School of Vasty'naar

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School of Vasty'naar
Atravesss.png
Schools
Proficiencies Various (All based on chosen Discipline)
Race All Nelfin except Kathar (and Yanar in the case of one Discipline)
Location Daen
Origins Unknown

The School of Vasty’naar is one of the oldest Schools in Aloria, with a mysterious past and strong presence in the present day. It is made up of defenders, but what each follower of Vasty’naar defends is heavily based on what Discipline they follow. Each is united though, in the use of staves, specifically the Atraves Stave, which the School has used for centuries. Today, after the recent losses in the recent warfare that has gripped Daen, the School is looking to recover and likely will, unless some drastic changes permanently warp the success factors of this form of combat learning.

History

When exactly the School of Vasty’naar began is not known, but it has an origin myth that extends back to at least the Consolidation. It is sung that in that time, a beautiful girl was a successful musician, gifted with unending joy and happiness. She traveled the Allorn Empire, and even performed for the Empresses of the era on occasion. She matured and yet sought no companionship, save that of nature and its inspiration. However, she was not foolhardy and she defended herself well through the use of a unique staff, which she also often used as her instrument. She also helped others, healing the injured and sick along her way. Her feats are so numerous and so long-lasting, as she did this for some 444 years, that she is sometimes whispered to be an Unwritten God, though this is cast down due to later Altalar prejudices. Indeed, after her time, her followers formed the School of Vasty’naar, supposedly in her name, but as the Consolidation came to an end the beliefs about her were suppressed. Her rustic nature, as an Altalar, was viewed as primitive and barbaric by the growing urbanized elite of the Empire, and her School was driven to the fringes, but their retreat was also by choice as they saw the evil of the Void growing in power.

By the time of the Cataclysm, the School of Vasty’naar largely only existed within Cielothar communities, but also had outposts among the distant Suvial Altalar, whose own complete rejection of the Void had brought these Vastnites to them. However, after the destruction reaped on the Allorn Empire that caused it to collapse and the emergence of the Yanar, the School fragmented. One sect sought to return to ancient traditions and fully decentralized itself, while another embraced the Yanar and joined the mission of defending Cielothar and the sites of nature. The last group, largely located in the south of Daen, fully rejected the Yanar and turned their backs on most of Vasty’naar’s teachings in favor of martial prowess. All three still profess loyalty to their pseudo-goddess in the form of Vasty’naar, but rivalries between the three branches are now hard-set, making it unlikely the School will ever unify again. All three Disciplines have also suffered in recent years as a result of large-scale wars exploding across Daen, and each now requires time to heal and recover their numbers if possible.

Locations

  • Caravan of Irissa: Also called the Multi-colored Caravan, this group of nomadic travelers have traveled across Ithania and northern Daendroc for decades in brightly colored carriages and wagons. They have collected stories for decades, if not centuries, and supposedly were founded shortly before the Cataclysm.
  • Windgarden Enclave: The Windgarden Enclave is an academy of education for the Discipline of Sat’iirall located within Windgarden, the only major Cielothar settlement left in Aloria. It is famed for serving in the defense of the city numerous times, and also for having single-handedly repulsed a Kathar attack in 281 AC.
  • Hall of Belloura: The Hall of Belloura is located within the capital of Tanaar Ivaëlle, Ves Ivaëlle, and is also the estate of Ellondarros’ family itself. Grand and ornate, like much of Tanaar architecture, the facility has produced several notable guardsmen for the city as well as the city’s levied military.

Code of Conduct

The School of Vasty’naar largely lacks a code of conduct, especially since it is divided into three Disciplines. However, the original teachings of Vasty’naar are somewhat retained by each, and can be boiled down to three concepts: be true, be natural, and be kind. Vasty’naar was a very free spirit and these three tenants have been constantly maintained into the modern School. The first, encouraging truth, is to ensure the honesty of an individual, to avoid lying, or to avoid emotional conflict with others. Being true to both yourself and to your intentions will allow one to better defend others without baggage, or an overcomplicated headspace. The next statement, be natural, is focused on one’s being and one’s surroundings. This is often heavily tied in with truth, though each Race tends to emphasize this difference. Many Yanar and Cielothar often take this literally, and focus on natural living, while groups like the Fin’ullen often limit their physical tattooing and hair beading. However, this is sometimes also twisted, as some who worship powers of the Exist consider it to be natural, and so fully embrace Exist Mutations as an expression of this. The final tenant, to be kind, is often tied into the defensive nature of the School, to stand up for the weak or those in need. The Discipline of Ellondarros, however, is “kind” in their role as the defenders of the Altalar Race, and the family who runs the Discipline is often generous with charitable donations.

