Author Topic: Exercise of Traditions  (Read 489 times)

becat

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Exercise of Traditions
« on: January 21, 2019, 11:57:14 PM »
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For my children.

Saira.


becat

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Exercise of Traditions
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 11:57:56 PM »
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The Five Divine Values.

The People are striken with self-pity. The walls which hold us here are as grey and ephemeral as our hope. We imagine ourselves forgotten in silence and so despair - though instead we must strive to again be worthy of hearing. I insist that it is our many guilts weighing us down into this pit-prison hell, and I insist that adherence to the Web of Life will lift us away. The divine law determines our guilt, so I insist we make amends by minding the divine order. This, so, relies on an intimate knowledge of the smallest points of the Web. I unravel my thoughts here so they are not lost and twisted by the relentless tide. May this philosophy reach your open mind by gentle arms, as the sun rises.

Numerous as the beasts of the forests and seas are the values inherent to any one of them. As Saelome mused to me in that long winter of 734, however, we may identify five of these values as divine, due to their presence in all living things of the Web. I relate these five as follows:

  • The first value is the Body. The straightforward strength of the vessel of life in relation to the world about it.
  • The second value is the War Spirit. The relation of one creature to another when brought into aggression.
  • In opposition, the third value is the Tender Spirit. The relation of one creature to another with feelings of sympathy.
  • The fourth value is the Life. It is the question of how a creature may serve the Web in living action, whether knowing it or not.
  • The fifth and ultimate value of balance is the Death. It is the question of how a creature may still serve the Web when life has left it.

Saelome related these to totems: Tooth, Claw, Hair, Blood, Bone respectively. Although, I replace Tooth with Flesh, and Claw with Tooth to more widely represent the soul of plant or fungus. In further disagreement, I think it is wrong to consider any one of these Five Divine above the others. It is through only the concert work of all five that the creature lives and thrives and so, in invoking and understanding their whole spirit, we must acknowledge all five equally. Greater Balance is formed through this lesser balance. Saelome held Life above all, a na´ve thing. May her bones rest in deep earth.


becat

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Exercise of Traditions
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 11:58:25 PM »
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This cycle I relate and consider the wolf. The wolf is a beast of Dew.

In Life, the wolf may serve as a guardian and mediator. An important join in the Web, the wolf is integral in devouring and limiting the otherwise unchecked rodents and small, warm things, while also posing as a powerful foe against larger, more domineering beasts. In Death, the wolf fur makes a warming garb. Its meat may be eaten. The removed claws make a silent weapon. Their corpse serves as a warning to other members of the pack, preventing them from entering the same danger. In Body the beast is powerful of muscle and jaw. Sharp teeth and keen instinct make it a distinguished foe. These advantages are heightened in the wolves of Barovia, which are singularly bestial. They know little but hunger and blood - hunting cruelly for that blood when that hunger has abated. A symptom of their constant harassment by adventurers; trained through generations to be supremely violent for the sake of their life. In this way, their War Spirit is overwhelming of their Tender Spirit. It dominates, and they are eager enough to fight amongst themselves given the smallest excuse.

Yet, for turmoil between them, they remain a Tender creature of packs.

I reflect on my time here. I have sworn fivefold reparations to the Grove for the sins of the Usurper. They will be of valor, of generosity, of curing, of spirit and of growth. With these deeds I will consider the share of collective debt for me and mine repaid here. For I live as part of the pack, unless I become a hermit; even then, my life was given to me by the pack. So, I spend my energy to feed my kin and I spend my life to keep them safe. I defend our territory, I challenge our challenges. I must acknowledge the pack has done the same for me in decades past. This is the collective bond, and why a sin of one transfers to her sister or daughter - the reason why we wallow in the mist of Sithicus.

The Hair of the wolf be my totem this moon, strengthening my Tender Spirit. I will weave it into my own braid and draw on patience. In so doing, I proudly strengthen my bond to all my kin of the Web.


becat

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Exercise of Traditions
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 03:12:28 AM »
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I consider the oak. The oak is a creature of Leaves.

Within the Body rings of growth lie its history. Within Death oak lies my own: old sheaves of paper and aged tomes. My memories pass like the leaves of fall. I have weighed too heavily on guilts to hold onto my warm memories. I said it as 'fifty years in Sithicus has stripped me of a hundred in Ansalon,' and I meant it wholly, sadly. Here in the Grove, however, it is easier. The weight feels lifted. There is shared guilt when I look on Yggdrasil, for the failure of the Silvanesti in keeping the Rose, but it is not an eclipsing guilt. I may breathe and choose to think otherwise. I am thankful for this place. It allows for new, warm memories. The blessing of the Marquessa has further lifted my heart. I only hope she has not misplaced it, and my hopes do not disappear as meltwater.

