Wood

Aurix, The Element of Wood

Totem: Wolf
Number: 7
Colors: Green and Black
Marking: Many in Aurix’s religion will have a combination of the following: tribal tattoos, a claw-like brand, a single vine of kudzu planted into the hair, or cutting off the ring finger on the right hand.

Within every person and animal is the true essence of Wood, the need to survive. It is the most basic instinct within everyone and to turn completely away from Wood is to lose the will to live. Those that wish to follow its path are motivated and ambitious, always seeking to better themselves and leave those around them and their surroundings better then they once were. They often seek companionship with other people or even animals and prefer smaller groups and the outdoors compared to the crowded and cramped cities where most seem to be nameless faces. Focused and driven with purpose, the followers tend to take great risks to achieve their goals but are hardly reckless. Wood is about finding the balance within one’s self and their environment and to be protectors of those that can’t defend themselves, whether it is a young child, a pregnant doe that is being hunted, or a stretch of land that is being destroyed. Action is the preferred course for Wood, while it may patiently watch and study before charging into a situation it will not stand by in hopes that all will work out on its own. This makes them quite flexible and understanding as they adapt as their surroundings change. They are extremely competitive in everything they do and are always seeking tasks and adventure to prove themselves. Hunting is one exploit that many followers enjoy because it pushes them to their limits. They must watch and stalk the prey, waiting for the perfect time to strike and the combination of the mind and body working as one, whether alone or in a small hunting party. The prey is not limited to animals and creatures of legend as many apply this to other things in their lives such as looking for a mate. While they hold a strong competitive nature, they remain respectful of those that have already proven themselves.

Aurix

After Al’Drenra, Wood began making his presence known throughout the realm. The embodiment of Wood has come to be known simply as Aurix. He is a passionate protector of the land and many of those who dwell within it but is most commonly seen as the defender of the forest. Though he is somewhat of a light-hearted sportsman, he is very direct and blunt. He sees pointless games as meaningless and believes that everything one does should be to either better themselves or those around them. Aurix is very competitive by nature and pushes and challenges everyone he meets, mortals and the other elements alike. It is said that he has personally taken up hunts, either by choice or request, on creatures and even people that he deems either worthy or deserving of being hunted or punished. During this time Aurix hunts with tenacity and is enduring and tireless. There is nothing that can be offered or any deals that can be made during this time; Aurix becomes a merciless hunter once he has chosen his prey. Only those that find a way to defeat him or are able to survive the predetermined amount of time can prove to Aurix that they are worthy to continue on in life. Those few that are said to have survived have gained the highest of respect from not only Aurix but all those of the Wood religion.

There are numerous rumors throughout the lands about the forms that Aurix takes. Many stories tell that he has taken the shape of several different animals, though most tales are over Aurix taking the form of a bear-sized, silver-furred wolf. He is more recognized when he takes the appearance of  a feral hunter, a colossal Daphinae wearing a solid platinum mask with antlers and being covered in swirling, twisting tribal tattoos and is often accompanied by a wolf.

Belimedra – Aurix often confides in Belimedra and appreciates her desire to keep peace within the realm. Though he sees her as very stable and compassionate, she is too passive for his taste. They share a common bond as Belimedra is needed to keep the lands fertile so Aurix can bring growth.

Rhesk – Respect is given to Rhesk for his strength and passion, past that, Aurix sees him as irrational and overly power-hungry. Aurix often pushes Rhesk’s temper, fuelling the fire, as they have come to know each other as rivals. There have been times they have come together, mainly on matters dealing with Evoru.

Evoru – While Aurix sees Evoru as more stable then Rhesk, he holds little love for her. She is too cold and manipulative, always consumed by her greed and struggle for power. While Aurix respects power, he despises her heartlessness and compassionless way of life.

Lamulae – Aurix holds Lamulae in high regards for her respect for life and the growth she is able to bring. He doesn’t spend much time in her company because he sees much of her activities, mainly her interest in art, as meaningless. No matter how beautiful a painting or how well written a song, Aurix believes it can never compare to the sights and sounds of Nature.

Udele – Aurix has a deep reverence for Udele and the balance he brings. He understands the renewal of life that can be brought through death. The two don’t often personally interact because Udele tends to be quite withdrawn.

Jeax – Aurix enjoys Jeax’s company, for Magic is always changing and adapting. While Aurix finds much amusement in Jeax, he is often unfocused. He appreciates his creative thinking and the overall balance magic brings, even if it’s not always constant.

Ri’ – Aurix is much akin to the free-spirited Ri’, though he is often more careless then Aurix. Aurix holds a great amount of respect for Ri’s free-thinking nature even though Ri’ doesn’t often make his presence known.

Brodgeir – There is little respect for the oppressive and overbearing Brodgeir from Aurix. When the two are near it is rarely on friendly terms. Aurix often pushes Brodgeir for being stubborn, stuck in his ways, his authoritative nature and never being able to grow.

History

Aurix makes his presence known more than most of the Elements with the exception of Rhesk and Evoru. Many have sighted him throughout the realm since the end of Al’Drenra, mostly within the forests. Mortals that happen upon Aurix are often challenged so they may test themselves or to bring a better understanding of the world around them. Hunters often consider it a blessing to spot Aurix and it is said that seeing him will bring you great challenges and grand rewards from your hunt.

