So you want to roleplay a Nature Spirit...
You were born of the aether and somehow made your way to Wailing Rock. Congratulations, and how exciting! So… now what?
First, let’s look at the origins of Nature Spirits according to Wailing Rock’s lore…
Much like Water-Born, Nature Spirits come from where their name implies. Legends go far back to the dawn of civilization - to nature bearing offspring that take a human form to interact with mankind. From the Native Americans to the Celts, there are many varying tales of these beast-kin, elemental-type creatures.
It has been said that in the deep woods, perhaps a ritual had gone awry or completely and correctly spawned the first Nature Spirits. It is also entirely possible that nature chooses, at times, to create such creatures in order to serve a larger purpose. Whatever the case, the fact that they walk among us is without question; however, they have learned to blend into their surroundings so well that humans and many supernatural alike just assume they are a myth. It is also assumed that stories of fae and Nature Spirits are one in the same, when really, they are entirely different creatures altogether. Nature Spirits are not and cannot be born of man. They are created from nature's Vitae itself. Should a Nature Spirit create a child with a human, that child will be human, bearing only physical resemblances.
There is a story of a man who fell in love with a woman near his village. Longing to court the woman, he carved her an intricate trinket of his affections. He always kept it with him, waiting for the right moment to present it to the woman. One day, he noticed that she had headed into the forest, and he decided to follow her there. Moving quietly, he came upon her… and there she was, in her true form. A tall, slender woman, she bore the marks of a shining elf-like figure with skin as smooth as glass, and as flawless as the night sky. When she noticed that he had seen her, she fled from him and he took pursuit, calling out for her to stop. Her slender legs, almost doe-like, hurtled her effortlessly over felled logs, and across the trails they ran. Before he could catch her, she flung herself from a cliff - and upon her fall, seemingly turned into a tree that rooted itself into the cliff face. Despite how much he called to her and begged for her to return to him there was no reply... only the light rustle of leaves in the wind as the breeze passed through the canyon.
He returned to his town and fetched his brother to help gather rope to let him down to try and retrieve his love. His brother soon thought the besotted man was mad upon seeing that there was no woman to rescue, and that his brother wanted to haul up a tree. The man pleaded with his brother, who finally had enough, and dragged the man back to town. When the man got home, he realized that he had lost the trinket he had made for the woman. Deciding he must have dropped it in the woods, he retraced his steps, all the way back to the cliffs. Looking over the edge, expecting to see the tree, he was astounded to find that the cliff side was now bare. The brother in love with the Nature Spirit ended up going mad - until his dying day, he rattled on about his beloved.
Today, Nature Spirits do not ever wish to be seen by others in their true form (outside of their own kind or animal kin). They can seamlessly change shape from their human glamour, to that of an animal which is native to the area in which they exist. It has been said when you see a lush forest, it is because Nature Spirits are present, working their magic within the woods. They can speak with animals, trees, and even the earth, as well as heal the sick and injured. In their human form, they appear as average humans; though their complexion is usually without flaws. If they choose to take on a form of indigenous nature, they are indistinguishable at a distance and upon closer inspection they still seem to appear normal; however, their features are impeccably clean and symmetrical. In their true form, Nature Spirits come in many shapes and sizes. Some have been reported having deer-like legs, owl-like faces, antlers and horns, and other strange things. However, in their human form, they never, ever show parts of animals on their figure (i.e. tails/ears or other animal traits). If standing still, they can disappear in a shimmer of light. They cannot transform into Lycans - only normal wolves, though they seem to get along well with Lycans in general. They also cannot transform into Water-Born, although the two do seem to have some history together.
Where to Begin
The first decision you’ll want to make when considering a Nature Spirit is your age - are you a new Nature Spirit, or have you existed since the dawn of time?
Dawning Nature Spirits
If you’re new, you’ll probably find that the world is a strange, loud place. Who put all these mechanical, noisy, polluted things in the middle of your home? You will most likely be confused, and also very curious about these humans and their creations.
