… Or, is it worth it?
As has been broadcast, I am participating in a science endeavor. The cost of which has already been excessively high (by some counts). In desperation, we turned to the public to try to get more support. It was helpful, but ultimately, not enough. We’ll need more ethercles, which we’ll be spending the next zodiac collecting.
The Nature of Science
That aside, this got me thinking. As experiments get more complex, they become more costly. Either in time, patience, materials, or some combination of the previous listed. ‘Scientists’ (and I use this term openly, as I do not consider science to be under the realm of just Mystics, though I do see an affinity toward science in Mystics) need to build off the work that came before them, and not ignore it. Especially if the question has not been answered for years. Sometimes that proves difficult due to the secret nature of some organizations.
We have a mentality in Puddleby that discovering things for one self is beneficial. This, I believe, has strong merit. There is, of course, in my mind, a balance that must be maintained. This is my view, and I’m happy to discuss it, but as it is, sometimes people disagree and feel that every journey should be entirely self-discovery. It slows me down periodically, but not to such a degree that it’s damaging. At least not to date (as far as I know!).
With this in mind, it’s important to note that it takes a great deal of strength – physical, mental, and spiritual – to keep trying after things keep failing. In this, I honor my predecessors for their tenacity and cooperation. Our world is a harsh one with very few allies, and trying to make sense of it while dealing with the overwhelming hatred that comes naturally to our enemies is not something to be taken lightly. These are not easy conditions we work under, and it’s a constant struggle to make any sort of headway. Just take what’s happening in the Eastern Mountains. Captain Stinkfist, while I hold reservations about the man, is acting as an advocate for science while combining his power and influence with that of interested parties as they attempt to discern what the mystery of the mountains is. There are constant setbacks, from the reports I hear, and they regularly have to take extra time to recover from an onslaught of attacks from enemies. Their dedication is commendable, and I applaud them for it.
The sacrifices we make, be it time, energy, resources, or patience, are all valuable. I will never accept it when someone feels they are wasting their time (or if someone is accused of wasting their time). We have a long history of unlikely heroes, and no one is wasting their time. You never know what might be the right idea.
The Actual Price
On the subject of sacrifice, it is a very fitting idea that I use there. It is a sacrifice, especially since it may be all for naught. Decades ago, an adventurous group of Thooms who traveled into Lugubrion’s Keep when there was no other known way used a kyuem in an attempt to make a discovery. It was for naught. Kyuems are expensive. It is not something you can really shrug off when you place one for nothing to come of it. Yet that group tried, and gave it their all. This was a huge sacrifice, monetarily. Not to mention the time and energy required to gather the materials, create the kyuem, and deliver it to the Keep for construction.
miss Whirl wind and miss Harper spent years working to figure out what was going on up on the Cloud with little to no success, constant discouragement, and no headway. I know for a fact that they both came close to giving up multiple times, but managed to keep each other going.
One of the toughest prices we pay for our endeavors in science is our willpower. Our energy. Our patience. There comes a point where we run out of ideas, though that might be more because we’ve run out of the will to fail again. It’s these times that are the most crucial. It’s these times that we need our community to remind us why we are trying so hard. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding the predicament, we can hardly be expected to ask for that kind of support.
I mostly say this out of empathy for a dear friend of mine, at this point, but I feel it applies to anyone who has ever attempted to discover some aspect about our lives in this rather cruel land of Lok’Groton.
Remember that your ideas are neither dumb, nor are they unwanted. They may have been thought of before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build on the idea more in ways others hadn’t. Support your scientists, be it publicly or privately. Be it big or small endeavors.
To answer my own question… For me, it’s worth it. I’ll keep striving for more.
As Fretty and I returned to town after some exploration in the Badlands, following a hunch I had, with the assistance of Ma’ta Sally and his new Apprentice, mister Sednarb, we started to have one of our random banters in town, which mister FriedDylan seemed to be misunderstanding. This isn’t a total surprise, things have been touchy with regard to Mystics as of late. It’s a shame that so much bile is being spewed lately. I don’t think anyone has done anything to deserve it.
