|“||Passion. Clarity. Perseverance. Adaptability. Balance.||”|
– Calvaghn Arrenda
Green and Cyan
Supposedly First Age, Refined in Fourth
Aethyric Druidism is a branch of Guthixianism with it's own approach to balance. It is mainly followed by the Renderra Family, and Nobles and Citizens under them. The main teachings of the faith is that to begin balance of the world, you must start with balance of yourself.
Guthix, pronounced Guh-thicks, is the god of Balance. Before the events of The World Wakes, Guthix was thought to lack any form of gender (though, for convenience, most refered to him as male). He is neither good nor evil, but rather approaches things from an initially neutral standpoint and will act on either side of the spectrum in favor of what re-establishes equilibrium and balance.
When Aethyros intervened in the clash between the Draiochta and Andrasteians, he realised as most Gods did, that he needed something to bind the two together in a peaceful way. The wise Ent spoke of Guthix, teaching them how to balance their emotions and unite together. Aside from ritualistic tendencies based on their own cultures, the two tribes' fusion to one was aided by a Religion lacking customs.
In the Second Age, Calvaghn of the Marked Ones decided to write a book named the "Tome of Spirit." This book was key to the foundation of Aethyric Druidism seperating from the other Guthixian groups of the time, by claiming with radical certainty that there were not four, but five elements to magic.
The Third Age saw followers dwindle, until only the Druidic Priesthood of the Arrenda, or as they became known as today, the Renderra, remained actively following it. When the God Wars ended, the Renderra family worked alongside the Nature Spirit Aloysius to solidify more details about the faith that were now vital while living in a more civilised environment.
During the Fourth Age, the faith spread to those who followed the Renderra, eventually becoming focused within their holdings. These numbers have grown, with only a slight decline due to Guthix's death and a shift to Godlessness.
The value of hands that work is vital to the Aethyric faith. As such, anyone inducted into a Druidic Coven is told to carry a worker's knife. This blade is always iron or steel, and is used to cut entry ways into the ceremonial circle. It can also be used to serve Cake and Ale, some form of harvest, plant based food and some form of alcohol used together to symbolise the gifts of the harvest.
In addition to a Worker's Knife, a Chalice, Wand, and something containing a Pentacle (shield, breastplate, or bracer) are usually carried as tools for protection and ceremonial use.
There are eight holy days of the year, showing the passing of time and change of nature. These are reffered to as Sabbats. The Four dedicated to seeds, harvest, and farming are the Greater, while the Lesser are based off the Sun and Zanaris.
- Imbolc, the halfway point between Samhain and Beltane, trying to give energy to the Spirits to help in the hunt, and ease the winter. Balefires are burned for this energy from mountains and braziers set on fortress walls.
- Beltane, the celebration of Fertility of the land and the animals.
- Lughnasadh, the celebration of first harvest, thinning out the plants that have died to allow the stronger ones to remain.
- Samhain, the celebration of the final Harvest and preparing for the Hunt.
- The Spring and Fall Equinoxes, where light and darkness are in balance. This is a good day for prayer, specifically reflection on morality in the faith.
- The Winter Solstice, where feasts are had, evergreen boughs are hung, and a yule log is burned. Treasures of the hunt are also displayed, trying to celebrate victory as winter continues. The long night makes it a good day for Lunar ritual magic.
- The Summer Solstice, where fires are burned to keep the Sun empowered. It is a good day for Solar based ritual magic.
The Greater Sabbats, especially Samhain and Beltane, are celebrated with large festivals. With Samhain there are games, food, and usually a lot of drinking. With Beltane, there is more focus on fertility and intimacy, making it a good day for lovers. Plus, there is a feast as food supplies are bound to increase again shortly.
The Lesser Sabbats are met with more religious setting, days of prayer and thinking in Aethyric Druidism.
Both Sabbats involve many people of the faith, usually focused in the past at the Soulwood or Port Tyrion, but today held mostly at Aethyrmont.
Esbats, or minor ceremonies, are held every Full Moon in Aethyric Druidism, as well as during times of emergency and celebration (Such as death, sickness, tragedy, birth, marriage, recovery). In Esbats, Weddings, Consecrations, Initiations, and Funerals are held.
The Aethyric Druidism of the Renderra teaches there are four main elements to life that almost anything can be placed into. These four elements in turn, also represent four seasons, four virtues, and an additional type of magic each.
