THE BROWNIE SHAMAN
Brownie Shamans are found throughout Akdor. Considered to be the speakers for the spirit world,they are easily recognizable, both by their clothes and hair, which are wild, unkempt and adorned with rattling bones. Their skin is also adorned with numerous tattoos in the form of Browniin writing, including the entire text of the Book of Aheh, as well as other sacred tales. Across their faces are tattooed the words: "Dedicated to the Spirits, because I could not find Aheh". Surprisingly, relatively few Shamans are Redbarks. Most Shamans are male.
|Image description: The Brownie Shamans, speakers for the spiritual world. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.|
Whenever a Shaman arrives in the encampment of one of the wandering Akdorian Brownie tribes, a feast and celebration is begun. Their arrival is always spectacular. A few will suddenly swoop in from the sky, screeching from the back of a Butterfly Dragon. Others would begin an ululating chanting tale from far away, dancing and rattling their way into the camp. Whenever a tribe is graced by the visit of a Shaman, they are respectful and careful to feed him well, as these are Brownies that are held to converse with the Spirits on a daily basis. He may stay for a week, a month, or just overnight. Few see him leave, as Shamans generally choose the time of the mists just before dawn to slip away, loaded with the many gifts that have been bestowed upon them.
Wherever a Shaman goes, crowds gather. The wisdom of the ages is gathered in the
world of the spirits of nature, and the least experienced Shaman knows hundreds
of the Spiritsí tales. Occasionally they will also be called upon to mediate
disputes between the world of spirits of rock and tree, and the world of the
local Brownie tribe.
A holiday without a Shaman is hardly a holiday. Actively waving arms, jumping around, and staring wide-eyed at their audiences, they will tell story after story, shifting tone of voice and speech patterns to match the characters in their stories, whether it be Brownie, Spirit, or big person, or male or female. Laughter, chills, shock, and sadness fill the listeners as the Shaman expertly weaves words into reality. Once a year, during the Feast of Remembrance, the Shaman will declaim on one subject only: The First One, Aheh.
One is not born a Shaman, one is chosen. Those that desire to become a Shaman may make their request to a visiting Shaman. Those few that are accepted, will be awakened before dawn on the day of his departure, and will follow him from tribe to tribe as he travels, learning many tales by heart, and how to tell them for the best effect. They will spend much time alone in the wilderness, in order to gain first-hand experience of the spirits of nature. During this apprenticeship, he will also serve the Shaman. When the Shaman feels his apprentice is ready, he is taken to the secret gathering of Shamans, which has never been discovered by outsiders, and there tested by the Shaman tribal elders. Once this test is complete, the apprentice is tattooed with the dedication phrase, the Book of Aheh, and other stories of his choice, and released with the blessing of the Shamans and of the spirits. He is now himself a Shaman.
Information provided by Greybark