Tredeion is a religion commonly practiced on the continent of Adelaar.
People tell tales about the land and its past, the determination and destruction which shaped its shape. Whether gods roamed the land or one god ruled it all, if the Sun was the cause or the roots beneath the surface. But that, that is not the story we believe is true.
Father Tree and the child
"Bidh a' chraobh ag atharrachadh a duilleagan ach cha bhi a freumhan gu bràth."
(The tree changes its leaves but never its roots.)
Allow me to tell you the creation of the world.
Once when the world was an empty wasteland nothing grew and the world was silent. Waves would not roar and bees would not buzz. In this nothingness a light would shine in the middle of it all, growing day by day into a bright glowing seed. Years would pass as this seed grew into a grand tree with evergreen leaves, and life grew. The tree created the greatest of mountains and the deepest oceans, from the smallest river to the biggest fields. He created the morning and the night, the dew and the clouds. Although the tree was powerful and keeper of the lands it could not see what would become of his creation. So one day he shed his leaves and created a child with them, and gave her the name Elvenia. This child would watch the lands and experience life, rebirth and death alike. Born from the leaves this child would bear the gifts their parent had and with it she would grace the world with bountiful foods to the creatures in need.
"Faodaidh duilleag bheag an saoghal atharrachadh."
(A small leaf can change the world.)
Over the many many many thousands of years she had seen it all, creatures dying, evolving and living again. She saw hurricanes wipe the forests clean and oceans take back what was theirs. She saw saplings grow into trees and flowers bloom and wither. Things started to get boring, so one day she went to the tree and said: ‘’Oh father, you have given me wonderful things to experience! But I am missing something in my life.’’ The tree didn’t understand her at first but reassured her: ‘’My child, do not fear for I will create a creature who will be mighty as a river, but will be as fragile as a flower. They will test the lands and be tested by my will. But do not fear for they will have their own will.’’ As curiosity filled the child she began to prepare the land’s new guests. Having the joy in her body she made the flowers bloom and the weeds grow even higher. The trees would bear fruits and the land would warm up. When the new creatures arrived to the lands they learned to scavenge the world for food and warmth and the child watched in amazement at what these new creatures could do. Over the years the child saw these creatures evolve, claim, build but they always seemed to struggle. The child would return to the tree and said: ‘’What must I do father? The creatures are all I needed but they seem sad and weaker by the day. The fruits I grew are gone and trees I grew were torn down.’’ The tree laughed: ‘’My child, you have seen the world for so long why don’t you help them more?’’ The child looked puzzled. ‘’But I have only seen them from afar. What would happen if they go to war? Would I be able to stand around and watch? Or if their food disappears and they blame me what could I do? Could I let that happen?’’ The tree replied: ‘’So get to know them, Get closer to them.’’ And so the child did. Year by year the child got closer to the creatures. At night she would help the trees bear their fruits and fields grow their weeds. At day she would observe and leave berries to those who were sick or dying in hope to ease the pain and leave with a sweet memory. As the years passed forests were cut down and towns would be built. Some of the creatures even started to believe in some higher power helping them. But the child was tired and returned to the tree again ‘’Father the world is so big and I am so small. How would I ever know it all?’’ The tree replied: ‘’Oh child do not fear for I will create creatures tiny and small to keep an eye on them all.’’ The child relaxed and let of her chill and finally bloomed. Her smile would grow back and the world would warm again. She grew inspired by the creatures building their towns and homes, so she grabbed the land and asked the trees to build her a home for her own needs. Her newly gifted friends would be her eyes and ears letting them roam the earth as dust floating in the wind or lights buzzing in the night.
Some may say the child is still among us, others say it’s a lie.
"Tha leanabh le duilleagan a rugadh bho chraoibh aonaranach ach saor."
(A child of leaves born from a tree is lonely, but free.)
It is said that the spirit of the child lives on in us in slumber, but that it would awake in the darkest of times.
"Is dòcha gu bheil cuid ag ràdh gu bheil sinn gu bhith airson rudeigin math bho àm breith. Tha cuid eile ag ràdh gum faigh sinn taghadh nuair a thèid a h-uile càil a chall."
(Some may say we are destined for something great from birth. Others say we get chosen when all is lost.)