That aside, Fretty was called away in the middle of the conversation, and eventually the conversation died down to the point where I went back to reading up on various histories of Guilds. Getting caught up in research is good fun, especially when I leave myself open to interruption. It’s a non-procrastinating method of procrastinating. It’s also part of why I tend to write my journals while I’m sitting in town center, so I am constantly interrupted and distracted. It’s a way to break my concentration and start over. If I really get into a flow, I’ll head for the library so I no longer am distracted.
A major distraction in this case was the announcement that Fretty. Feodoric Mermeios. My partner for the last several years. He has graduated to the rank of Mystic. My immediate reaction, of course, was of jubilation. I congratulated him with probably the loudest sunstone in his head at the time. I doubt anyone topped me.
As the euphoria began to settle, I looked around and realized that there was no one to really share the moment with. Everyone who could be with me for this, that I would be close enough to to share the experience with, was already involved in the graduation process. I couldn’t stand next to Fretty, I couldn’t cheer him on during this time. I couldn’t watch him become a Ma’ta. I heard about it over the sunstone network like everyone else. And there was no one there to be with me in the moment. No one to talk to. So I thought more, and I thought to people who might be in the library. The people in the library I could share this moment with, had they been around, would likely also be at the graduation ceremony, as well.
That’s when it dawned on me. I have spent all these years developing these relationships that I hold dear to my heart. I was an Apprentice when they were Journeyers. I should have prepared myself for this. I should have known this was going to happen. Yet, I didn’t. Now, once again, I am alone. There are others who share my rank in the Guild, but none as close. Some have tried, but the timing difference has left that friendship with much to be desired. I don’t speak poorly of my other Journeyer Mystics. I am simply stating that I am not particularly close to any of the ones who are left. My close friendships are now all Ma’tas.
This realization made celebrating a little difficult for me when they came to town. I worked hard to focus on my feelings of joy for my partner. Gods know I feel he deserves it, but I also know I am biased. They did the ceremonial drinking and falling and cheering and joking. He gave me many hugs and seemed so happy. I felt so terrible in the moments when I was unable to stay focused on my joy for him. On those moments when my sorrow betrayed me. I know I was more subdued than I should have been. I know he knew things weren’t entirely right.
They disappeared again, my friends, but not after Ma’ta Drabby tried to console me when he realized something was wrong. To his credit, he is a very good friend, very caring, and very generous. I wasn’t ready to be consoled or comforted, so I rejected his offer. I also felt that they should be focusing on Fretty, not me. That night wasn’t about me. Making it about me seemed wrong, on so many levels.
After a time, Ma’ta Sally came to town and he, too, tried to console me. I, again, rejected his attempts. This time I tried to play it off as I was mostly all right because I didn’t want people to worry about me too much. Again, I didn’t want to steal the spotlight.
I realized after speaking with Ma’ta Sally that, by being around, my friends would probably continue to worry and check on me. So I decided to head home. I threw myself into my research again, I distracted myself in my work so I would get my mind off of things in an effort to have a clearer head when Fretty finally came home. For the most part, it worked.
Fretty did come home, and he was still in moderate shock. He couldn’t quite believe it had happened. I congratulated him, poured a glass of wine, and we sat on the couch and talked for some time.
We spoke a little about how the rules will change from here on. We spoke a little about my frustration, he told me it was okay to feel this way. He said that he can’t give me much comfort except that he and I will be all right and we’ll figure things out.
After that, we talked about how excited he had been, how he still doesn’t quite believe it, and I reassured him that he will grow into it.
In the end, the one person I needed to speak to was Fretty. Things aren’t perfectly all right, but I am definitely more capable of approaching this. After he fell asleep, I sat up watching the fire and thinking about both happy and sad things. Things change, and that’s okay. I wasn’t ready for this change, and I think I needed time to mourn the change. On the bright side, this is a brand new adventure for Fretty, and we’ll work hard to not let it come between us.