Legend of Delita

Shortly after Al’Drenra, there was a young elf named Delita that had witnessed the undeniable power of the Elements. He was particularly taken by the one that embodied Wood and all that he represented. Delita chose to forsake his life to better understand the ways of nature and true survival, even though he was from a house of high standing of the elven court.

Delita ventured off into the nearby woods, vowing to his family that he would not return until he truly became in touch with the ways of the forest. Before a week’s time he was without supplies and fresh water, unable to find his bearings or a safe place to sleep. After a short while he found a large cave that he hoped to use for the night but soon discovered a large and angry bear within it. Delita was only able to get back to the treeline before the bear reached him and sent him sprawling off his feet into a nearby tree. He quickly curled into a ball as he heard a loud howl and looked up just in time to see a massive, silver-furred wolf chase the bear back into the cave. Unable to move as he locked eyes with the wolf, Delita’s eyes widened as the wolf’s form began to shift to something more mortal. After a moment’s time he was standing face to face with a colossal, masked Daphinae; Delita quickly realized he was in the presence of Aurix himself. That night Delita was told that if he truly wished to better himself and learn to survive the lands that he should travel to Hellios and live with the Daphinae, a people that lived far off in balance with the forest, and he was led out of the forest to a small farming village where he was taken in. After two days of rest Delita was back out and travelling to the west towards the cities of Puan and Fwi. It was a long journey but Delita made it safely there and the Daphinae allowed him to stay and learn. He spent the next two hundred years with the Daphinae and living in the forests and became a well respected hunter after being successful during the Grand Hunt where he single-handedly took down the White Stag.

Delita began to believe that he truly understood the ways of the land, though he knew he didn’t know what true survival was. He wished to understand what it meant to be the prey, what it meant to be the hunted. He had heard rumors of people taking up a challenge from Aurix though none had ever been able to survive the night. He ventured out into the forests until he knew that he was far off and alone and began to pray to Aurix. Before the hour was up Aurix stood before him and was offered him the terms of the hunt, to survive from sunset to sunrise. Delita agreed to the terms and quickly went deeper into the forests so he could prepare before sunset. He decided to hide in an area of the forest where the trees were thick and old, using them for cover from the legendary arrows from Aurix. A loud howl signalled the beginning of the hunt as the sun had set and Delita knew that it was going to be the greatest challenge of his life. Hiding in the tops of the trees he was able to stay out of Aurix’s sight for half of the night, but he quickly had to change tactics and moved to the forest floor. Delita ran through the forest as quickly as a deer and used everything he had learned from the Daphinae to keep Aurix at his heels. He decided to make his final stand in small clearing as the night’s sky began to lighten. There he raised his blades and fought with all his skill against Aurix, lashing out where he could but was forced to keep his defense strong. Minute by minute Delita began to tire and Aurix started gaining the advantage and soon sent Delita’s swords flying from his grasp and knocked him off his feet. Out of shear desperation Delita was able to get his knife out of his boot and managed to deflect a downward thrust from Aurix’s spear that would have surely ended the hunt, but in doing so lost hold of the dagger. He calmly stared Aurix in his eyes through his mask as Aurix began his next thrust, one that paused just short of his throat. The sun edge had peaked the horizon and the hunt was over. The spear was pulled back and Aurix extended his hand to Delita as he congratulated Delita for being the first to survive the challenge. Delita had proven that he had mastered the ways of the forest and he was greeted by a celebration by the Daphinae once he arrived back to Puan. To this day Delita is one of the most honored hunters within the realm of Valindir.

Religion

The follower of Wood are as varying as the animals in the realm, yet most consider themselves to be part of one of the three sects of Wood’s religion. They each hold respect for one another though they often have friendly competitions. Each one represents an essence of Wood and balances each other. There are several temples of the essences of Wood throughout Valindir, some are easily found and welcome travelers while others are found in the treacherous areas known to the mortals.

Essence of the Pack – Followers in this sect are known to have the greatest hunters in the realm. Balance is sought with all those around and power is measured by not just a single person but his friends, whether there are mortal or animal. Members often have strong connections with animals and see them as companions just as much as a fellow hunter. Temples for the Essence of the Pack are normally found near cities with forests near them. Rangers, huntsmen, animal handlers, merchants that deal with furs and skins and anyone seeking to find balance with those around them are part of the Essence of the Pack.

Essence of the Grove – Members of this sect are known for their calm nature and their strong connection to the world around them. They seek to find balance with the plants and land around them and use it to bring growth. Many dedicate their time studying magic for ways to improve the land around them. Though they are tranquil they are also defenders of the forest and will do all in their power to protect it if no other choice is available. Temples for the Essence of the Grove are found deep with forests were the oldest and larges trees are found. Druids, herbalist, monks, farmers, craftsmen that deal with wood, and anyone seeking to find balance with the world around them are often part of the Essence of the Grove.

Essence of the Beast – This sect is seen as barbaric and wild and few will ever come across one of its temples. Members search for balance and true strength within themselves through living life in the harshest area in the land. Followers live most of their lives far from the comforts of large city and prefer barren and dangerous places so they may find the strength within them to survive. They have little trust of outsiders until they have proven themselves, but once one has they are welcomed warmly. Temples are often seen as large mead halls where members meet to share tales and compete with one another. Survivalist, barbarians, warriors, shamans, and many searching to find strength within oneself often follow the Essence of the Beast.

Posted July 7, 2011 by Evoru

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