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Offline Davin Ragal

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Livana
« on: August 04, 2016, 08:16:25 AM »
Livana of the Woodland Realm


Truly my breath, my tears, my everything is life.


The Divine

Realm

Eldanar

Alignment

| Lawful   Good
| Neutral  Good
| Chaotic  Good
| Lawful   Neutral
| True     Neutral
| Chaotic  Neutral
| Lawful   Evil
| Neutral  Evil
| Chaotic  Evil

Spheres of Influence

Nature, Water, Life

Persona

Livana is the personification of the Land; occasionally cold and uncaring toward the trials of man, but undeniably the source of all life. She is both stoic and unpredictable, representing both the timeless mountains and the ever-shifting dunes. Prior to the Sundering, she was easily the most popular deity in existence, while others (such as Daidlin and Aldaron) were little more than footnotes in Entar’s pantheon.

The Sundering, however, seemed to have a way of equalizing all the gods; previously marginalized deities, such as Daidlin, rose to significant status, while ancient and powerful ones like Livana diminished noticeably. The Sundering shook the faith of all mortals, and many deserted the apparently indifferent Livana, flocking under the banner of Aldaron, Kailthis, Faelyn, and other more active ‘protectors.’

Livana, for her part, did not aid Maedhros during The Sundering. His ambitions were an affront against nature, and many circles of Livana moved to oppose him. Others, however, viewed The Sundering like a particularly harsh winter; unfortunate and tragic, yes, but a necessary part of the natural order. Those who survived it would emerge stronger for it, and it was not up to the circles to decide who lived and who died. The circles were later berated for their perceived apathy and inaction, and have never truly recovered from the blow to their membership.

Faith in Livana has survived, however, because of her obvious effects on the world of Entar. She is the bringer of crops, the mighty, mysterious power that changes the seasons. Hunters, fishermen, explorers and farmers live and die by her whims, and consider paying respects to her tantamount to their survival.

Power

Contrary to the popular belief, followers of Livana do not draw their power from nature, wildlife or the wilderness.  Like all divine magics, they draw their strength from the deity.  As such, their powers represent much more the preservation of nature, rather than the druidic use of nature.

Considered healers second only to those faithful to Faelyn, the followers of Livana not only use their magics to aid others, they also are known for using their power for the preservation of any thing natural.  While not magic of the faithful, many hold followers of Livana to also have an uncanny wisdom in all possible aspects of medicinal herbs, this may not be true, but many followers do have a vast knowledge in the field.

As natural preservers, followers of Livana tend to use more supporting magics, whether it be to the environment, or to the creatures within it.  They will bolster defenses, and so on of any living creature, and provide healing.  Directly offensive is simply not their style, and any devout of Livana will rely on other methods than their faith for direct combat, but have the ability to bolster themselves if necessary.

While they can manipulate nature in terms of the repair, even those reaching the lofty responsibility of Avatar have no control over it.

Iconography

Avatar

Livana is invariably portrayed as an elven female, usually a wood elf. She is beautiful but refined, and her twig-and-leaf riddled clothing grants her an otherworldly, somewhat nymph-like appearance. Sometimes she is depicted as a much older woman, not unlike Faelyn, to enhance her wisdom and her role as Mother of the Wilds. Occasionally she’s depicted as a supernatural creature, such as an elven woman roots in place of legs. Near the coastline, she’s associated more strongly with the ocean than the forests. In these areas, she is known as the Mistress of the Waves, and is often depicted against the backdrop of a massive, cresting wave.

Symbols

 A wooden staff with ivy swirling around it, a cresting wave, an oak tree, a leaf

Colors

Earthy brown and forest green

Sacred Objects

Nature and Life is sacred to those of Livana, as such there are no material objects.

Sacred Texts

Each coven will have its own preferred libraries (and some may have none it all). One of the most popular books, however, is The Golden Songbook, an ancient book of hymnals to Livana first compiled by The Circle of the Golden Leaves, a now-extinct coven of wood elves from the Elentari. Many circles own a copy or two, but not all consider it entirely ‘sacred.’ Most covens rely on passing down their beliefs and stories verbally.

Followers

Favor

 Livana smiles upon those who live off the land and interact with nature in an intimate, but non-destructive, fashion. Farmers, hunters and rangers are favored by Livana, provided they do not take more from the land than they truly need.

Most hunters and peasants will never truly be close to Livana, however, because they are ultimately motivated by greed, by the feeble and secular goal of ‘making a living.’ They only make brief forays into the wilds; those who wish for Livana’s real favor must abandon the trappings of civilization entirely. They never harm it, but instead integrate themselves into natural ecosystem as easily as an extra bear or deer.

This includes even the high elves and wood elves, who must remove themselves from their respective societies in order to enjoy the full extent of Livana's bounty. While humans and other races generally perceive the elves of the Elentari as "closer to nature" (and while certain elves may boast that they are), the fact is that being elven does not in and of itself arouse Livana's interest. Elves, especially high elves, are known to manipulate nature to better suit them. While not inherently destructive, this is not much different from dwarves digging mines or humans building walls. Livana, therefore, does not devote the elven races any special attention; a city is a city, as far as she is concerned.