If you break down all of the pros and cons of a situation, you end up with a very distorted view of it. One assumes that by breaking down a situation into pros and cons, you can get a more even-kiltered view of it and make a sound decision; however, when you break something down, you ultimately take away that which holds it together. The essence of the thing.
That being said, it is important to break things down from time to time. To try to figure out how the pieces fit and form the essence. That irreplaceable bit that causes them to be whole.
To explain this in a more detailed way, I’ll give an example. Take a friendship, any friendship. You can break down the pros and cons of maintaining said friendship, and from there decide whether or not you wish to be friends with this person, as such:
Not good on a hunt or expedition
Bad at answering questions
By numbers alone, this friendship doesn’t seem worth it. If you look at just the pros and cons list, it would appear that this friend is simply not worth the time or energy. Indeed, if someone approached me with this list, I would probably advise them to find better people to spend time with.
I’m sure, though, that everyone has at least one friend where if they broke it down into a pros/cons list, it would look similar to this. You’d wish you could flesh out the pros list, but given how we describe things with our language, there just aren’t enough terms to express how meaningful this friendship is to you or how complicated the relationship is. It also can’t convey how everything is ultimately situational.
The hypothetical friend described above might be someone you only ever see while in town center, so immediately the not good on a hunt or expedition becomes negated. If all you do is sit in town and talk, then being clumsy becomes negated. Depending on the type of greed, greed may also be negated – if it’s wealth greed, it is negated by sitting in town and talking; if it is attention greed, well, that’s different.
Assuming it’s wealth greed, we’ve knocked three things off the cons list immediately with regards to our situational friendship. I could continue to knock more off with realistic situations and eventually you would end up with a friend that you see in town periodically, speak casually with, and have a great time talking about current events with. This friendship may not be the most important to you, but it may be an important friend to you that you wish to maintain.
Everything has an essence, and it has to do with the entirety of the situation. You can’t ignore the circumstances surrounding a situation when deciding if something is good, bad or in between. Ultimately, it is for each person to decide if the entirety of the circumstances are worth it for them.
It’s difficult to get up the motivation to write right now. This last zodiac has been trying, to say the least. I’ll talk a little about my opinion on the controversy and move on from there.
The specifics of what happened behind the scenes matter very little, in the end. The Hel Tree Order’s Clan Council made the decision that on the Forge Trips for the University of Puddleby’s Ethereal Plane Classes our singular crafter would not be crafting anything other than Ethereal Amulets.
This decision was one of several paths we could have taken, and we did not decide to do this lightly. As is no real surprise, this decision was met with intense unhappiness from the vocals who frequent the Sentinel. This is precisely why I chose to make the announcement myself, in spite of my being an ordinary student who is attending the classes to learn about the Ethereal Plane, myself.
A couple of amusing things came out of this, however. I managed to get a promotion, twice.
My first promotion was that I speak for the Mystic Council! Somehow it got translated that this was “Mystics everywhere,” not just my clan. So huzzah for my promotion in status! Let’s ignore that the citizens of Puddleby still refer to me as ‘Journeyman’.
My second promotion was that I was the Hel Tree Order’s crafter! If I’d known it would only take ten lessons to become a crafter – rather than the many times that it took previous Ethereal Mystics, I wouldn’t have fretted so much and done it sooner. A nice surprise promotion in skill!
My biggest issue with how everything went down is that no one approached me with questions, no one tried to clarify anything. It was simply assumptions and judgements. It is simply assumed that we are “power tripping,” “bureaucrats,” and anti-community. I don’t think I can change how people feel about this sort of thing, and in some cases, I don’t wish to. It just saddens me that the vocal portion of the community is so willing to be so full of malice in how they deal with people.
I will take a moment to make a note that Captain Stinkfist did take the time to talk to me, and I believe that while he and I do not see eye-to-eye, he does understand my perspective a little better. I don’t believe that he thinks we are truly vindictive, which is most definitely a bonus considering the assumptions that were flying around.
