Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Interview Questions 15

February 11, 2019

Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful?

My first choice would be lightning. Lightning is a strong destructive power, a deadly blast of pure electrical power moving from the ground into the sky. It is the equalization of charges between the sky and the ground during a storm. Because it happens so quickly and its danger, getting a good look at lightning can be tough. I love seeing high-speed pictures of lightning, showing each unique twist and turn as the electricity finds its path. Of course, there are also the nature-made glass sculptures that occur when lightning hits the sand called Fulgurite.

I love the moon. It does not matter what phase the moon is in, I think it always looks beautiful and I will always be fascinated by it. The crescent moon is an iconic image but the full moon is always amazing. Whether it is Blood, Super, Harvest, Wolf, or Blue the moon is captivating. It is much better than the sun which is too bright and too hot while the moon glows a more subtle and gentle light. Obviously, pop culture is fascinated with the moon as well from the Dreamworks logo, Kubo and the Two Strings, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Finally, I would pick the ocean. There is nothing like sitting and watching the waves lapping at the beach. The sea is vast and beautiful and totally humbling. It is always a complete sensory overflow as I watch something so big that it drops below the horizon with the curvature of the Earth. I smell the overwhelming salt smell of the water. In different parts of the world, it can be a gentle blue-green and other parts it can be a crystal blue. On top of all that, it is yet another thing that could easily destroy me with sheer force.

If you were offered the position of mayor of your city, would you take it?

This is actually a difficult question as Baltimore has a recent history of really bad mayors. Three mayors ago we had a mayor who had to resign because she was caught stealing gift cards meant to go to charity. Her replacement was ineffective and ended up bungling Baltimore’s biggest set of riots in a long time. Under her watch, two buildings burned and she stayed largely silent during the crisis. There are even rumors that she fled the city. The mayor we have now is almost comically screwing things up, continuing a pathetic status quo. So, it is easy to have the impulse to claim that I could do a better job. Baltimore is a mess and every day there seems to be some new fiasco or scandal. I would not want the job. Charm City will always be in my heart and will be my home for the foreseeable future but I am not a politician. It takes a certain kind of insanity to want to be a leader like that and I do not want to tempt myself with the corruption others have fallen to so easily.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

I feel a great kinship with wolves. Obviously, it is one of the reasons that I picked my moniker for this blog. Wolves are like dogs but better. They are wild and free but also banded together with others of their kind. Running through the fields and forests with a pack, feeling strong and fast. My senses would be alive in ways that they never could be as a human. I could smell for miles and hear the slightest sound. Of course, I might become color blind but I would have intense night vision which is a tradeoff I would definitely consider. I would be faster and more tireless than I am as a human and I would be more comfortable out in the elements.

After the obvious, I would probably pick a hawk or falcon. I would be a predator, high up in the food chain. My vision would be beyond what a human could even imagine. I would fly faster than any human has ever gone without the use of machines and I would not have to fear falling. Birds of prey are also more solitary birds as opposed to birds that flock together. I am definitely somebody who does not fear being alone. Having to depend on others can be tiring although not having that support can be dangerous. I think the exhilaration of flight would make up for it.

Finally, I might just want to be a raccoon. Now, stay with me here. I know that raccoons are often detested by people because of their meddling with trash but it would be so fun to be an urban animal. Raccoons are very smart, able to get into a lot of containers that people would think are secure. They also have incredibly dextrous and sensitive hands, able to do more complicated handwork than you would think. Frankly, raccoons just look really cool. The little mask, the ringed tail, the big bushy bodies that are surprisingly agile. I just always liked their aesthetic.

Elorian Campaign Pantheon Pt. 2

November 19, 2018

Asherah (Goddess of Life)
Life Domain

Known as the Queen of Life, she is often depicted as a woman with four wings and five eyes. She was the kindest and least destructive of the original deities, preferring to talk to people, meditate or heal the damage caused by others. In the final conflict between the gods, she was instrumental in restoring the forms of Kord, Azrea, Lathander, and Sylvanus when they were nearly routed and overcome. While she herself is peaceful, she understands that physical intervention is sometimes needed in order to protect others. Her followers are often healers or those who choose to protect those who cannot help themselves. Her temples often double as centers of healing, tranquility, and sanctuary in both urban and rural settings. Her followers are not as preachy and usually let their actions lure people into their lady’s service. She resides in the material plane of Avalon in a simple cottage. Followers often use the dove as her symbol.

