Bran

From The Paths to Airalar
Revision as of 01:19, 5 February 2024 by Dracomoth (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bran
Basic Information
TitleThe Master of the Hunt
SymbolA bow and an arrow inscribed in a circle of bark
LevelIntermediate
AlignmentNeutral
Allowed AlignmentsNG, LN, N, CN, NE
Primary PortfolioChallenges, Change, Hunting, Survival
Secondary PortfolioAdaptability, Agility, Common Sense, Instinct, Strife, Traps
Favored WeaponLongbow
Bran, Master of the Hunt

Bran, deity of challenges and survival, stands as a figure of stoic resilience and unwavering strength. Embodying the essence of survival, he is revered for his resourcefulness and adaptability, qualities he deems vital in the relentless dance of life. Bran thrives in the face of challenges, finding a profound satisfaction in situations that test his skills and adaptability to the unexpected. However, his disdain is palpable towards those who shy away from pushing their boundaries, viewing such reluctance as a fundamental weakness. This impatience, a fiery undercurrent to his otherwise composed demeanor, marks him as a deity who demands not just reverence, but a relentless pursuit of personal growth and strength from his followers. Bran's complex nature intertwines resilience with a demanding spirit, making him a captivating presence in the celestial realm.

Another aspect deeply interconnected with Bran's essence is the hunt. Hunting transcends mere pursuit and capture; it's an intricate ritual, a profound connection with one's primal instincts, the wilderness, and the prey. For Bran, hunting is an embodiment of respect and balance within nature. He teaches his followers to be attuned to the elements, to merge with their surroundings, and to honor the life they take. Hunting, in Bran's eyes, is far from a sport—it's a sacred act of maintaining the natural order. He abhors indiscriminate hunting and holds in contempt those who waste or disrespect their prey, emphasizing the importance of utilizing and revering the gifts that nature provides. This perspective integrates a deep ecological consciousness with a primal bond to the natural world.

Bran chooses to manifest as a handsome young man, his appearance reflecting the life of challenges searches. His skin is dark, his eyes of a vibrant green like windows to the untamed forests where he hunts, ahis expression alive with the wisdom of a life defying the odds. His hair, long and unbound, cascades freely, echoing the unrestrained spirit of nature itself. He adorns himself in hunting attire, carefully chosen to blend with the myriad hues of the natural world. These garments, in subdued yet earthy tones, speak of his intimate bond with the wilderness. Around his waist, a belt laden with tools essential for trapmaking – a testament to his mastery over the craft and his strategic mind. In addition to his human guise, Bran sometimes chooses to manifest as a fox, a creature that resonates deeply with his divine attributes. This fox form has brownish fur, blending seamlessly with the forest environment, and striking green eyes that reflect his keen insight and instinctual understanding of the natural world.

Symbol

Bran symbol is a bow and an arrow inscribed in a circle of bark. The bow and arrow, are not merely tools of the hunt but also powerful symbols of Bran's dominion over the art of hunting. They serve as a constant reminder to his followers of the importance of overcoming obstacles, embodying precision, focus, and the relentless pursuit of one's goals.

Encircling these instruments of the hunt is a ring of bark, the protective skin of the mighty trees of the forest, which represents Bran's deep bond with the natural world. It is a symbol of resilience, a testament to endurance, and a reflection of the cycle of life that Bran so fiercely guards and maintains.

Relations With Other Deities

Bran, weaves a complex web of alliances and enmities with his fellow gods. His bond is strongest with the natural deities: Leviathar, whose realm is the vast seas; Elandrien, guardian of the woodlands; Antanara, the luminescent deity of the moon; Aela, who commands the weather; and Edmer, the very embodiment of Nature. These bonds are forged from a shared devotion to the elements and cycles of the natural world.

Among these alliances, his connection with Velthar, the deity of beasts, stands out. United by their deep love for the hunt, Bran and Velthar are akin to brothers in arms, their spirits entwined by the primal thrill of the hunt and the respect for their quarry.

There is, however, a softer side to Bran's connections. With Milucrah, there exists a bond of mutual love and understanding, a rare glimpse into the tender aspects of his otherwise stoic nature.

But in this world of intricate divine relationships, Bran also harbors a fierce enmity. His wrath is directed towards Kal'Katoth, a deity whose aberrations corrupt the natural world. To Bran, these aberrations are anathema, perversions of the natural order he so fiercely protects. His hatred for Kal'Katoth is as deep as his love for the wilds, a relentless force driving him to seek the eradication of these corruptions from the multiverse.

