There is wind and there is Wind. The Gracious Wind, as they call it. Don't worry, you'll get the difference soon enough— anyone with at least a gram of magic would. For us, sorcerers, the Wind is truly the worst enemy there is. And worst of all, it's no secret to those fanatics, who are always waiting for a moment to attack when the sorcerer is at his weakest.The Gracious Wind is a phenomenon key to the existence of Windrule as we know it. Worshipped by followers of both the Church of Three Prophets and the Old Church as well as numerous sects stemming from the two, it can be easily called the main deity of the Old World. In those religions, the Gracious Wind is considered to be none less but a creation of God himself and a psychical representation of his will, often called the God's avatar by his more pious followers. As such, the church insists strongly on the Gracious Wind being a phenomenon of divine origin and not a supernatural one, pouncing hard on any scholar who would dare to assume otherwise.
At a glance, the Gracious Wind doesn't seem to be any different from a usual wind. In fact, even the most experienced sailors would often confuse the two. The only distinct feature of it is a strange sensation within a person that can hardly be described using words. That sensation is believed to stem from the divine nature of the Gracious Wind, a feeling of being able to touch an embodiment of God's will. The stronger the Wind is, the stronger and more clear is the unique feeling created by it, although almost all people get accustomed to certain levels of it — the levels that they are exposed to on a daily basis, noticing only the significant changes in the Wind's power. Some people are also more sensitive to this phenomenon than the other, a feat due to which Kimnans are often welcomed aboard the ships planning a long voyage. The real manifestation of the Gracious Wind, however, is the one that can't be captured by a human eye. It is widely believed, and not without reason, that the Wind cleanses the world of all things supernatural and magic. Sorcerers lose their powers and turn into ordinary humans, while supernatural beings struggle to use their abilities and may even have health problems caused by a lack of magic. The scale of those effects depends on the strength of the Gracious Wind, and a full-on storm can often force even the mightiest sorcerers and mythical beings to hide from it, for even they would feel powerless before the might of the Wind.
If the Wind was really created by that God of Ordonians, we should all thank him for at least confining most of it on their own continent. They're already aggressive enough, I don't want to even begin to imagine what would've happened to all of us without magic.The Gracious Wind is believed to be born on top of the Misty Falls. According to the explorers who managed to find their way up there, the Wind only blows south, towards the Ordonian soil below, and quickly disappears should one decide to go north instead. While this phenomenon is very strong across the entire continent of Ordonia, it is especially prominent in the Grand Sand Sea surrounding the Misty Falls. In fact, those regions barely have any normal wind at all. However, the Gracious Wind weakens further south and becomes much more unstable, sometimes changing from dead calm to a storm in a matter of days or even hours. It also starts to vary incredibly across the area, creating places that tend to be either calm or windy most of the time, such as the Windless Haven. Moreover, the Wind often takes some odd forms, affecting closely located areas in a very different manner at the same time.
Humans managed to turn even such a seemingly neutral thing as wind into a subject of worships and wars. We really are hopeless, aren't we?While the ability of the Gracious Wind to negate magic is rarely disputed by anyone, it is not the only belief that people have about the Wind. It is also believed by many commoners and nobles alike that the Wind carries God's blessings and protection for the people of the land, and that land without the Wind is bound to suffer all manners of miseries until the very life there disappears. That issue is one of the main causes of conflict between the two main churches of the Old World, since the Old Church perceives it as nothing but a superstition. The official position of the Church of Three Prophets is that the Gracious Wind is more prominent in places of high piety, and thus it is committing sins against God that causes the Wind to abandon the land. As such, areas with the weaker presence of the Gracious Wind have always attracted close attention from the Church's officials, who often sent missionaries and inquisitors to help bring the sinners back onto the right path. The popular belief about the dangers of living without the Wind only solidifies the Church's standing on the matter.
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