As a dawning Nature Spirit, you may struggle to adapt to your surroundings, and how to hide what you are. You will need to learn to get by as a Nature Spirit, and will rely upon fellow Nature Spirits, and nature itself, to teach you. You will need to learn to control your desire to shift change, to choose appropriate forms, and how to interact with other beings without revealing your true identity.
Elder and Ancient Nature Spirits
If you are an elder or ancient Nature Spirit, you’ll come in knowing about a few basics at minimum:
Communing with nature
Strengths and weaknesses of your race (though you may choose to downplay this if you are a younger Nature Spirit)
Nature Spirit Abilities and Weaknesses
Communing with Nature:
As a strength, the Nature Spirit briefly becomes one with nature and gain knowledge of the surrounding territory. In the outdoors, the spell gives you knowledge of the land within one mile of you. In caves and other natural settings, the radius is limited to 100 feet. The spell doesn't function where Nature has been replaced by construction. This ability is also a necessity, which will be explained further below.
Upon finding themselves in situations where they might need to defend themselves, or even attack. Nature Spirits can tap into nature to lend them special abilities (i.e. swing tree branches in an attack, raise roots from the ground to trip an attacker, etc). While the Nature spirit would feel energized during the attack (much like an adrenaline rush), the effects would wear off quickly, leaving the Nature Spirit feeling drained of energy.
For injured characters within short range, Nature Spirits can focus on them, and a surge of positive energy washes through the creature, causing it to regain half its health. The spell also ends blindness, deafness, and any disease, but at great cost to the Nature Spirit's strength for a short time. This spell has no effect on Vampires, as they are undead.
You surround yourself with an illusion of otherworldly beauty. Any creature that can sees you must succeed on a Intellect roll. The spell ends on a creature if you harm it. A creature that relies on senses other than sight or which can perceive illusions as false, is unaffected to this spell.
Nature Spirits have the ability to telepathically connect with anything that shares an animal form, including Lycans in both forms, as well as other Nature Spirits over long distances, using trees or other plants to reach out.
Negating Demonic Effects:
Nature Spirits can negate the effects of demonic corruption. However, this comes at a high cost - not only to their health, but the demon that caused the originating corruption will be able to sense your meddling.
((Please RP accordingly - if you cleanse someone of a PC demon's corruption kindly inform them so they can respond!))
The introduction of contaminants into the natural environment can cause adverse change for the Nature Spirit. These contaminants may be caused by technological, magical, or divine in nature. It should be noted however, that the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Regardless, this will prevent a Nature Spirit from effectively communing with nature, and therefore, will suffer physically if too much time is spent in a polluted area.
Communing with Nature:
As stated before, while this is a strength, it is also a necessity for Nature Born to bond with their natural elements. Enough time devoid of nature with which to bond, a Nature Spirit will simply wither away and die, disappearing into dust.
How do Nature Spirits Uphold the Masquerade?
The masquerade is just that: we are not human, and we hide our existence. All of this depends upon the particular Nature Spirit and how they exist in their natural habitat, of course. Generally, they cover their tracks. They may know each other well, but as soon as one is revealed, all are at risk. In order to uphold the masquerade, Nature Spirits often resort to tactics similar to those below to keep up their vitality:
Seclusion in the woods, far from man
Glamouring those that might suspect something is amiss
Often, Nature Spirits can easily cover their tracks by using their ability to commune with nature to obscure their scent.
How do Nature Spirits Recognize Each Other?
Nature Spirits can feel the presence of the Aether in their fellow beings. Their blood carries a song; a sort of resonance that calls out from within them, which can only be felt by other Nature Spirits.
Other notes about Nature Spirit senses: heightened sense allows you to detect (with consent) wounds and sickness, however - be sure to allow the person to respond in a post that you are attempting to assess the damage.
