The Kaaer’dár’shín half-orcen tribe of Northern Sarvonia are a deeply spiritual people who revere both nature and the hunt. Their religion is known as the "To'ava'yarna" (Kaaer lit. "Natural or primal spirit way"). They respect the wilds' savage instincts and believe that the world is nurtured by five primal nature spirits called the "To'ava". These spirits each represent an aspect of nature that encompasses the surrounding living world. Represented are the Tree (or Beast), Earth, Water, Light (sun) and Darkness (moon and death). The To'ava is lead by one "male gendered" spirit considered the oldest and most powerful called Durgho. He is typically represented in the form of a tree or wolf. The Kaaer believe that each member of the tribe is born with the essence of one of these natural aspects. Through meditation, prayer, songs, the use of totems and successful hunts, every Kaaer's natural spiritual essence grows in power and eventually they obtain the gift to perform divine magic by bringing forth their spirits' power.

The five primal spirits of the To'ava
View picture in full size Image description. An image depicting the five primal spirits of the To'ava: Tree, Water, Earth, Sun and Darkness. Picture drawn by Arbaon.

Prevalence. The to'ava'yarna beliefs are practiced primarily by the half-orcen tribe of the Kaaer’dár’shín in the Northern Sarvonian peninsula of Caaehl'heroth. All three of the Kaaer clans living in the Caaehl'heroth peninsula practice the belief, including some smaller Osther-Oc clans living in the Mount Osthen region. Return to the top

Coat of Arms/Sign. The tribe's coat of arms is a runic type symbol with images representing the primal spirits. The tree (or pendrowe) symbolizes Durgho. The larger circle behind the tree represents Light (sun). The small circle within the larger one represents Darkness (moon). The wavy line underneath represents both the Earth and the Water. Return to the top

Belief Outlines. A Kaaer'dar'shin legend story known as "The Mask Unearthed" tells how a wise shamut named Krull'mor discovered a powerful relic (unknown to them to actually be elven in origin) known as the Mask of the Tree Cousin in 1300 a.S. Krull'mor donned the mask he found and was immediately given gifts of wisdom and foresight. It was then, he later claimed, that the primal spirits of the world spoke to him and instructed him to lead his people in reverence of nature. The Kaaer belief system was born. After living under many generations of harsh orcen and dark elven rule, the Kaaer had finally found a path with which to journey upon their own.

Origin. The early Kaaer’dár’shín beliefs consisted of violent warfare and savage hunting practices. The tribe was at war not only with the Osther-Oc but with each other. The turn from this barbarism has not curbed the tribe's wild nature nor has it made them any less "warrior-like". Instead, the To'ava'Yarna faith has given the tribe a much wider source of wisdom and allowed them to make full use of nature's powers. Scholars attribute this particular aspect of the tribe’s current faith similar to the one practiced by the Lost Ones, the sect of Injerín druids who settled the Themed’lon ages ago. They left behind a powerful legacy in the forest in the form of the pendrowe and the drasil as well as the Mask of the Tree Cousin. Their sacred Singing Grove and natural rock-formed temples within the forest demonstrated a greater power in nature.

The tribe began their life violently during the Third Sarvonian War. The Osther-Oc, led by the dark elves and other monstrosities, took it upon themselves to violate and pillage the human settlers that had unknowingly made their home directly in the path of the dark friends. The Kuglimz settlers of the Themed’lon, as well as the Antislar of nearby Anif, were caught up in the wave of orcs that swept south. Rather than kill the humans, they were instead enslaved and forced to build weapons of war. Over time, the orcs interbred with the humans creating a race of half-breeds that eventually grew into a tribe all their own.

Initially, the humans were forced to practice the orcen beliefs. This was soon rejected as the humans tried to keep their old beliefs alive. Over time, the people practiced a mixed system, one rooted in savagery and barbaric hunting. It was during this time that Durgho was born as a violent, blood-thirsty god who could only be appeased by killing. The shamuts at that time taught that only the strong survive, by killing and violence. The internal tension escalated and led to a period of civil war in 1250 a.S. as various clans of the tribe vied for power. It was not until one shamut named Krull'mor saw the wisdom in turning away from such bloodthirsty ways and embarked on a journey to learn a new way (as told in the myth "The Mask Unearthed"). He discovered the Mask of the Tree Cousin and he claimed to have spoken to a new representation of Durgho. This was a very new direction for the tribe. Many of the tribe resisted this new faith and it took over 300 years of internal conflict and patient debate to convert most of the tribe.

With the civil war over, most of the tribe turned to rebuilding. Out of Durgho was born his children: Suriot (lit. "Father [of] Light"), Leirgor (lit. "Mother [of] Darkness"), Gynturg (lit. "Brother [of] Stone") and Bynapyrl (lit. "Sister [of] Water"). Durgho represents the beasts and birds and the yarna of each person. It is said that the new direction was revealed to Krull'mor through a special tree within the Themed’lon’s Singing Grove. This tree is thought to be the drasil memory tree that passed down the ancient practices of the Lost Ones. Return to the top

The Spirits. In addition to the yarna dwelling within each object or living entity of nature, the Kaaer’dár’shín also revere a group of greater powers. The living world is broken down into five distinct circles, each one given a name.

Worshipping Practices. There are several worshipping practices related to Kaaer'dár'shín beliefs:

Rituals. Rituals of various kinds are all a part of the life of a Kaaer’dár’shín. Young ones are trained from the age of five years to understand their responsibilities to the yarna and to Durgho. Adults are encouraged to continue practicing their faith to receive the gifts of Durgho. Only the most faithful can attain powerful yarna, and often, they become warrior leaders and shamuts. Those who fail or refuse to remain faithful lose the ability to cast magic.

 Date of last edit 2nd Sleeping Dreameress 1668 a.S.

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