Oath Under Heartree
Beneath the Heartree we stand, beneath the gaze of our gods, to bind our souls and hearts to one another, to promise to love and care for one another until Myrdros takes us and bears us away.Heartrees are sacred trees that can be found across all Arinthel. Different cultures and nations might call them by different names, but all recognise and protect them as holy sites and are used to worship a variety of gods. They are considered to be a direct connection to the gods themselves and therefore are a way to access the gods blessings. Under the eaves of a Heartree, folk gather for a number of different reasons. They might travel to these sites to bring offerings and prayers before the gods in their desperation to be heard and answered. Local festivals and feasts can take place around the base of these trees, with great long tables being set up and strings of gemlights and ribbons hung from the lower branches. During these times, actors and musicians might perform reenactments of popular religious stories as a form of worship and teaching. To swear an oath under a Heartree is to make an unbreakable vow in the sight of the gods. These can take many different forms such as weddings, dedication to a style of life (such as that of a Traveller) and is most often where a King or Queen's coronation takes place. It is a serious offence to break an oath made under a Heartree, and in the Old Days, such folk would literally be branded as an Oathbreaker. This brand would be a mark of someone who cannot be trusted and are often banished as an outcast from their home towns and cities. In Arhia, Heartrees are dedicated to the worship of Kellarhia. The greatest Heartree in all Arinthel can be found in Dosharia and features on their national flag and is a symbol of national pride. These trees are tall with silver-white bark and amber leaves. In the winter their leaves don't drop, but turn a deep shade of purple. No snow or frost has ever been known to encase these trees, making them stand out in stark contrast with their pale surroundings during the winter months.
The Song of the Heartree BirdFor some reason there is only one bird that nests in these sacred trees, and they are only found in these trees. To hear the bird sing is considered to be a true blessing since they are relatively quiet birds. One musician was inspired by hearing the Heartree bird once, and decided to create a flute to mimic the birds song. This flute is used during songs of worship to encourage the birds to add their voices to that of the worshippers so as to be a pleasing sound to the gods ears.
The Colours of Prayer RibbonsThese colours may change depending on the culture and nationality of the household, but these are the most common colours you will find on the Heartrees of Arhia. Yellow: Love
Blue: Good Health
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