I’ll admit that the immediate reaction I got from my announcement does not entice me to do much for those people, though it’s still a bit fresh. I assume that I give it a little more time and I will no longer care about what happened there. It wasn’t big enough to let it define me, but I certainly doubt I’ll forget it anytime soon.
On the bright side, this will be the last public thing I have to say on the matter. There’s no point in dragging it up anymore, and I’m ready to move on.
And here ends the Drama…
In other news, the first two classes have been deemed successes for us. We didn’t reach the Forge last time, but we learned some valuable lessons, and we’ll be trying again next class.
It’s been an exceptional turnout and I’m very pleased that what went from being a pipe-dream of mine has become a reality with such resounding success. If I have my way, all of Puddleby will have access to the Ethereal Plane. Do I expect everyone to use it? Not necessarily, but I do expect that us holding these lectures and then making them publicly available will go a long way to allowing more individuals to participate in Ethereal expeditions for various benefits.
I’m very excited for what the future will bring.
Healers can be very finicky creatures, did you know that? Even when my injury took a turn for the worse, they refused to help me. I had to heal naturally all the way through. On the bright side, I did eventually heal. Now I’ve returned to Puddleby (truth be told, as I write this, I’ve been back for quite some time, I’ve just been afraid of starting this again) and I am up to my old tricks again.
What tricks you ask?
I’ve fished Swanky out from hiding, and he’s back to his former glory. He’s back to town-sitting, theorizing, brownie-baking, wedding-planning, and Lily-teasing all while helping exiles get back on their feet.
Fretty is unburied from his monstrous pile of books and is now aiming for a Professorship at the University of Puddleby!
Fearr has re-emerged and is more gung-ho than ever about his botany projects.
But wait.. What does all of this have to do with me? Absolutely everything. You should know that by now.
The Hel Tree Order and the University of Puddleby have been in long-standing talks for some time now about joint ventures into the Ethereal Plane. Part of the motivation for this is that two of the three Council members are very knowledgeable about the EP, whereas the third – you know, me – is not.
miss Harper and Ma’ta Drablak being more than agreeable made this become a very motivating dream. Once Fretty was ready, we began trying to schedule when these classes would take place.
Getting feedback about when was agonizing. Everyone wanted to tell us when they couldn’t, but almost no one seemed willing to share when they could! We had to make a decision which did not please everyone, obviously, but worked for most of the core of our group, and those who were actually giving feedback.
In case you’ve missed the announcement somehow, Fretty’s tentative syllabus and schedule are located here
One of the neatest parts of my life is when I get to meet a new individual. miss Atma has recently joined the Mystic Guild as our newest Apprentice. It’s exciting to have someone new in the Guild, but miss Atma seems driven and positive about the entire experience.
Something to keep in mind as one starts down a new path in life is that it’s incredibly easy to start off driven and determined. It’s also very easy to lose your way and your drive. The motivation that keeps you going must not be what guides you. Your passions motivate you and push you through, but passions are finicky things. As you discover new things, your passions change, your desires change. If you allow your passions to guide you, you will stray so far from the path that you will have lost your way entirely.
It is far better to plan your moves ahead of time, think things through, take it slow. Know your gut instincts, but give it time to settle in before jumping on it. Does this work 100% of the time? Of course not, there are times when we have to make a judgment on the spot. If you take the time to think things through the best you can, then you’ll be more prepared when you have to make a quick judgment.
I don’t say this for miss Atma’s sake, she ends up simply being the catalyst for me thinking along these lines as I begin my own new path into the world of the Ethereal Plane. I’m a late-comer to this world, and it seems very easy for passions to get the best of me in my new path. So I write this with the idea that it shall help prepare me for when my passions attempt to get the best of me.