Azrea (Goddess of Death)
Death Domain/Grave Domain

Known as the original Goddess of Winter, many believe that Azrea killed the original god of death in order to seize his domain for herself. The other gods decided to let this aggression go unchecked since she turned out to be a more benevolent death god than Nerull had been. She is now sometimes known as the Raven Queen. She views death as a kindness, a reprieve from suffering usually reserved for those who reach a certain age. Death is a necessary part of the cycle of existence and at least a kind hand is guiding that force now. She also remains vigilance against the undead magicks promoted by Nerull, locking them into an eternal conflict. Her followers seek to facilitate funeral services, eradicate necromancy and its creations, and guide souls to their eventual destinations. In reality, Azrea was the denizen of an ancient civilization which was decimated by one of Nerull’s experiments. She seized what power she could and, through a miracle, used it to attack and kill Nerull. At that point, she was accepted by the rest of the pantheon after she pledged her allegiance to them. She is usually depicted as a heavily cloaked woman with a bone-white bird skull mask. She resides in her own plane called the Farplane which is a waystation to various eternal resting places, often conversing with souls to pass the time. Her symbol is the raven.

Ullur (God of Winter)

He is known as the Winter Lord, he is often depicted as a massive silver-skinned man with one massive eye and long light blue hair all over his body. He is known to not be very sociable but not evil, he just enjoys his solitude. He could be listed as neutral. Originally under the domain of Sylvanus, he left his service to convene with the like-minded Azrea. Still, there was an understanding between him and Sylvanus about the need for Winter. During the Great Conflict, he often fought by her side. In the end, he willingly left the material plane and made his home in the Elemental Plane of Ice. His symbol is a snowflake.

 

Sylvanus (The God of Nature)
Nature Domain

He is known as Father Nature, a mountain of a man whose form keeps changing based on his mood and his needs. He is very hairy but some of it is hair, some is fur, and some of it is vegetation. He and his entourage built the material plane and Sylvanus populated it with his and Asherah’s magic. He created animals, plants, and most of the other living things on the Material Plane. He spent a lot of time exploring the Material Plane and examining his and others’ handiwork. The other gods would lose sight of him for days, weeks, sometimes months as he faded into the wild (it was mostly wild at that point). In the Great Conflict, he used his power to change shape to battle the opposing gods. When he left, he passed through the barrier and created the Feywild and he has not been seen since. His followers are naturally often druids or barbarians. His temples are not often traditional temples. They are either open-air altars in clearings or are set up in already enclosed places like caves. His symbol is a wreath of vines entwined with a stag’s antlers.

The Four Elements

These four are the blue collar workers of all of the entourage of the gods. When the gods were formed, they quickly realized that their purpose was to build the material plane. They worked together with Sylvanus to put it all together after Lathander brought light to the material plane. Umberlee is the Lady of the Sea, she once enjoyed roaming the depths and often upset early sailors unless they warded her off with prayer and offerings. Geb is the Lord of the Earth who spent much of his time walking his creation which caused earthquakes. Akadi is the Lady of the Air and she once flew everywhere and people grew to worry when they saw her shadow for high winds usually followed her. Kossuth is the Lord of Flame but he lay dormant beneath the surface and people feared him emerging. All four eventually agreed to leave the material plane, enticed by the four Elemental Planes. Those planes are playgrounds where each can control their element as they wish. With their departure, their creation was allowed to operate on its own, growing and changing for the first time in eons.

Chauntea (Goddess of Farming)

Legend has it that she imparted her love of vegetation and animals to the first elves who, until then, could only hunt and forage. She taught them how to farm and allowed the first of them to settle and the no longer nomadic elves started to create culture and civilization. These methods were also taught to gnomes and dwarves who adapted the practices for their underground civilizations. Chauntea often wandered through orchards eating produce, squished her feet in the mud of the fields, and stopped by to pet the livestock. She was one of the most peaceful and least-feared gods to encounter before the Great Division. Her symbol is a shepherd’s crook crossed with a pitchfork.


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