Spirit

Udele, Element of Spirit

Totem: Mouse
Number: 0
Colors: Black and White

Those who follow in the Path of Spirit are said to be some of the most dedicated and patient people that one will find anywhere in the world. For years they will serve an Element they rarely see to preserve the balance between life and death. Arguably the smallest following of all the Elements, this hasn’t bothered them in the slightest and they carry on their day to day duties to preserve order and equilibrium. They see their cause not only as noble, but necessary to keep the souls reincarnating time and time again and not to become lost to the vastness of not only Valindir but the world between them known only as The Veil.

Death of a body is not seen as tragic or a cause for mourning, but instead as celebration of second chances and new potential. Either the person is not yet ready to leave this world and can be pulled back into a mortal body, or is content with the life they have led and can move onto their next life. It is here that the following is the most interested and has rituals they perform to make this transition as comfortable as they can. It is the soul itself that concerns them, not the simple flesh and blood with which others are so obsessed. They see a body as merely a vessel for the true person that can be easily replaced or reborn. Rumors swirl that Aspects are often dealt with by this faith, as they represent an unbalance to the world and Veil that must be swiftly solved or risk irreparable damage. They are often hunted down and forcibly placed back into the Veil not out of hatred, but out of mercy. No person should have to endure such turmoil within their own soul, but this has been little comfort to the families who have lost a loved one.

Few things actually offend a follower of Udele, as they tend to be open to most ideas and ways of living. Because of this acceptance of everything, they have been known to dabble in things not spoken of in polite company to something so unsettling they are never uttered to anyone outside the church. So long as a soul is not harmed, all things are permitted: there are no absolute truths beyond that ideal. This has lead to this faith being regarded with hesitation and fear in some parts, and even hunted by other churches as a destructive force in the world rather than anything necessary.

Those who possess an excess of Spirit are often passive, quiet people; more content with their own thoughts and musings than with the hurried pace of Valindir. They are often viewed as emotionless, cold people because of their general disregard or disinterest in mortal life. Their concern lies only with the soul, and so the passing of a few hundred fleshy creatures means little to them. Often times the most fearsome tyrants responsible for the genocide of hundreds or even thousands were found to be not only followers of Spirit, but high priests and priestesses. Not all are so fervent though, and several healers who can revive the dead are found within the ranks as they understand there are souls that are lost and need to be guided back to where they belong. People who lack in Spirit are often loud and rambunctious, making impulsive choices with little regard to anything but that moment. These people are welcome in the church as well, but often find their meditations frustrating and tiresome.

Udele

Controlling the world that dangles between life and death is Udele: the Element of Spirit. The eldest of the entire immortal pantheon, he is also the least seen by mortal kind as he prefers to keep to himself and oversee the balance of world rather than meddle in its day to day affairs. He is the ultimate peacekeeper amongst the other Elements, as almost all look to him for guidance both because of fair, logical way of thinking and that he chooses neither favorites nor enemies amongst his kin. He has never even been spotted in a squabble, both because his brothers and sisters respect him, and he will not stand for their bickering. When a heated debate broke out, Udele was the first to excuse himself from the conflict, for he believes if people cannot be civil, he cannot be a part of their needless fights.

Little else is known about Udele besides his pacifist attitude and resistance to fighting. The only recorded instance of anyone seeing a more violent side of the Element of Spirit was during the battles between the Elements and the gods. It is then that his bestial nature emerged as he warred with the children that had disgraced him and created intelligent, sentient life and then stole it away from them through their wars. He frightened even his kin with his fervor and determination to subdue his own offspring, and for months after he was nowhere to be found. It is said he sat in meditation to regain control over himself, fearing he could not slake his bloodlust and continue in his rampage.

Aurix – Udele is somewhat fascinated by Wood’s resilient nature and his ability to test others to achieve their true potential. Probably sharing more in common with Aurix than any of the other immortals, the two still don’t often interact as Udele is withdrawn even from his own friends. It is said that Aurix is one of the only Elements that can calm his more violent side by helping him vent his frustration through a challenge between the two.

Belimedra – While he cherishes the time they spend together and always offers her the best advice he can give, he views her as naive and misguided. Her instance on protecting the physical bodies of the mortals against death is seen as simple-minded, but he admires her deep love for their grandchildren, so he tolerates her weaker heart as it radiates a different kind of strength.

Brodgeir – Bemused and intrigued by another Element who doesn’t allow his emotions to constantly get the best of him; Stone is considered a good friend of Udele. The two don’t often sit and converse, but send each other riddles and word puzzles to engage each other’s minds. It is this odd yet charming ritual between the two that has forged a friendship between the two immortals.

Jeax – Slightly amused and annoyed with Jeax at the same time, Udele can still find humor in some of the things he does. It is his inability (or unwillingness) to take things as seriously as he should that has caused Spirit to further separate himself from Magic and his antics.

Evoru – Spirit and Metal are of the same mind when it comes to the mortals and unneeded importance placed on one life now that they have souls. While neither would kill for no reason, both understand its necessity. He does not enjoy her thirst for power and control, and often politely reminds her that no Element rules the other immortals and to be content with the sway she holds with her own following.

Lamulae – Udele finds the serenity of Water endearing and her meditations admirable. He cannot fathom why she is so flustered and humbled by his presence, but is flattered by the sentiment. So that Lamulae does not feel nervous in his presence, he does not pursue an audience with her, but allows her to come to him when she is ready.