I don’t presume I have a very large audience at this point, especially since I have been stuck almost exclusively in the library as of late, through no fault of my own. There was a bit of an accident and the healers are trying to teach me that I need to train with my body to improve coordination and strength. So I am currently stuck laying on a pile of books neatly stacked and covered with a few quilts as I slowly rest and heal the old fashioned way.
However, I have an obligation to my clan and will do my best to uphold it. Var is hosting his first hunt soon (Aug. 4th at 2pm Eastern), and I am not sure whether I will be healed enough to attend myself. I requested that mister Paramedic post an announcement to garner support for his hunt several days ago, but it seems he is backed up with paperwork again.
Everyone is invited to this hunt, and I hope that Var gets a good turnout. It is to the Ethereal Tower, Lugubrion’s Level. If there is extra time, we tend to have a secondary plan.
I am starting to get sleepy again, so I’ll sign off this letter and hope that those who read it will pass word along.
It is not common for me to use my journal for this purpose, and I don’t expect to ever need to again.
See you when I am feeling better,
The Hel Tree Order has inducted their first post-formation members. miss Aurelie and miss Sawyer. miss Sawyer gave me the idea of calling miss Aurelie “Chirpy,” and I think it suits her quite well. She is chipper, very Sylvan, and loves chirping away in Sylvan when she gets a chance.
This is all very exciting, since I was struggling with the amount of testosterone in the Order. Now I just have to make up some more Women-Only clan yells. ‘Hel Hath No Fury’ is great, but I need a few more so I mix it up. I dislike becoming stale.
I find that these two are such good friends somewhat amusing in an irony sort of way. Chirpy is a Priestess of Sylvan faith, while miss Sawyer is a Blood Mage in training. In reality, these two are potentially not natural opposites, but on the surface it would seem natural to assume that a Priestess would frown upon someone who desecrates her own body by slicing herself up.
Social stigmas are amusing.
Var and I have never been particularly close in the past, and he seems to be fairly monosyllabic when attempting to have a conversation with him. He probably falls under the category of ‘man of few words’ in those terms.
So imagine my surprise when I completed Book 3 entirely due to his conviction. I emerged out of the library to be informed that miss LunaBlue was gathering a group together. All throughout the trip, whenever someone asked if we were doing this for miss LunaBlue, he would always speak up that it was also for me. At one point he even designed a little flag that had my name on it, which I thought was fairly cute.
Unfortunately, the group could not stay and I was unable to learn everything I could from the book. I was so close, though. Just the final chapter was needed. When Var learned of this, he began gathering a second expedition. It took a while, and Var had to opt out of attending himself, but thanks to him and his gathering the group, I did finally finish Book 3.
It was a surprising show of Clan Unity, and I think I won’t underestimate Var’s conviction to the Order again.
If you read this, Var, I am forever appreciative of your assistance. I had been waiting for that moment for a very long time.
To Keep One’s Ego In Check
So apparently someone pointed out to mister Paramedic that I have been recording my thoughts. I think my audience just expanded exponentially. The librarians say that today is the busiest day for reference checks to my section of the library. The day has not even fully begun as I write this.
I am deeply humbled, flattered, and encouraged with this news. The trouble will be to continue to write as I have been without letting the idea that my audience is bigger go to my head. When I began writing, I assured myself that this would be an account of things that have been important to me, but I am not a newspaper. I do not do fact-checks or research unless I wish to in my own right. This is meant to be a journal about how I see the world and the things that happen within. I must remember that this journal is for me, and the people who read it will enjoy it in their own right. I do not necessarily need to cater to what I believe they want.
Right of Passage
In celebration of creating The Hel Tree Order, we have hosted an Inaugural hunt that was initially a concern about turnout. Being a clan that is 80% mystics, there is a fear and a worry that we won’t be taken seriously. It seems, however, we have managed to establish ourselves and are taking ourselves seriously. In no small part to I credit Ma’ta Drablak with this. His extensive exploration work and guides have helped countless and have been a personal inspiration. It’s no big surprise he managed to attract so many large names.
