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The Whispering Antlers

The antlers spoke to me and I listened. I wiped the blood off of them, listen to their speech and carved in them the symbols which filled my mind. 'We are the gods of the forest. We are the Deer Inside. Speak to us your wishes and we shall reveal the truth.'
— The First Servant of the Woods

History

And, the night before the First day, the First Servant found the antlers of a dying god and the god granted him knowledge and power.
— The Collective Books of History
  It is said that this ritual and way of worship and communication had been discovered when a hunter had stumbled upon a giant, dying deer deep in the wood. As he pulled his stone dagger out and cut into its neck, easing and quickening the inevitable death, a great wind rushed around the two, and it was as if they were caught in the eye of a hurricane, in the peaceful centre as the storm raged on around, but only for a moment. Later, the man was told that the wicked wind was felt as far as the village and tribe they lived in, which was more than a day's walk away.   As the forest calmed once again and the sky became clear, the hunter dropped his knife and stepped away from the wound, which leaked black instead of the usual red, found in most animals, or even the rare blue which drips from the unknown creatures which, despite the size everybody believes they are, still manage to go unheard, across the lands and waters of the region.   The dear moved no more, nor did it take a breath, but it spoke. Its antlers spoke in the man's mind as loudly as if it was speaking next to its ear. He said that it told him to cut the skull and horns lose, remove all skin and flesh and wash it in a nearby stream, and then, should he still feel the presence of another's soul in his mind, he should carefully take the giant skull and the antlers to his people and teach them of the Deers Inside.   The man stopped somewhere, on his way to the village, as it heard the voice again, although different and distant now and saw apparitions of runes and symbols and knew that he ought to carve them into the very bones he had carried. As he did so, new voices joined and new voices spoke and new runes appeared and he knew more about things he had never known could possibly be real.   Thus, he became the Listener and could read and understand the ancient language, lost to his people.   Upon entering his tribe with the skull and the antlers, people stared at him with wonder and confusion and as he narrated the days he had spent in the woods, the skull shimmered and shined brightly and a voice spoke out for a moment, to all of the people, and then never again did it speak to the common men and women of Forjon, except to the Listeners.

Execution

The ritual is used to create either smaller worshipping and Listening altars or is employed in order to create a way of communication between two or more people, and based on the wanted results and uses, the ritual execution may differ.   In order to create a religious altar, used for Listening and other such activities which require special training and a certain rank, one must use the antlers of an animal or a creature he, she or they did not kill themselves. If discarded antlers are used, the effect and thus the praying station may be weaker and so will the ability to Listen to the voices and the symbols and runes that come from it. If antlers attached to a top half or a full skull are used for this ritual, then the effects of all are better.   One must stay isolated for days, alone with the skull, hopefully in the woods, before they are able to hear and see the required runes for the ritual and then execute it. What happens during the ritual may change from person to person, all from the material required to whether or not blood is needed or even what the story written on the skulls is or represents.   If, however, these are to be used for long-range communication, or any such communication, the ritual is then vastly different and quite simple in comparison. One must concentrate on a person or the people they wish to communicate with through the bones as they attack, fight and kill any Medium or larger animal or creature with antlers and must not break from this thought too often or for too long as they separate the flesh from the skull and bathe it. Based on which bones you use and the creature you use, the effects may vary and be inconsistent but it should work fine as long as the mentality is of the right frame.   The symbols are learnt before the kill, unlike in the more religious ritual, and are carved into the bone or bones as soon as possible. While the skull, with or without antlers, or merely pieces of the antler themselves are the best to use, any bone should do just fine, as long as it is of appropriate size.

Components and tools

Based on the situation and wanted uses, one can use anything from animal blood, their own blood, the blood of a dear one, a set of sharp tools or strange ink-like liquids. Weapons may be involved as well. Flowers are rarely used but can be a powerful tool if used with understanding.

Participants

Usually, it is advised that nobody be around, in terms of the religious ritual, but there are no such necessary precautions involved in the latter ritual.

Observance

The ritual is often performed or began on the date when there is no moon.

Related Ethnicities

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