Fire - Passion, Empathy and Summer. Blood, Rage, and Zealotry. Red.
Water - Clarity, Wisdom, and Winter. Ice, Apathy, and Machiavellian thoughts. Blue.
Earth - Perseverance, Truth, and Autumn. Shadow, Stubborness, Jagged personality. Brown.
Wind - Adaptability, Freedom, and Spring. Smoke, Cowardice, and Impressionable. Gold
Any of the Four on their own can lead to dangerous results for the one promoting it. The key to overcoming these personalities is to learn their flaws and try to ground them. To do this, Aethyric Druids teach of the Fifth Element, the Aethyr.
Aethyr - Light, Life, Energy, and Time. Cyan.
Aethyr is, in Aethyric Druidism's belief, the glue that holds mankind together. It is considered a must to learn to control your emotions and focus on any task to come. This belief is well-held by the Druids, who claim it is achievable to become one with your own Aethyr through following the ideas of Guthix. This is not too dissimilar from Serenism, excepting the knowledge that the safety of the world comes before your friends, and your friends before yourself.
In contrast, is the Nethyr.
Nethyr - Darkness, Death, Undeath, and Potential. Dark Purple.
Nethyr is considered the opposite of Aethyr, and focuses on the needs of one's self over the needs of others. It is considered Evil, and many have tried to tamper with the forces of Nethyr only to fail and die horribly... However, some have succeeded and gained a lot of power from it, at the cost of all their morality.
Green is associated with Emotional Balance, while Grey is viewed as a balance between peace and war.
Though Aethyric Druidism is typically practiced by Guthixians, others can find a place within the faith's practices. Some will find the faith doesn't entirely contradict beliefs of their religion either.
- Mainstream Guthixianism - Most Guthixians acknowledged Aethyric Druidism as a valid approach to Guthixian teachings, though disapprove of a lack of a formal oath not to harm of the Druids. Many Aethyric Druids instead take an oath to not harm the innocent, but will gladly defend the weak with direct violence. This has led to some discontent on how both approach the faith.
- Fremennik - V is acknowledged as a God of little harm to Gielinor, and Fremennik traditions are considered compatible with Aethyric Druidism by the Druids. However, many of the Warrior-Frostshields are still proud to worship nature directly, so even as people who respect Aethyric beliefs, they have not converted either.
- Godless - The Godless are a bit of a toss-up. Those who respect the Anima Mundi can find a place within the religion, noted especially with the Shawsheen and Hiroto, who both agreed with the teaching.
- Armadyleanism - Worship of Armadyl is expressly forbidden to Aethyric Druids. It was formerly tolerated until the death of Bandos, which involved heavy amounts of energy that could have been used to stabilize the World Soul to instead kill Bandos. The Druids consider the use of that much energy to be harmful to Gielinor, as well as the fact Armadylean Caravans attempted to raid Renderra land holdings.
- Bandosianism - Bandos' ideals of the strong surviving do not work well with Aethyric Druidism, though the Druids know Bandos' death has scattered the followers. Bandosians are accepted as willing converts if they desire, though none notable have come forward.
- Kharidian Pantheon - Worship of Het and Icthlarin, especially as symbols of human strength and as a Shepard of the afterlife respectively, have come to be accepted as compatible with the faith. The other Pantheon Gods, barring Amascut, are generally accepted as being okay to follow. This stems from the fact they were not removed with the Edicts of Guthix. However, Amascut's ideals in their current state directly oppose many core beliefs of the Aethyric Sect.
- Saradominism - Saradomin is viewed as directly hostile to the freedom Aethyric Druidism sponsors. As a result, Saradominists are not compatible with Aethyric Druidism.
- Serenism - Seren, as a being fostering friendship and light, has come to some consensus within the Aethyric religion as tolerable. This may be due to Elven influence in the current Renderra leadership, who in turn have an influence among the Aethyrics.
- Sliskeans - Sliske killed Guthix, marking him as public enemy number one to Aethyric Druids. Sliskeans are actively hunted for execution by the militant Order of the Iron Star and Order of the Raven.
- Zamorakianism - Zamorak's ideals of finding your own path, without any form of aid directly opposes the ideals Aethyric Druids should help others and ask eachother for help. As a result, Zamorakianism is incompatible with Aethyric Druidism.