In attendance for Cimmbrion’s Maze we had:
With no trouble, we managed to work our way (the relatively long way) into Cimmbrion’s conference room through Melabrion’s Keep. I managed to have first blood on Melabrion’s Island, thanks to pebbles. mister Fenris managed to win the roll for the Ethereal Boots, which is how I honestly was hoping that would turn out. We proved we can make this trip, and I am excited at the idea that the junior members of our community can take part in these types of things like this. Not to mention, he won it fair and square given our social criteria for these things.
Overall, this was a very successful inaugural hunt. We even ended an hour within time. One of the main goals was to see how much support we could garner. The answer is quite a lot. This is promising for more challenging expeditions, which are in the works.
I’ll admit that it was rather obnoxious that I heard 3 times that we were having a “mystic convention.” Not necessarily because it would be a bad thing, but more because it completely misses the point of what we are doing. Though, I say this while knowing full well that it was likely said in jest.
Once we exited to Portal Island, we began to reform for a Forge trip. We lost a great deal of people in the process, but gained others as we went.
We did not make it to the Forge within time, and we lost several members before we were able to break into the Portal Snell comfortably. During which we lost several members of the group, Stinkfist, Var, and mister Fenris. Those who remained pushed through toward the Forge to stage a rescue from there, with Captain Stinkfist departing to rejoin the group. mister Paramedic ended up unable to cross the sphere correctly and had to pendant out.
We fought our way to the Forge, and thanks to mister Reyav’s chaining, we retreated into the Forge itself with only miss Taryn remaining alive as far as healers go. Once recovered, mister Reyav volunteered to do a chain run to collect mister Fenris and Var. Upon his success, Drablak opened a portal and we were on our way home.
For both portions of this hunt, we had great legendary people come to help us out, and it was truly humbling that in an age where it appears the brutal strength-increasing obsessed fighters rule Puddleby, enough people are still interested in things that aren’t necessarily the most helpful in becoming stronger and we were able to provide interest. In return for the support we were shown, I will personally push for more challenging or interesting locations in the near future. I’m sure my clan brothers feel strongly in the same way.
Though, I admit, it will be nice when I have a clan sister.. or 5. Being surrounded by all men is a bit daunting. Even if one of them is my brother.
Shameless plug: If you have interest in our clan, just speak to any of the Council: Feodoric, Drablak, myself.
After over a year of overworking myself, I am taking a bit of a respite. Puddleby shall be seeing less of me, for a little bit, and I will be recuperating from my exertions.
Many things have been accomplished lately, not the least of which is my new clan – the Hel Tree Order. My good friend, Drablak, my partner, Feodoric, my brother, Guinness, and my colleague, Var. We are a mystic-heavy clan, obviously, but we’re hoping to fix that problem soon enough. Exploration, puzzles, tactics, and opportunities for me to expand my point of view await if we manage to get the support required.
I do not expect a sudden rush of interest, first we have to show we are serious and capable. For that, I rely on those who have agreed to be members of H3O+. Once we establish ourselves as a true clan, not just another no-name, I believe things will pick up. Already we are wooing miss Aurelie and miss Sawyer.
The first step: Inaugural expedition. It seems we are looking at a simple start, to get folks acquainted. It’s a place I’ve never been to, so I’m looking forward to it.
Per Master Trillbane, the Orga have summoned their God, Bartok.. And given reactions, this seems to happen periodically. The history books I have read lead me to believe this may be the same deity that took the Altar from Town Center’s Temple all those years ago, rendering Healers helpless to heal themselves.
For all intents and purposes, when one thinks of a “deity,” you think immortal, generally having some sort of motivation, and generally a relatively all-powerful being. Most of us expect never to see the deities in question actually manifest themselves, and if they do manifest themselves, it seems logical to assume that they have some sort of purpose.
The Orga seem to summon their deity, Bartok, and while he is definitely strong, I cannot see much by way of all-powerful or some sort of motivation. This could be a lack of insight into Orga civilization, which we will likely never learn about with the on-going raids Puddlebeans partake in of Orga lands.