Those who please Livana can expect to walk the wilds in relative safety. She will not coddle men who walk into the domain of beasts, but those who have earn Livana’s trust can often walk past dangerous predators without fear. Nature will slowly reveal its wonders to those blessed by Livana, allowing them to discover rare fruits and glimpse elusive animals in unlikely places.

Disfavor

The only way to truly anger Livana is to destroy or corrupt nature. This is a difficult feat for one person to accomplish through mundane means, but not impossible. Careless butchers who spoil a river with offal, or greedy lumberjacks who take more wood than they need quickly earn her scorn.

Livana truly detests mages or dark priests who twist nature to their purposes. Powerful dark mages may be capable of poisoning an entire forest, or drawing energy for their spells by squelching the living creatures around them. Few actually go this far, however, for fear of Livana’s wrath. Anyone foolish enough to corrupt the land for the purposes of magic will be hunted relentlessly by followers everywhere, or else put down by Livana’s subtler machinations.

Those who earn Livana’s ire will suffer grave misfortune any time they step into the wilds. They may contract rare diseases, suffer clouds of stinging insects and dangerous parasites, become the meal of some jungle-dwelling beast, or simply lose their way and die slowly of dehydration. Angering Livana is not advised for those who travel, even only on occasion.

The Faithful

True worshippers of Livana are preservers of nature, life and all that entails, and divide themselves into small, tight-knit groups known as covens or circles. The laws and beliefs of the followers differ greatly from circle to circle; some forbid the use of wood, animal bones, or other ‘natural’ materials. Others forbid the use of metal or other ‘unnatural’ materials. Some refuse to eat meat, while others relish eating animals they’ve stalked and killed themselves, like wild beasts. Some covens are steeped in complicated rituals and sacred oaths, while others are remarkably laid-back and informal.

While one might expect such diversity to cause great friction between the separate circles, it’s actually quite the opposite. The followers consider themselves to be as wide and varied as landscape of Entar itself. Their differences are not a cause for violence and strife, then, but should be taken as separate but equally valid viewpoints.

Livana's places of worship are often hidden in plain sight; a peaceful clearing in the woods can be a temple; a humble pile of stacked stones, an altar. Followers keep their meeting places hidden not out of paranoia, but in order to reinforce the idea that all of Entar is an altar to the Lady of the Wood. Every twig, leaf, or puddle is a possible place of worship. Even the Temple to Livana in Elenion is just a copse of towering redwoods and evergreens, coaxed by powerful magic to grow among the buildings of the city.

Circles and covens are almost exclusively non-violent, but are often feared or distrusted by other, more ‘civilized’ religious sects. Their aloof, sometimes secretive nature, and the fact that the Arm of Aldaron has long held them to be a ‘savage’ religion, mean the number of true followers in Entar is quickly diminishing. Livana and her remaining followers, however, couldn’t care less. Proof of the Land and her power exists everywhere; in every wave, in every tree, every bird and insect. Cities may fall, but forests re-grow, and Livana will always be there for her followers.

Prominence

Worship of Livana declined sharply after The Sundering. While she almost certainly opposed Maedhros, the fact remains that Aldaron was the great savior of Entar, not her. Most people today consider Livana-worship to be a ‘savage’ and out-dated religion. She still holds great esteem among the tribes of the Haldarac and Southlands, however, and is well-loved by the wood elves, centaurs, satyrs, and other forest-dwelling folk. Poor villages still pray to her to aid their crops, and sailors still hold the Mistress of the Waves dear to their hearts. The more provincial the setting, the more likely worshipers of Livana will be found.

Quote

“Know Livana? You wish to know Her? Do you know every leaf of the redwood? Do you know every pebble of the mountain? Do you know every drop of the river? You cannot know Livana, city-dweller. Even I do not know Livana. We merely sleep in Her endless fecundity. We are children, dozing in Her lap."
-Elder Priest Ardith Fer, Head of the Circle of Moss and Stone, care-takers of the Temple of Livana in Elenion

Credits

  • Original Concept and Write-up: Two Moons
  • Revised Edition: Davin Ragal & Zyrphath
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 03:28:18 AM by Davin Ragal »

Offline Zyrphath

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Re: Livana
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 01:05:26 PM »
The power-section needs to be tweaked a little, both to better allow non-druidic followers as well as making sure this write-up meshes with the new Magic write-up (re: druids).

Once that is fixed, I think we're good.
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Offline Davin Ragal

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Re: Livana
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2016, 03:29:50 AM »
Modded this write up as well.

Made their power much more support than anything, and there is only one reference to druids, essentially to emphasize that druids are not priests of Livana

Offline Zyrphath

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Re: Livana
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 08:48:10 AM »
I like it. Get to the library with ye!
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