World Of CRUX
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RACE
Willow
    +2 to Spirit
    Null Seed
    Spirit Walk
    Resist Stun
GOVERNMENT
Antiauthoritarian
    King Timothy Solcor
SPECIAL
Willows gain a second lifespan
   
RESOURCES
Mystic Wood, Null Seeds
A curse or a blessing?
The Island of August is a grand country of natural beauty, a sylvan paradise for the people living there -- races tied to the land they live on in the most natural of ways. One such race is the Seasonal, a creature whose markings change appearance with each new turn of the cycle. However, these beings are not alone on August, nor are they the only ones of their kind. Willows, Seasonal women dropped into an ether for going against their natural orders, are cursed until the end of their very indecisive lives. Willows, after being cursed out of their existence as Seasonals, wander the space between the Null and the Island of August. These spirit folk take on their own names, casting off all of what they once were. As they change in their curse on their Change-Day, as they so lovingly call it, the Willows lose color, becoming incredibly pale with platinum hair. This makes them appear almost see-through, though they are quite tangible. Willows are mostly female; a male Willow has not yet been seen. On their Change-Day, the god of life, Růt, intervenes to give a small gift to the Willows- double the life as the day they are cursed. If they were 23 Milestones, they have another 23 to live. If they were 39, they have another 39, just so long as they give their lives to the Valerus and to the preservation of August. Having lived fairly simple lives before their curse, Willows begin proficient only in basic weaponry and upon their Change-Day, gain the tenacity to use small and large shields. Only tower shields are out of reach, due to their slight frames. They can move as swift and silent as a breeze through the mortal realms as easily as a Walker can glide through trees. As Seasonals, they had no need for wars, but now that they see August through an outsiderís eyes, they see all the wonders and dangers that surrounded their world. This sight is what allows them to avoid the effects of being Stunned- nothing much phases them and their tenacity allows them to stand firm. When Willows die, they all come together for a Seeding- a funeral. This rite includes the keening of the race as a whole, women standing together, united. Then, at the end of speeches and wailing, they take the deceasedís Null Seed and add it to the Null Cairn, a pile of all the stones of Willows past. This cairn is located in a rift between the Null and the Island of August.

Choosing your Lineage and Profession:
Due to their ability to quickly travel between the Null and August, Willows make wonderful Rogues. As they donít like bothering with other peopleís opinions, this is also a good way to avoid notice, especially on August where youíll only be met with pity and disdain. Due to their stubborn ways, they may also make good shield-bearing Fighters. Due to past experience with magic as Seasonals, however, they may yet remain as Mages and Healers. Some of the most powerful Willows are Walkers, gliding through trees.

Advantages & Disadvantages of being Human:
Advantages- Due to your intimate connection to the Null and its Aspects, you begin with +2 Spirit. You also carry a Null Seed, a reminder of your pact with the Valerus upon your Change-Day.
Disadvantage- You are a social outcast, only letting your guard down among other Willows and similarly strong-willed races. Unfortunately, among other people of the Island of August, you only feel somewhat comfortable with the Souventis, who are still a little kind to you.

Common Knowledge:
This universe has been cruel to the Seasonals, cutting off their lives at 40 Milestones, but that doesnít matter to the Willows, who push back against the cycles of every day, set, cycle, and milestone to live a life they can call their own. There is also an advantage to living on August and being close to the other races, who live in a passive-aggressive silence with one another. If a large enough threat nears August, these circumstances call together all the people of the Island to bond together for the protection of their homeland. There is access to many resources, mostly elemental and arcane, and as a Willow, the aftermath of such over use of the resources is a huge concern. The continuity of natural life, and of the continuation of life in Crux, is of supreme importance for you, as you are an agent of change in the hands of the Valerus.

Theology:
The Willows, like the Seasonals they were before, venerate the Valerus. They are natural gods and goddesses, taking on the elements of the Null and its Aspects. For every god or goddess, there is an equal opposite, and the deitiesí only pride is in keeping themselves and their domains, both physical and Null, in balance. They themselves created this blessing-curse on the Willows, who they saw as agents of change in an otherwise spinning world when they fought against the ever-cycling changes of cycles. Willows are stubborn-willed, fighting for what they and their celestial guides have planned in the world, nothing like the waifs they appear to be. It is common belief among the Seasonals that they are the chosen race of the Valerus, as they are given each aspect in turn with the cycles. They claim their shorter lifetime is a call back to the divine, the deities wanting their chosen people among them in the Null once more. However, as they change into Willows, they lose that notion, having become the chess-pieces of the gods themselves. They therefore have a much closer spiritual notion as opposed to the religious celebrations of their former selves. Often, the Valerus of the cycle in which they are cursed claims them as their own, bestowing a small boon on their new Willow. These boons are very minute and seem to have no value to any other race. Yet, Willows view these small rainbow stones as the greatest gifts- their colors seem to swirl and change with each season as the Null and its Aspects go through their cycles in each Milestone. These Null Seeds serve as a reminder to the Willows of their past and their obligation for the future, where they continue to serve the whims of the Null, under the guise of the Valerus.

Thoughts on the other races of August:
Though August is generally a harmonious land, arguments over centuries have brought up stereotypes and mistrusts. The Willows keep their own opinions, mainly from watching the world around them as outsiders often do.

Willows view Ancients as human children might look upon an estranged grandparent. They know they are not loved like the Souventis are, nor treated like their children as Seasonals are, but still value the opinions of the creatures that have lived for many Lifetimes. Their ability to heal is fascinating and their ability to see more than one course of action is commendable. However, Willows are all too aware that the Ancients detest them for their willfulness in choosing their own path rather than the Seasonal path set before them.

Your people are very fond of these utilitarian draconic guardians and have had a bond since the beginning of Augustís time. It is rumored that, as a Seasonal, you are linked with your Souventis partner by more than just a guardian relationship, but as you become a Willow, it may be a choice of your dear friend to part and find another Seasonal to safeguard. As you are now of more than one plane, they view you as not needing a guardian, though you truly wish they could remain as friends.

Seasonals as a whole are a bit of a pet peeve of yours. They are constantly in their repeating cycles, not even minding how the world turns, focused solely on living in the moment. You broke free from those cycles to choose a life of your own and they cut you out in their pity as you changed. Their blind devotion to the Valerus are their only redeeming qualities in your opinion. Otherwise, they seem two-dimensional to you, and serve no lasting goals. They can eat their own pity.