‘Ri – Udele holds a deep respect for ‘Ri and its hands off attitude with their mortal grandchildren. He finds that ‘Ri can become too wrapped up in emotion however, and will try to calm Air when he can. It is ‘Ri that is permitted to meditate with him at times as he finds it is beneficial for Air to sit quietly with its thoughts to ensure ‘Ri is thinking its choices through.

Rhesk – Fire is an Element that Udele has the least in common with, and so the two do not often interact. Rhesk is a being that is consumed by emotion and Udele is one who keeps his in constant control. Because of this vast difference but mutual respect for one another, the two avoid each other’s company so that they don’t embroil themselves in an argument.

History

Few recorded instances of Udele have been documented throughout history, but what does exist speaks to a benevolent yet stoic entity that guards each and every soul in Valindir. Even his high priests and priestesses rarely see him, at least that they were aware of, but throughout the ages he has always communicated with them in various and at times, creative ways. It is where a popular phrase “They couldn’t see the writing on the wall” originally started.

Years ago, the faith had been infiltrated not by those who cared deeply for the soul, but those who simply enjoyed liberating the soul from the body. Thieves, assassins, mercenaries and thugs found they could manipulate the church in freeing a soul from one of their targets without implicating themselves in the murder. For months these false prophets would claim to be in mediation when Spirit would feed them a name of a soul that was unbalanced or needed to move onward into their next life. In reality, they were giving the church the names of people their employers wished removed from this world. With the threat of Aspects always looming, the church sanctioned these actions and the people were eliminated. Udele patiently waited in hopes that one of his true believers would see through their charade, but no one was able to, and finally Spirit acted. One night, as everyone sat in mediation the faint tinkling of a bell was heard ringing through the halls of the temple. One by one, they looked up and the true members of the faith saw a message inscribed on the wall: written in a thick, burbling black liquid that dripped down the wall. It read:

“My Children, you have been deceived. There are liars and tricksters among you that seek to destroy the balance. Rise, and walk silently out the doors of this temple. Do not look back and do not say a word to anyone. Your brothers and sisters will join you; the false prophets will not.”

One by one, those who could see the message inscribed on the walls quietly walked outside the doors of the building and waited. Those who had come to the church under false pretenses couldn’t see the writing on the wall, and sat there in the room, plotting their next fictitious revelation. When all the children of Spirit were safely outside, a horrific cacophony of screams was heard escaping the sacred temple. No one knows what Spirit truly did to their bodies, for all that remained of them were a few scraps of clothes that were soaked through in blood. Today, people use the phrase “They could not see the writing on the wall” to mean they did not see a terrible thing that was going to befall them when others clearly could.

Religion

Spirit of Peace – Identifying themselves as harbingers of peace and tranquility, this sect has enjoyed a warm welcome from cultures all across the land. Spending most of their time in mediation, these people enjoy the soothing feeling that washes over them when in a state of pure relaxation and oneness with Spirit. They often are consulted as ambassadors and diplomats as their logic is sound and often try to find the most amicable solutions to problems. Even common people who don’t wish to burden the courts will bring their disagreement to the church for them to decide. Always seeking to be fair in their opinions, they often try and find a compromise where both parties can find benefit and maintain a serenity of the soul.

Some of the more passionate followers rarely talk and a few have even taken a vow of silence. It is considered the highest dedication to communing with an Element that seldom speaks and instead relying on carefully written words that come over time. Often time these silent followers will transcribe books for the faith or write their own experiences and mediations for publication throughout the church. These musings have become canonical documents that are passed down for hundreds of years and preserved as brief glimpses into the mind of an Element no one can fully understand.-

Spirit of Compassion – Followers of this faith are more connected to their emotions that the other sects are, they simply believe there is a time and a place for them. Jovial people at times, they seek to spread a peace to the world so that all can experience a contentment of their soul. Several of its members are healers and will be called upon to help reunite a wayward or lost soul to its body. Souls seeking their aid often flock to their temples in hopes that someone can assist them in bringing their tangible form back to life. The process is arduous and taxing, but it is considered a labor of love to help those who are humble enough to admit they need it.

Members of this church are also known to help locate and exorcise mischievous and even dangerous spiritual creatures from homes and cities that they haunt. These beings that dwell in the land of the dead are often not those of passed individuals, but monstrous beings that prey upon the hapless souls and bodies of their victims. They are seen as an unbalance to the world and must be sent back to where they truly belong: the darker parts of Veil where they originated.

Spirit of Balance – Those who mark themselves as a Spirit of Balance are often the more active and controversial members of the faith. Within this church are mercenaries, fighters and what some claim are assassins that seek to ensure the spiritual balance of the world. Their primary responsibility is to locate and hunt down any Aspect that might emerge; ensuring the soul passes back into the Veil to be removed from this world. They have even been known to take the life of a child that exhibiting signs of a horrific turn of the soul, labeling them as heartless murderers to some in the land. Regardless of how they are viewed, they take their position very seriously, marking their forehead with a brand known as the “Eye of Spirit.” This burn that resembles a widely opened eye is said to have magical powers to grant them sight into the souls of others. Whether or not this is true has become a subject of debate, but the members of the faith swear by its powerful effects.

Arguably the smallest sect of Spirit’s following, they have garnered the most fear from those outside the church, even by members of Udele’s other sects. They often keep to themselves; removing much of the outside world from their day to day lives and dwelling in colonies together along the outskirts of civilization. Rumors that the high priests and priestesses attain such a oneness with Spirit they actually begin speaking the language of the Elements have circulated throughout the years, but no one has been able to confirm it. Only members of this sect are permitted within the inner temple where such rituals are said to take place.

Posted July 7, 2011 by Evoru

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