambition?) is an old one, and during one occasion the argument is said to have grown particularly violent between the pair. To prove to Evoru that passion was of more value to a mortal than ambition, Rhesk is said to have introduced one of his daughters to Evoru’s high priest, who fell madly in love with her. The man, Brenegan, gave up his power as a warlord and a priest, choosing instead to settle down on a farm with his new wife and raise a family.

Evoru was galled by this, trying to persuade Brenegan that he could have his pick of any woman, and that he should return to his old life. The man paid honor to his Element, but said that he was happy with his new life, and would not leave his wife and children.

Furious, Evoru is said to have appeared to another of her warlords, and insinuated that if he wished to be her new high priest, he must prove his worth against the former. The warlord agreed, and launched a series of devastating attacks against the valley where Brenegan lived, attacks which eventually claimed the lives of his sons. Heartbroken, Brenegan slew the warlord in single combat, and ordered the building of a massive funeral pyre to honor all those who had died.

When Evoru appeared to him again, Brenegan knew the blame to be hers, and when she opened her arms to invite him back into her fold, he took up one of the blazing pieces of wood from the pyre and thrust it into her heart. Unable to protect her form against the invasion of another element, Evoru was vanquished, and Brenegan took his wife and left the valley in mourning, never to be seen again.

It is said that Evoru’s body lay upon the field for eight days and nights, guarded by a ring of fire, before Rhesk appeared and reforged her form, burning away the wood in the process. Some of the wood remained, however, lodged deep within her heart, and from that day forward Evoru has born an eight-pointed star over her wounded heart.

Religion

“Drink deep and sing loud, for tomorrow my sword will find your heart, friend.”
—Steel Cete to one another in the Hall of Swords

Whether operating in the realms of profit or battle, all sects of Metal’s following embrace those who possess ambition and the courage to uphold their convictions. Once embraced by Her devout, the newly initiated has the choice of several branches, or cetes, each with their own doctrines and means of communing with Evoru.

The Golden Cete concerns itself entirely with wealth: how to acquire it, and how to maintain it. They are the force that drives the economies of the nations, tying the Peoples together through greed and goods. Mostly comprised of merchants, artisans, and nobility, they carry as a symbol of their devotion a gold ring set with an obsidian badger.

The Steel Cete are warriors and the like who recognize in one another a shared love of battle and conflict. Whatever nation or causes they may be of, the Steel Cete has the most camaraderie of all the Metal sects, often coming together to train and exchange glory-stories. They meet, knowing that one day they may be paid to kill one another but feeling no particular ill will over it. Their symbol is a steel ring inlaid with bone, and is often made from the remains of their greatest victory.

The Broken Cete concerns itself entirely with power. Their members are scattered across Valindir, rarely meeting and frequently conspiring against one another as often as they do others, thus earning them their name. The better known amongst them tends to be found amongst the diplomats and nobility, while darker members are said to engage in serial murders and torture. Their religious symbol is black steel ring set with a fractured diamond badger.

The largest temple to Metal is located in Danzibar, a port city that makes its money from trade. Within it is housed an enormous steel statue of the Element, adorned with various metals and flanked by badger statues of carved obsidian and bone. This was created shortly after Al’Drenra by Centaur artisans, and their attention to detail can be clearly seen in this lifelike statue, from the tendrils of Her hair to the battle-ready sharpness of Her swords.

Posted July 7, 2011 by Evoru

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