We have lived over many years worshiping the tree and the lands below. In the ages past we spoke of a child, a guide for those who lived and died. Someone who was born from the very own tree who created us all. But something happened that not even the tree nor child foresaw. As the darkest day arrived, a man of greed and steel gathered a group to get the childs gifts for himself. The sun barely hit the treetops as cries would be heard all over the world, tiny cries, long cries and more. In front of the man the child was laying in a pool of her own blood. But as he was reaching for her heart she got pulled in the ground and roots started to slither up the man's legs. Before he realized the roots tightened and smacked the man on the ground before throwing him till none could be seen anymore. As the world calmed down a small sapling would grow where once the child had died.
"Ann an saoghal sannt cha bhuannaich duine."
(In a world of greed, none will win.)
The first Oracle
Now you might be wondering where that leaves us? And how did the oracle come to be? Well let me tell you. As life began to return to the world, the sapling would start to grow faster than average. Some might even say that this was the embodiment of the father tree. One girl was compelled to this small tree and started caring for it, living near it and even sleeping against it. When her eyes closed she believed the tree spoke to her, telling her the stories of the world and its creation. About the good and the bad things and even life and death. After years of listening to the trees stories in her dreams she would one day wake up to find that her arm had a vine around it and that there were flowers in her hair. It was as if nature had chosen.
"Bi aon ri nàdur, mar a tha thu a-nis na mo shùilean."
(Go be one with nature, as you are now my eyes.)
That would be the first oracle to ever roam the earth. Years on years she would care for the tree. And over those years her appearance started to change. Her short rounded ears would get longer and her back would grow small stumps. But in those years she would grow older. In her last few years a sickness befell her and she would be confined to her bed unable to hear the whispers of the trees. As her last wish she wished to be brought to her tree for one last dream. The villagers who were caring for her honored this request and brought her to her tree.
"Chan eil ann am bàs ach bruadar, fear a bhios sinn uile a’ roinn."
(Death is just a dream, one we all will share.)
At the tree it started to speak to her, telling her kind words and promises of things yet to come. As she started to weaken she pulled out a small notebook and said: "I will die today, life has shown me many great things. But now it's time to become one with the tree. The tree felt my illness early on and asked me to write this down. Do not fear, please. I might be gone soon, but one will take my place and pick up where I left." And she slowly pulled out a notebook, and as she smiled looking around those who had gathered her life drained away leaving her body motionless.
The notebook that was left by the oracle only had one sentence written in it.
from fire I will rise
And history was written. At the oracle's ceremony of passing her embers seemed to be following a path on the wind before landing on the forehead of a young woman leaving a 3 leaf mark on their forehead. And a new oracle was chosen.
Creation of the seasons
We all know the story about how the world started but with that, so the seasons came over the ages.
For a long time the world only knew the eternal summer after the creation of the earth. The lands were not too hot and rain would be just enough. People could say it was paradise.
"Is e àm an t-samhraidh an-còmhnaidh an rud as fheàrr de na dh’ fhaodadh a bhith."
(Summertime is always the best of what might be.)
As the world began, the tree could not see what had become of the world he created and thus he shed his leaves creating a child to roam the earth and be his eyes.
"Is e an fhoghar an dàrna earrach nuair a tha gach duilleag na fhlùr."
(Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.)
The tree created many wonderful things over the many thousands of years. But what made the heart of the child bloom changed the world. The flowers would bloom again and trees would bear fruits again and the land would warm up again.
"A bhith làn de shòlas an earraich, bho bhreith a 'fàs bho earrach gu earrach.
(To be full of the joys of spring, from birth growing from spring to spring)
Over the years guarding the creatures of the land the child grew tired. Crops would stop growing, trees would be bare and flowers would not bloom. The world grew colder almost as if it was in a sleeping state. Over the past years people warmed themselves by lighting candles and fires in their home. This in respect to the child and to let her rest.
"Tha an geamhradh gu math coltach ri gaol neo-dhìolta: fuar agus gun tròcair."
(Winter is much like unrequited love: cold and merciless.)
The natural order
Over the years father tree arranged these seasons so the world would not lose its balance and as of today the cycle will be:
The ceremonies for those who passed
"Feumaidh sinn uile bàsachadh agus pàirt a ghabhail anns a 'chearcall beatha a chruthaich a' chraobh dhuinn. Chan eil annainn ach creutairean de a dhuilleagan."
(We all must die and participate in the circle of life which the tree created for us. We are but creations of his leaves.)
Ritual for the poor
If a person stripped of any wealth, home or bedding dies to the laws of the world, nature would take the body back and embrace it again on the other side.