And beneath the Tender Spirit leaves of the oak, great and deep roots; reaching blindly in the dark mystery of the earth. I reach into my own mysteries, looking for answers to burning questions. What is this orb? What wonder will heal this bedridden friend? Which sojourners do I trust to join me? Further, persistently troubling, how do I heal the Esthi? A few friendships give my soul some direction.

The Autumn Huntress - My closest is not Silvanesti, though her dedication to all families of the People is greater than that of any. I cannot help but consider her kin, despite the long distance of our blood. Am I less than Silvanesti, then, or is she more than Tel'Quessir?
The Silvery Titan and Child - Half-human and wholly so, both serving an aspect of Solinari. A little wisdom to be had in their quaint worldview.

All three are Willing, I think - I yet hold some hope that I can set aflame the spirit of the People, with hearts like these about. It was my hope in coming to Barovia that I would find spirit like this but, alas, it unexpectedly leaves me troubled. The absence of blood kin is more keenly felt in the presence of the few that I consider friends, for they will always be ignorant of the breadth of Silvanesti soul and tradition. Further, it is bittersweet to see hope for one's own people in all forms but those actually of one's people. But, resolve strong, I choose to fight this unease. To not give these friendships my all would do nothing to aid the People.

The Blood of the oak be my totem this moon, strengthening my Life. I will wear the sap on my own skin, tracing a paean to the unknown history of the Web. Passing moments and fleeting thoughts shall trouble me less. I will continue to reach for my answers. I will endure.


becat

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Exercise of Traditions
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 04:12:03 PM »
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The Five Divine Orders.

The World Mother and her consort have given a fivefold order to be minded. There is power in knowing these orders, knowing the weakness and strength of each being within them. They may be known intuitively, the literary skill of the Silvanesti not being necessary, but it eases understanding to be able to use the word art to describe them in this way. Our pride, it is, to imagine ourselves the masters and mistresses of inherent concepts.

There are similarities between the orders: the flow of water, the flow of wind. To the untrained mind they are pointless to distinguish, but the distinction remains even if unseen. The hunting dog possesses not the lucidity of a Dewchild, nor the flightiness of a Skychild - the wise know she cannot be anything but a daughter of Sun. Sometimes there seems conflict with the creature and its order; a creature of the ground may be a daughter of Sky - but to this, I counsel a little rumination to find the reason. Is a mink so far from a gliding squirrel? Is such a squirrel so far from flightless birds? All creatures embody one order moreso than others, though they draw life from each of the five.

  • The Leaves, of Autumn, of Earth and Rock. Bears are kin to Leaves, along with some larger dogs, smaller cats, turtles and armadillo, slug and snail. Of plants, mosses and the oak trees. Resilience, stubbornness, the characteristics of the Leaves.
  • The Sun, of Summer, of Fire and Warmth. Most snakes and lizards are children of Sun, as are the hunting dogs and badgers and the salmon fish. Singular is the gorcrow among birds as a Sunchild. Of plants, the jagged hawthorn and sunflower. Aggression, determination, the characteristics of the Sun.
  • The Sky, of Spring, of Wind and Zephyr. Many birds, mink, tree squirrels. Of plants, yew, bamboo and groundcovers. Haste, rash nature, the characteristics of the Sky.
  • The Dew, of Winter and Frost, of Waters and Seas. The great cats and wolves, here belong, as well as the largest fish and sea beasts. Of plants, the willow and pines. Cleverness, predictability, the characteristics of the Dew.
  • The Breath, of the intangible thoughts and tides of concept that flow within all things, of the turning Cycle, of the shimmer of the Web. Mushrooms, worms, silkworms, spiders, bulbs and the maggots which grow no further. Of tall plants, I can think of only one of note: the strange aspen. Unpredictability, mystery, interconnection, the characteristics of the Breath.

Though we must embody each in our devotion to the World Mother, like any other creature we are born of a single order. The Silvanesti, for example, are creatures of Dew. We are ever cunning, ever conniving, yet ever predictable in our desires and whims. We are selfish, and consider the sun to shine singularly upon us.  If it does, I have come to think we do not deserve it.  Alas, we must work again to deserve it.