The Five

Gods of Elysium; known as "The Five"/"The Pentacle"

The Five are a remnant from a world now lost to these wolves, each one a symbol of the changing seasons and the ever-shifting circumstances around them. Houtu of note is considered chief among them, Head of the Pentacle, also known as the Great All-Mother to creation and often the most frequently worshiped as a result; whereas those who seek special favor may pray to the associated deity, whether it be to return a bountiful harvest during famine or grant protection against the harsh elements, and may find themselves blessed with special gifts associated with the god in question for their devotion.

Houtu (“Queen of the Earth”), All-Mother, “Earth” element - Associated with the color yellow and taste as a sense. Laidback, easygoing, friendly, sweet, easily satisfied, humble and kind, tolerant. Primary worship during the New Year and minor celebrations such as birthings and festivals.

Sylvanus (“of the woods”), Spring, “Wood” element - Associated with the color green and vision as a sense. Dominant, aggressive, competitive, fearless, adaptive, intolerant. Primary worship during the Spring Equinox.

Rhys (“fire”), Summer, “Fire” element - Associated with the color red and speech as a sense. Easily excited, extroverted, friendly and playful, sensitive, talkative, and enjoys attention and physical contact. Primary worship during the Summer Equinox.

Aether (“wind”), Fall, “Metal” element - Associated with the color white and smell as a sense. Aloof, independent, quiet, organized, confident, and consistent. Primary worship during the Fall Equinox.

Nivia (“snow”), Winter, “Water” element - Associated with the color black and hearing as a sense. Timid, introverted, solitary, hesitant, fearful, and observant. Primary worship during the Winter Solstice.
The Versing
Within the loving embrace of the Five, all may seek redemption. Whatever one's background, whatever one's sins; all are washed away in the holy light of the Pentacle and their benevolence, should a wolf truly feel remorse for their actions and at last seek true change. While most worship the All-Mother in her greatness, some may choose to devote themselves to another deity of the Five entirely; it is said that with enough prayer and patience, one may eventually begin to perform feats and great works otherwise thought impossible to unbelieving mortals.

Wolves may be initiated into their newfound faith in a ritual involving the consumption of herbs said to elevate the spirit to the celestial plain. When the initiate has successfully come out of their fervor, they are given the title of Acolyte, and from then on are gently guided to nurture their natural talents in hopes of discovering which god may have chosen the Acolyte to bear their gifts.

The Sin
The Five are merciful, but they are also just. Those who continue to joyfully sully themselves in sin are cast out from the gods' favor and thus their pack, cursed to roam the earth and barred from basking in the blessings of their deities; no light shines from within these wolves, for they are branded in shadow. Those versed in the Pentacle's ways may often tell a cursed wolf by simply looking into their eyes.
The Order
Faith is tied as closely to ability as it is rank within the pack. As each wolf is initiated into the fold, it usually doesn't take long for their abilities to become known - and whose gifts they have been granted. Each rank is related to a specific deity, and as members prove themselves ever more worthy of their talents, they may then gain the moniker of Blessed before their title.

The Divine, however, have reached the highest form of spiritual ascension; there may only be one wolf associated with each deity worthy of holding this station among the clergy, and they are capable of conducting rites and ceremonies in the stead of the High Priest(ess). Their wisdom and closeness to the gods is to be respected and revered, for these wolves have the light of the Five in their souls.

Clergy of the Pentacle

High Priestess - Face of Houtu, rite-giver and ceremonial lead.

The Divine - Those few individuals who have achieved truly incredible feats with their abilities, and are considered closest to the gods. They may conduct most events and assume the duties of the High Priest(ess) when otherwise unavailable or elsewhere.

The Blessed - Well-versed in their skill, these wolves have proven themselves worthy of recognition in the light of the Five.

Spiritwalker, those blessed by Aether - Offers exceptional personal counsel and spiritual guidance; may also have a gift for reading a wolf’s future or history.

Thornweaver, those blessed by Sylvanus - Holds general knowledge of most herbs and various poisons; skilled in healing and altering mind-states.

Windseeker, those blessed by Nivia - Skilled in avoiding detection and known for their swiftness; excels in the hunt.

Shadowsbane, those blessed by Rhys - Strong in battle and stoic in dire circumstances; adept at forming stratagems.

Acolytes, initiates whose talents have remained yet undiscovered.
Events; Seasonal
Houtu’s Howl - To celebrate the turning of the new year, the pack assembles all together within the territory to spin vibrant tales and relish in the time that has passed. Feasting and merrymaking are required, and as the moon reaches its highest, all lift their heads in unison and sing to the gods their wishes for the coming year. The 'winner' gets to sing solo and give the final speech.

Bounty of Sylvanus - Spring heralds the welcoming scents and lush blossoms of new life, thus an herbology class is taught by the highest-trained shamans in their profession. A scavenger hunt (decided through dice rolls) is held to acquire rare and valuable plants as a way to increase the Temple's stores, and at the end of the day, those who wish to bond with and open their spirits to Sylvanus’ guidance are encouraged to consume ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine.The winner of the scavenger hunt may have the opportunity to move up a rank.

Trials of Rhys - On the first day of summer, when the sun rises hot in the clear skies above, a sparring tournament is arranged. Each wolf must face their opponent in a fair fight, and the last one standing may take on the duties of the previous fighter chosen to lead and train their packmates in the ways of battle. The winner of the tournament may have the opportunity to move up a rank.

Aether’s Cunning - As crisp air settles in over the retreating greenery, an afternoon gathering is organized where one wolf is elected to be Aether and must find their packmates, who are to try and remain hidden until the sun sets below the horizon. The last wolves undiscovered are victorious and may be given special missions to seek strangers in other lands. If Aether is victorious, the same reward is given. All winners are also to be given an undisclosed gift from Amaranth.

Shadows of Nivia - The bitter winds of winter mean the thinning of herds and hungry bellies; a pack hunt is organized, with the participants allowed to pair in teams of two. The pair who returns with the greatest kill earns the right to lead their own hunt, choosing whatever territory they prefer and the prey of their choice.The winners may have the opportunity to move up a rank.

Events; Other
Weddings - Weddings are a special occasion, and conducted with great ceremony. A large feast is traditionally held, wreathed in sweet-smelling herbs and rare florals, and the finest kill - often an unblemished deer - is selected as the centerpiece for the great table. The chosen Priest (or Priestess) will approach and give both the Bride and Groom their blessing beneath the Five, then moving to pierce the throat of the great kill and trailing a crimson streak of fresh blood from the tip of the mated pair's noses almost up to their foreheads. This is concluded with a final, ceremonial howl of affirmation.

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