The most interesting aspect of Bartok is that it seems he is able to be killed. At least his at-the-time manifested self.
Overall, this Orga deity seems nothing like one would expect, and seems to have none of the motivation that one would expect. Once the Puddlebeans were defeated, he came out to check on his Stronghold. He was met with some accusations, several insults, and seemed mostly only interested in roasting those of us which wouldn’t go to “Purg Tor” (which I presume is his way of saying Purgatory).
As an aside, I wonder, at times like these, how things would be different if Puddlebeans – particularly the fighting variety – weren’t so ready to kill those who enter our sights. These are the original owners and (presumably) creators of stones which Mystics utilize. They wield several varieties of magics that might be beneficial in combat, or even non-combat, ways. Yet, we slaughter without thinking, ignoring thinkers who argue that it may not be the best idea. Yes, they’ve invaded, we’ve invaded, tit-for-tat. Have you, dear reader, ever heard of anything beneficial coming from two peoples who mindlessly go back and forth with their violence? I certainly haven’t.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Sun, Moon, Earth
The generally accepted trinity of Deities who presumably created the cosmos and all that goes with it. Sun, who is presumed to be of infinite and glorious wisdom, sits in his sky, looking down upon us. Illuminating our lands and granted us knowledge so we are better than beasts. The Moon, bathing us in safety during the darkness of the night. Her light rejuvenates and restores us, and allows us to rest so we might begin again once the Sun has risen once again. The Earth is hard and protective, shielding us from the harshness of .. Well, in all honesty I’m not sure what the Earth’s purpose is other than to have us live on her and thrive. Somehow this translates into Fighters, or so I’m told, but I don’t full see the connection.
Do the Orga believe our creation myth? I certainly doubt it, considering they name Bartok a God. Have we ever been able to summon a manifestation of Sun, Moon, or Earth? We wield gifts that seem related to these deities in the sky and under our feet, but we’ve never conversed with them. We have, however, conversed with other such beings.
Several accounts of sightings and even conversations with Gaia have been had. Some have managed to enter her temple and see her inner sanctum, or so I’ll call it. She is a Goddess of the Earth. Does this not seem a little contradictory?
The Nox Sorora, as I understand it, worship the Mother Night. Mother Night was betrayed by her first son, Leviathan, and he sent her second, third and fourth children (Sun, Moon, Earth) to do his bidding. Yet they turned on him after seeing his betrayal and locked Mother Night and Leviathan in an eternal struggle. They now seek to release neither, and as I understand it, followers of this order seek balance, rather than victory to the Mother Night.
Mother Night and Leviathan are deities again, which seem to be higher powers than Sun, Moon, Earth.
Some have said that the Sun, Moon, Earth creation myth is too wholesome and fails to explain everything. If there are no opposing forces, why should there be any struggle, if the creation myth is to be believed.
Some oral traditions have passed down the additional myth of ‘Shadow.’ His motivation is that of doubt, curiosity, intrigue, and mystery. With the Sun illuminating, the Moon rejuvenating, and the Earth protecting, what is there to promote us to grow, develop, and learn? If everything is handed to us in infinite wisdom, then why are we pressed to learn more? This is what the believers of Shadow believe his purpose is. To help us utilize the gifts of Sun, Moon, and Earth to further ourselves. He sees what we cannot, and entices us to see through his eyes.
Yes, I was raised with this oral tradition, and yes, I believe in it. That aside..
Hierarchy of Deities
Our world is so complex, what if no one is actually wrong? What if we are simply little pieces that are part of a much bigger world that we cannot see?
The lowest of the Deities would be able to manifest on our physical plane and interact with us as any other person could.
Then there would be the Deities who shape and nurture our world.
Above them are the Deities who attempt to balance the cosmos.
These are just idle thoughts of a woman who has just seen a being known as a God, but it may be worth some thought.