Nature Spirits are warm-blooded and often very warm to the touch. However, this can easily be explained with common medical reasons: stress, gender, overall health, etc.
What do Nature Spirits Get Their Sustenance From?
Well, nature, of course. Specifically, Nature Spirits can gain nutrients from:
Food and drink. This one is obvious, but the more organic and “clean” the food and drink is, the more benefit for the Nature Spirit
Communing with Nature. This is the fastest and most potent way for a Nature Spirit to regain and /or maintain their vitality. This is also the best way to gain necessary knowledge about their surroundings.
What Dangers Exist in the World for Nature Spirits?
The biggest threat to a Nature Spirit is pollution. Since Nature Spirits must commune with nature on a regular basis to maintain their abilities and vitality, a polluted home would interfere with their ability to do so.
Nature spirits have an intoxicating smell to Vampires, but this is a defense mechanism - a Nature Spirit’s blood is actually quite toxic to Vampires.
While this is true for Vampires, this is not the case for Lycans or Water-Born. Those races may feed freely from a Nature Spirit, though it’s unlikely that a Lycan would choose to do so, as they are in part a sort of kindred race.
Nature Spirits: the Birds and the Bees
As Nature Spirits are created from the Aether, they are not, and cannot be born. This means, of course, that there is no such thing as a “half breed”. Two Nature Spirits may seek out Nature's blessing at the Shrine for a child. Nature Spirits can bear children with Humans, Lycans, Witches and Water-Born, but their offspring will take their genetic traits from their non-Nature Spirit parent. Additionally, because the Aether can be unpredictable and sometimes volatile, this makes reproduction more difficult as a whole.
Differences Between Nature Spirits and Fae
Though some people may assume that Nature Spirits are like Fae, this is simply not the case. Nature Spirits are more closely aligned with beast-kin and/or shifters of the D&D universe.
Nature Spirits do not have magical powers. They can draw energy and healing abilities from nature, and they can call upon nature in times of needed defense.
Nature Spirits do not have the ability to fly, unless in animal form. And again, Nature Spirits can only take the forms of animals or organic materials indigineous to their area.
Nature Spirits do not have the power of invisibility. They can glamor someone in times of need, and they can shapeshift.
No fairy dust.
Nature Spirits are bound to this realm, unless their corporeal form is damaged beyond repair, causing their spirit to retreat to the aether.
No fairy wings. Your true form might have beast-kin or owl-kin like wings (think bats, birds, sugar-glider skin), but you would not have the wings of an insect.
No High Court. There is no Nature Spirit Court, no hierarchy, no counsel. They live in a communal fashion. Their only true guide is the voice of the earth.
That’s it! Do you have other questions that we haven’t addressed here? Bring it up to the staff, discuss in the Nature Spirit channel on Discord, or post it in the Forums, We’ll do our best to incorporate it in the future.
Masquerade and You: Notes
So, you're considering applying to Wailing Rock and when you do, you will need to check a box that states you have read all of the rules, and that you agree to the conditions created by our lore. One of those conditions is that you maintain masquerade - that is, that as a supernatural being, you do not expose yourselves to humans.
But then you think, I'm going to see what happens. Well let me tell you what happens: You die. You die horribly. Along with everyone involved.
Let's think about this logically. You saunter down the street in full view. Yes, you're big and strong, and yes, you might be faster. But you're outnumbered. You're outnumbered by humans who have guns, fire, and the ability to walk in the daylight.
Then all hell breaks loose. Let's say you live - a massive hunt begins, and humans take out anything that even looks questionable. It becomes the top headline on news outlets worldwide. Or, let's say they find you and kill you. They put your body on display. The federal government swoops in and takes your body to Area 51. Worldwide news coverage. Who knows. Either way, you've irrevocably altered the course of humanity, forever.
It's 2019, we're in Washington state. The SL world we exist in is as close to the RL world as possible.
Maintain the masquerade.