- Zarosianism - The Aethyric Druids don't have much of an opinion on Zaros, not knowing who he is. The Archdruids, however, are staunchly opposed to Zarosians within the faith, as it is now believed Zaros is the reason "Nethyros," or Typhoeus, set foot on Gielinor and slaughtered many ancient Renderra. As far as the Druids are concerned, many Zarosians have enacted the Blood Oath upon their houses, and will be bled accordingly.
- The Order of the Aethyric Druids
The standard Druids of the faith, these are the priests and healers of the Aethyric religion. They take an oath to protect the innocent, and many will also promise not to harm overall, but this isn't required.
It takes 30 years of training in the knowledge of herbs, spiritual summoning, faith, culture and epic storytelling to become an Aethyric Druid.
- The Imperial Magi of the Aethyric Empire
Founded by Driez Renderra in year two of the sixth age, the Imperial Magi are Aethyric Druids who have mixed their teachings with the Fremennik Moonclan, and the studies of Caelan Soulwood's magic. They are widely considered to be master magi, though this is likely because the order is still so young that the inexperienced have not joined.
The Imperial Magi started with a mix of Religious Frostmind members under Muirgel Frostmind, and Aethyric Druid Magi under Natalie Renderra, mixing their knowledge to create a network of contacts and magical teachers to advise leaders throughout the Aethyric Empire.
- The Order of the Iron Star
Claimed to be founded by Tyrion Renderra the Great, the Order of the Iron Star is a militant Guthixian organization with supposed roots to the Third Age Void Knights. The Iron Star's knights require Aethyric Druidism for knighthood, and the basics of the religion are taught to Squires. Often, those who are new converts are initiated as they are Knighted, and Knighthood within the Order is considered a highly religious ceremony.
- The Order of the Raven
Embracing the Raven as a Guardian of Time, Death, and silent observer, the Order of the Raven is the secretive Order based upon the foundations of Aethyric Druidism. They are highly militant, and taught to forgo honour and tradition if they must for the sake of Gielinor as a whole. Many "Ravens" have taken up positions to keep those who wish to hurt the faith at heel.
- The Soulwood Pact
Considered a Holy moment for the Aethyric Druids, the Renderra, the Hiroto, the Frostshield Clans, and the Shawsheen leaders met under the shade of a Soulwood tree, and swore a pact to protect the Anima Mundi, and all cultures of Gielinor.
It was this pact that led to the foundation of the Order of the Raven as the world has come to see it, and this pact that formed the basis of the Aethyric Empire forming from three of the four members. Regardless, the Shawsheen who helped in the pact are viewed as friends and allies.
The pact is the lowest form of any form of religious order among the Aethyric, though what it stands for, the formation of a dedicated military in wait to halt the World's destruction, is considered monumental.
The High Druid is the one responsible for all massive decisions of the Faith, including interpretations of newly found history and the teaching of Aethyric spells. Traditionally, the position has only gone to three beings. Aethyros, Aloysius, and now Caelan Soulwood. It is often an aloof position, leaving much of the leading to the Archdruids.
Each of the Archdruids bears a different tool for ceremonial purposes as a whole for the Aethyric Sect. There are four total,
The Swordsworn is the protector of fire within the faith, and has the duty of carrying the coven sword during ceremonies. Traditionally this was Choronlann, the Renderra Blade. Today it is Raven's Talon, a Sacred Metal sword carried by Driez Renderra. In ceremonies, it is used to establish a circle to ward off dark spirits.
This position is entirely ceremonial, and goes to whoever is in charge of the Renderra at the time. Because of the nature of it, the Archdruid who is Swordsworn will often not be trained for the job, and begin training later in life.
The person who carries the Chalice is the protector of clarity and water, and has the duty of carrying the chalice of consecrated water to establish the Magic-Circle before a ceremony. It is currently carried by Muirgel Frostmind.
Whomever carries the staff is tied to the wind, and protects it. The Staff in question is a Soulwood branch from Aethyros himself, carved by Calvaghn Arrenda. The position has traditionally been passed between the Silverkin Family, and is currently in the hands of Zephoeus Silverkin. The staff is used to set the boundary of a magic circle, similar to the sword. It is a sign of leadership and wisdom.
The Altarkeeper has the most vital task of the Archdruids, being to maintain the holiness and sanctity of the altars at the Soulwood and the Isle of Constantino. The Altarkeeper traditionally carries a large shield with the Pentacle marking, in addition to a hammer. They are tied to the Earth and act as spiritual grounding. The Altarkeeper is currently Lachlan the Dwarf.