There are a great number of groups and organizations in Ehdrigohr that work very hard to effect a change on the world. Most work, one way or an other, towards the betterment of the people and the human condition. There are others, however, that strive to bring sorrow and to shape the world to their own desires. Beyond those forces of darkness there are even more terrible groups who endeavor to bring the world to ruin and return us to the void.
Over the next few posts I want to detail some of the most important groups currently operating in the world. I’ll start with the Great Societies. These organizations were started by the Watchers known as the Thunder Brothers (Wa’Kya, Tohr, Radeen, and Uhdahl) ages ago when the first Turning happened. They were created to guide and protect the people and keep mankind from falling into complete disarray. As civilizations have grown due to the relative safety brought on by The Still, they find themselves at odds with men and women hungry for power as often as they are up against shivers and horrors from the Twain.
Lets start with the first two societies.
Society of Crows
This is a great warrior society that is scattered across the lands. Every group of people has some variation on the Crows but the group most well known are the Crows of the Shil which is composed mostly of Wiijasa, Batu, and some Urali. The Crows are the closest thing to a worldwide army and often act like sheriffs for the ways in the area they a operate. It is very rare to find a crow that operates alone. They are extremely social the need to recognize the importance of the gifts of others is one of their fundamental teachings. The Crows specialize in hunting shivers, and are often considered to be among the preeminent monster hunters, evil slayers, and waywardens of the lands. In addition to monsters, they have taken down more than a few bandit kings and would be warlords.
The weapon of choice of the Crow are known as the Crow lances. These are long spears with long wide blades at either end, The blades are about the length of a long knife, with feather and crow patterns etched along the blade and pommel. These blades are also removable, as they become fighting long knives. The primary purpose of the crowlance, however, is not to be a weapon but to be a survival tool. Beyond being a spear the crowlance is an all around utility device. The pole can be broken down and has multiple compartments where a crow holds medicine, rations, grappling twine, and any number of other things.
Crows are especially strong in the elemental mystery of Wind and the natural mysteries of body and mind. They are powerful martial artists and their use of the mysteries is wrapped up in their martial techniques. They are looked upon favorably by ShuaBringsTheLight, and were the first of the Great Societies created by Wa’Kya – Thunder Brother of the North. In great times of need, Wa’Kya shares his power among the crows and chooses one to manifest as the “Lord of Crows”. In addition to the crowlance the other symbols of the Crows are the crow’s-mark which is typically worn as brooch, the Crow’s Mantle – a cowl and feathered cloak of dark coloration that shimmers and shines with the colors of the crow (black, blue, green, purple).
Crows are often looked upon by the peoples of the lands as folk heroes. They are welcomed in most places, however, their penchant for meddling and lack of political allegiances has made their presence barely tolerated in the new found Wu Towns and in the Salduun empire where politics and economic power hold sway over balance and justice more each day. They are considered terrorists in the the lands of the Mic’Talan. Among the Mic’Talan, even bearing the symbol of the crow’s mark is punishable with imprisonment at the very least.
One who is said to “dance with the crows” has joined this organization, or at the least is very friendly to them.
Brothers and Sisters of the Mourning Doves
Mourning Doves are a worldwide order of healers and peace keepers who travel in flocks of teacher and students. They specialize in presiding over funerals and births. They can be found wherever a great battle has taken place, and in spring and autumn time festivals around the world. Their goal is the sending of people out of the world in peace, and bringing them in with joy, and maintaining the general well being of the days in between.
Though primarily an order centered around peace, the Doves are not necessarily pacifists. When face to face with a shiver or horror a dove can become a fury to behold as they are masters of an open hand martial art known as the “Hand of Weal and Woe” and in the use of their walking cudgels known as “sunset clubs”. Though they would prefer to peacefully deal with problems created by men, when someone has fallen to far into darkness, they are not above “removing an infection from the community”. When they can’t do this themselves they will not hesitate to call in Crows to handle the details.
Their closeness to death has caused them to develop great knowledge of forensic techniques. This means they are often at the center of investigations of murder where the culprit is not obvious. They are oathbound to see to the rest of restless spirits which, again, sometimes put them in the position of meddler or investigator as angry spirits might seek them out to gain justice. The fact that spirits will regularly talk to them causes Doves to be considered a little creepy and they aren’t often welcome for long in a given place. People get a little paranoid about their secrets when a Dove turns her ear and looks to be listening to nothing while looking at you.
The Doves are close to the earth and are looked upon favorably by the song known as BryahdWhoShapesTheEarth. They tend to her beasts, and to the green, as well as they do to men. They are the Great Society created by Tohr – Thunder brother of the West. In times of great need it is said he lends his power to the doves, choosing one to become the Regent of Mourning who will heal the wounds of the land and hearts.
The Doves are strongly associated with the elemental mystery of Earth, the Nature mystery of Soul, and the Principal mystery of Life. They are a Mystical order and focus greatly on the relationships of teacher and student. They’re known by the moniker “Browncloak” due to the feathered dun colored cloaks that they wear. The dun cloak is the Mourning Dove’s most prized possession. It is filled with pockets and pouches where they keep medicine and supplies. It keeps them comfortable in most climates, and allows them to blend in with natural surroundings. It is an item of great healing and allows them to call on the mystery of life with greater ease.
For a person to say they have “taken the brown” means they’ve decide to walk a path of peace and healing, and perhaps to have sought out a teacher among the Brothers and Sisters of the Mourning Dove.
Next time, the Dream Keeping Society of the Owls.