Learning

The diversification of the School of Vasty’naar has resulted in the learning times and skills learned in each Discipline to drastically expand. However, a few common factors do exist. The School begins its education at the age of sixteen, though this is often a bit more open for Yanar given their unique creation. The first year is always spent focused on staves, often exclusively the Atraves Stave, with partial variation. Further education after this point varies, but ultimately lasts a total of five years.

Disciplines of Vasty'naar

Discipline of Atraves

Taking its name from the signature Stave that Vasty’naar supposedly built for herself, the Discipline of Atraves professes a return to the ancient ways. They are nomadic and, almost strangely, heavily embrace the arts of music and song, while also writing and preserving pieces they encounter. The least populous of the three Disciplines, the actual combat Atraves teaches involves quick footwork to keep pace with one’s enemy and training against a range of simple hand-to-hand weapons while using an Atraves Stave. Their combat goal is to fend someone off and let their own aggression be their downfall. Their beliefs are far more pacifistic than the other two Disciplines as well, as they will come to the aid of those in need, but will only move aggressively if it is in “extreme defense” of themselves or a chosen recipient of their goodwill. The rest of their time, as mentioned, is spent involved in music, and several Atraves followers are often considered minstrels by Ailor. Their symbolism heavily draws from images of wild trees and curling roots, as well as music notes.

Entry Requirements All Nelfin except Kathar
Major Location Caravan of Irissa, Various
Discipline Proficiencies Stave Combat, Writing Art, any Musical Skill

Discipline of Sat'iirall

The Discipline of Sat’iirall is a more aggressive variation of Vasty’naar’s beliefs. Founded by the Cielothar Satta and their Yanar companion Iralla, this Discipline still uses the Atraves Stave but adds in the use of a shield and medical training. Claiming that Vasty’naar would want them to evolve and change to suit the world around them, the students of this combat form have wholly abandoned the passive defense mindset commonly seen in the Discipline of Atraves. They focus on pressing forward when defending, and wield the Atraves Stave not to hold back or displace incoming attacks, but as a weapon doing the attacking to drive a foe back. Their shields are often oblong, and pushing against their opponent is a heavy factor, while their footwork is less impressive than that of their sister Discipline. This is the only Discipline of Vasty’naar to emphasize Exist Mutations as a symbol of devotion to Estel and the natural world they guard in her name. They also wear light armor, where the Atraves Discipline does not require it. Their medical training is helpful in letting them serve in versatile roles during battles. Satiirins, as they are called, are heavily invested in the defense of the Cielothar and the Yanar, fighting ferociously when needed side by side with the Avanthar. Their numbers only recently dwindled due to the Avanthar civil war and often regional conflicts in Daen, but it is likely to be the quickest to recover. Their imagery is often that of sharp, stylized leaves around an animal closely tied to the Cielothar, most commonly a ram.

Entry Requirements All Nelfin except Kathar
Major Location Windgarden Enclave, Daendroc
Discipline Proficiencies Stave Combat, Shielding Combat, Medical Science

Discipline of Ellondarros

Seen as traitors to the broader School of Vasty’naar, the growth of the Discipline of Ellondarros has still been exemplary, until recently. Forged by the radical purist Altalar warrior Ellond, he had supposedly seen the Grul-Yanar in action and rejected their inclusion into the ranks of the School. He stormed southeast with his followers and forged within the lands of Tanaar Ivaëlle a group dedicated to martial combat. Warriors following his teachings still use the Atraves Stave, but much more commonly wield glaive-style weapons, in addition to a more substantial shield. The warriors are taught to hold firm, to ground themselves and resist all attack, and to only move when absolutely needed, or when commanded by a superior. Uninterested in the ancient music, songs, or modern protection of nature, Ellond instead focuses his warriors on direct military service, and in the recent warfare against the Altalar, his School took horrific casualties. Yet, a new generation rises to fill the losses of resisting Kathar fleets and armies, and some believe it is only a matter of decades, if not years before Ellond fully breaks from the ancient teachings of Vasty’naar. Their symbol is a relatively simple one: a green ring bordered by blue wave patterns, with a white dot at the center. This image is repeated on Ellondarros shields, armor, and even sometimes weapons, carved into the wood of staves or pole-weapon handles.

Entry Requirements All Nelfin except Kathar and Yanar
Major Location Hall of Belloura, Teled Methen
Discipline Proficiencies Stave Combat, Glaive Combat, Shielding Combat

Trivia

  • Vasty’naar is most commonly portrayed as a Suvial Altalar, though in the Sundial Isles her name is rarely known. Still, the Discipline of Atraves keeps a minor presence here, and their music is often much appreciated within the courts of Suvial nobility.

Accreditation
Writers HydraLana
Processors Antimreoir, KrakenLord01, MantaRey, AlphaInsomnia
Last Editor HydraLana on 08/14/2021.

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