What The Legends Say

Dogma

Bran, in his fox shape

Bran's dogma is based on the following tenets:

  • Embrace the Challenge: Seek out and overcome obstacles in your path. View each challenge as an opportunity to grow and prove your inner strength. Bran teaches that through facing adversity, one can truly discover their potential.
  • Adapt and Survive: Be resourceful and adaptable in all aspects of life. Survival is not just about physical endurance, but also about mental agility and the ability to think strategically in the face of change.
  • Master the Art of the Hunt: Develop skills not only in hunting but in all pursuits that require precision and focus. The hunt, for Bran, is a metaphor for achieving goals and targeting aspirations with accuracy and skill.
  • Respect the Natural Order: Honor the balance of nature in all things. Just as the hunter respects the prey, so too should you respect the environment and all living beings. Bran values the preservation of the natural world and the responsible use of its resources.
  • Common Sense as a Compass: Value and sharpen your common sense as your most reliable guide. Bran teaches that in the intricate dance of life and survival, the keenest insight often springs from practical wisdom. Recognizing the importance of sound judgment and clear thinking, this tenet underscores the necessity of using common sense to navigate through life's challenges and uncertainties effectively.

Clergy and Temples

A cleric of Bran, preparing for the hunt

The clergy of Bran embody the deity's ethos of survival, adaptability, and respect for nature. Their organization, light and fluid, eschews rigid hierarchies. Instead, respect flows naturally from the novices to the elders, with wisdom and experience being the true measures of authority. These clerics, revered as tutors and guides, dedicate themselves to imparting vital skills. They teach not only how to endure the physical wilderness but also how to navigate the metaphorical wildernesses of life. In their hands, survival skills are not merely techniques but sacred arts, passed down with care and reverence.

Masters of endurance and resourcefulness, they engage in profound rituals that echo the heart of the hunt. These ceremonies are tests of inner strength, designed to forge resilience and understanding of the wild. Through these rites, they connect deeply with Bran's spirit, drawing lessons from the very essence of survival. Their ranks are diverse, comprising not only *clerics but also numerous rangers and druids, each bringing unique skills and perspectives. Together, they form a cohesive force, united under Bran's banner.

A self-imposed duty guides them to watch over the wildlands. They are the vigilant eyes that monitor the balance of nature, identifying species threatened by indiscriminate hunting, and acting as stewards of the environment.

Their attire mirrors that of Bran, practical and suited for the rigors of the wild. Garments adorned with symbols of bows, arrows, and circles of bark, as also with small trophies collected in their hunts. These serve as a constant reminder of their devotion and their deity's domains.

In the heart of the untamed wilderness, where the whispers of nature speak loudest, lie the temples of Bran. These are not grand edifices of stone and mortar, but rustic constructions, harmoniously woven into the fabric of the wild. Each temple, a sanctuary nestled in a clearing or discreetly hidden under the dense forest canopy, serves a dual purpose. It is both a sacred space for those seeking communion with Bran and a practical hunter's cabin, stocked with the necessities for ventures into the wilderness. The location of these temples is strategic, always away from the bustle of populated centers, yet occasionally near enough to towns and villages. This proximity allows Bran's clergy to extend their guardianship and wisdom to the local communities, while keeping a watchful eye on the delicate balance of the nearby wildlands.

Scattered throughout the forests, smaller shrines dedicated to hunters dot the landscape. These shrines, often no more than Bran's symbol – a bow and arrow within a circle of bark – inscribed on the trunk of an ancient tree, offer a place of solace and reflection. Hunters, upon finding these sacred marks, pause in their tracks, offering prayers and respects in hopes of a bountiful hunt under Bran's watchful gaze. In these hallowed grounds, where the rustic meets the divine, the followers of Bran find their strength, guided by the unspoken laws of nature and the enduring spirit of the hunt.

Initiation

The initiation ritual for followers of Bran is a deeply immersive and transformative journey, steeped in the arts of survival and hunting. This sacred rite begins a year before the aspirant's coming of age. Driven by a calling to walk the path of Bran, the future follower must seek out one of Bran's secluded temples in the heart of the wilderness and request permission to take up residence within its rustic walls.

Upon acceptance, the temple's clerics provide the novice with shelter and a place to rest, marking the beginning of their true test. From that moment, the initiate must fend for themselves, their survival dependent on their ability to learn and adapt. They join hunting parties led by seasoned followers, immersing themselves in the art of the hunt and the skills necessary to thrive in the wild. Each hunt is not just a quest for sustenance, but a lesson in the delicate dance of life and death.

Throughout this year of learning, the initiate collects trophies from their hunts – fragments of horn and bone from their prey, each piece a symbol of their growing mastery. Alongside these, they gather relics representing the skills they have honed: a piece of flint from their first fire, a length of rope from an improvised shelter. Each evening is concluded with at least one hour of reflection, a time to internalize the day's lessons and to forge a deeper connection with the natural world.

As the year draws to a close, the final day is devoted to contemplation, a solitary reflection on the journey they have undertaken and the wisdom they have gained. The following dawn, the initiate approaches the temple's altar, a sacred space within the wilderness, accompanied by a cleric. Kneeling before the altar, they present their collection of trophies and relics, an offering to Bran, accompanied by a heartfelt prayer.

In this solemn moment, the cleric performs the initiation spell, a ritual that weaves the essence of Bran into the very being of the initiate. With the casting of this spell, the initiation is complete, and the aspirant emerges a full-fledged follower of Bran, forever changed and forever connected to the wild and the hunt. This rite of passage is not just an initiation into a faith, but an awakening to the primal and eternal dance of nature, survival, and the spirit of the hunter.