- If a poor person’s body has been found and there are no ways to tie it to a family or home kind people would lay the body under a tree and lay branches on the deceased person’s eyes.
- When having died and there is a way to tie the person back to a home or a family the body would be put under a tree and covered with moss. Giving them the last decency.
Ritual for the common and the rich
"Tha sinn mar phàirt de chearcall. Aon latha feumaidh sinn na cnuimhean a bhiadhadh."
(We are part of a cycle. One day we must feed the worms.)
Those who know a home, a family or a bond, we all are tied to the natural ways of the world. What has come must eventually go. Wealth should not pay a role in that. By common practice we bury our dead to feed them back to the world. When we pass away from an illness or normal cause it is customary to place a berry in both palms of the person and one in the mouth. This has been done for ages and it is believed to have been done by the child of the tree since the beginning of time. Some people even claim that sometimes when it’s forgotten, that there would be berries laying at the feet the next morning. The first day after the passing of a person it will be laid down on an altar and prepared in the ways stated above. The closest living person to the deceased will keep guard until burial. This has been speculated to have been done by the child of the tree since the beginning in fear of the deceased being afraid to go alone. On the first night after passing candles will be put on each corner of the altar to light the way for the spirit to connect back to the grand tree and when the morning comes the burial will be held. The common location will be a forest but it has also been done in meadows and fields near the big tree. The burial is a simple one as the deceased will be lowered in a shallow hole and afterwards covered with the same soil which was taken out of the hole. This is to be done without a casket so that the body can feed the ground again and take part again in the circle.
- The amount of berries placed in the palms can differ with levels of wealth as well as the kind of berries.
- A berry plant is often planted on top of the grave to locate the grave more easily resulting in various berry fields.
Ritual for the noble
If a noble dies they have a choice in their burial and will be asked to state it when dying of an illness. If the death comes suddenly the remaining family or friends will decide their fate. When it’s decided to do a noble ceremony a bonfire will be prepared for the deceased and the person will be stripped of all their clothes and personal belongings. The body will be covered with clothes made of leaves and be placed on top of the bonfire. On the first night the bonfire is lit and the body will be burnt to ash, the parts of the soul will rise up in burning embers and fly to their destined spot in the sacred ground. The rest of the ashes will be collected on the next morning and will be spread in the forests by those of family, friends and those who want. There will not be a period of mourning for this burial and there will be 10 days of celebration in the days passing. The first 5 days are there to celebrate their life and the last 5 days will be there to celebrate their return to the father tree.
- On each day of the 10 days of celebration a candle will be lit. These are often decorated with leaves of berry bushes or berries will be placed around the candle.
- The leaves used to prepare the clothes are commonly fallen leaves from the grand tree. Although if the tree does not provide it is common to use the leaves of fallen trees.
- A noble can write down their decision on burial even before passing before getting sick. In common tongue this is called Miann bàsmhor (Deathly wish)
Ritual for the elders
As an elder you are the closest to the tree and highest in rank. It is said that these people were chosen at birth by the father tree. Elders will be burnt the same way as the nobles will but their bodies will leave a pillar of embers floating to the sky illuminating the light before settling in the soil below. Their soul will travel through the soil and live on in the branches of the father tree
- The void in the board of elders will be filled up by the one who would be burnt by an ember during the ceremony leaving behind a mark.
- Instead of 10 days of celebration there will be 4 days of mourning if the elder was loved, and would continue with 10 days of celebration. This will not change if the elder was of evil’s will.
- Elders who died of their own evil’s will will not get this burial and instead will get the burial meant for prisoners
Ritual for the prisoners
Even in a land where the days are perfect, those of evil’s will must exist. As the circle exists those of evil must die one day or another. Although there will not be a glorious return to the soil or a burning rite. Those who have died to evil’s will or have died in prisons will be stripped of all of their possessions and clothes and will be hung on top of the highest mountain or hill and with time will be eaten by vultures and other scavengers. If their body gets eaten fast it means that there was some good left in them. Although on the other side if the body barely gets eaten or it gets eaten slowly it means that their body and soul were truly evil. Those who the vultures refuse to eat would be left hanging until the worms would take them down to the earth.
- It is common for those of kind hearts to cut down those who won’t be eaten. Giving them their last bit of decency
- It is common for prisoners with a death sentence to be hanged from their feet on top of the mountains, to be left to die while being eaten while alive.