|Date of birth:||Unknown (81,425 B.S.R.)|
|Age:||Unknown, believed to be thousands of years old (83,425)|
|Language(s):||Ornis can communicate with any creature.|
|Occupation(s):||Goddess of Vengeance and the Sky|
|Status:||Unknown, believed to be in Maram|
Work In Progress
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|“||The winds are my cloak, the thunders my rod. To those who despoil this sacred world, I promise more interesting times.||”|
Ornis the Eagle is the patron Beast God of Maram. Her Temple, The Eyrie, dates back to the pre-Pharaonic era. Her following is greatest in Maram and its territories south of the Aushjar Forest and the hill country of Ngyrra.
The Eagle is a mighty predator, unquestioned ruler of the sky. The sight of her terrible majesty in full splendor is enough to strike even the most hardened hearts with a sense of deep fear and awe. Her cries proclaim the absolute sovereignty of the natural order and fill listeners with a deep sense of dread. The flapping of her wings beats out storms to scour the landscape. Her glistening gold-amber feathers are impervious to mortal weapons, and her midnight-black claws and beak can tear through solid rock like paper. She can change her size from small enough to sit on a human arm to as large as a roc, but she has no reason to ever debase herself by doing so.
From her place in the sky, the Eagle displays to all her regal status. She is not beholden to anyone, as nothing can hope to touch her as she soars upon the Great Winds. She sits between the earth and sun, and holds court with the moon and starts. As the ultimate predator, the mortal races are beneath her notice, their pebble kingdoms nothing compared to her might. She has traveled the whole earth, according to her whims, and has seen more than any ever will. Who can match her?
The Eagle's priesthood proclaims the virtues of Pride, Freedom, and Stewardship. The Proud are those who earn their own keep. They will not be bow to the whims of lesser creatures, to make obsequies to mice and sheep. They are Free, free to reject arbitrary social customs and the wishes of others in pursuit of a higher and more nobler goal, the realization of their full self. Sheep huddle together in fear in their pens, letting themselves be brutalized by the Hounds who swear to protect them. Rats cower in their holes, waiting for scraps to fall into their slackjawed mouths from above. Eagles fly above such lesser creatures, beholden only to the power of their will and their wings.
From vested self-interest, the truly righteous care for the earth and uphold natural law. Cruelty is the mark of a small and limited mind, and despoilers disrupt the serenity of nature as a crutch for their inability to fly and be free. Noble hunters need no earthen walls or iron rods to rule. Their will and power are enough. Earthly trappings are to be renounced as the crutches they truly are, and mankind is to return to the natural order, where the only ones who rule are those who deserve it. Maintenance of the earth demonstrates the wisdom and worth of the mighty, who ensure that they can take whatever they want from the earth's rich bounty.
Most worship of the Eagle consists in acknowledging her majesty. Churches to her have open roofs, where worshipers pray with their hands spread open to the sky and the elements. When she announces her presence with her scream, the faithful kneel to the ground and proclaim her virtues. She is a favorite god of hunters, who often symbolically raise the first bite of every meal towards the sky in acknowledgement of her supremacy. Offerings of meat and arrows are sometimes brought to her priesthood, who feed their eagles and restock their quivers with these tributes.
The more fervent believers may seek to join her priesthood. This is not an easy task. From the very beginning, attendants of the Eagle are expected to manage themselves and keep up, to fall or fly. There are no half-measures and no second chances, and only the most self-sufficient and self-assured will thrive in this grueling environment. Trained as hunters, Eagle priests dress in comfortable but functional garments of gray, green, or brown, sometimes decorated with feathers and other trophies. They carry bows and knives to attend to their needs, and they can often be seen stalking through the Aushjar forest, ranging over the Ngyarran foothills, or running down prey on the streets and roofs of Maram. They are often accompanied by their companion birds, trained raptors with whom they share a deep and special bond. Typically taciturn and disdainful, members of the Eagle cult only show interest in those who have proven their ability to them.