The Tuathan elves recognize two forms of Calling – one that stems from within, and another that calls from without. Irisûr and cyrété both represent a call to action, but they differ in their source and their purpose.
Irisûr are born of ancient traditions, cultural and racial. Tuathan elves’ long lives, powerful bloodlines, and carefully maintained traditions cause them to have internalized many of the cultural expectations. These appear as irisûr.
Irisûr can take two forms – a benign form of knowing about oneself. This includes knowing one’s status in the community, bloodline rights, and a tendency towards a type of magic. These are understandings and reminders from a long-lived race of what is right and wrong for your family, and hints towards one’s own individual path.
The other form of irisûr is a compulsion to behave a certain way in common with tradition. It is a compulsion that comes from within, from the bloodline, and thousands of years of culture. Some common irisûr of this type are:
- killing of orcs – Tuathan ancient enemies
- killing of demons and drow- Tuathan ancient enemies
- recognition and respect to the Royal family
- trusting and defense of elves, family, and Companions (once a companion bond has been made)
- singing of songs, including Songs of the Root
- striving for good
- preference for travel in the woods
- seeking of knowledge/understanding/enlightenment.
Irisûr do not have to be followed – a strong will can overcome the irisûr. But it is difficult to defy these traditions, and most of them already align perfectly with an elf’s intentions, due to upbringing, training, and natural inclination. Additionally, some of these irisûr may be stronger in one bloodline than another. A family bloodline that has been mages for centuries might be more prone towards seeking of knowledge than the killing of orcs. However, in a battle, they would still feel compelled to destroy the orcs first, and would never trust them.
Cyrété are callings that are drawn to someone or something outside of oneself in order to create a bond. In fact, as opposed to irisûr where the calling stems from a knowing of oneself within the traditions or culture, cyrété is often a calling to do something outside of the usual or without one’s self-knowledge. Cyrété represent a stronger pull towards something that is in affinity with yourself – either a person, a thing, or a path. Elves treat cyrété as part of the great story that is being told, and part of their seeking of the Brightness.
The most common cyrété is the calling of one person towards another for the purpose of love and bonding. Elves are by no means hindered by the social mores of mortal culture and will entertain love and relationships as part of the beautiful experience of living. However, many elves may experience a cyrété, at which point the two elves are drawn together in a bonding of a one on one relationship to the exclusion of others. It is a calling in a direction that is best for both parties; much like a certain puzzle piece fits another – when it is found, it provides a sense of relief and completion.
There are other forms of cyrété as well – some elves feel cyrété towards a profession or an art, such as weaving or music - these are often combined with irisûr – a knowing of one’s own talents – but do not have to be. There are also cyrété that call for a bonding of a group of elves for a purpose – as Companions or a Fellowship. The bonding that occurs between familiars and mages, or of druids and animal companions are also a form of cyrété. Thusly, cyrétécreates connections between people and things that transcend usual friendships and create life-long bonds. These bonds often provide heightened abilities and knowings of each other that benefit the others.
However cyrété cannot be faked or forced. Elves may travel together or couple for all of their lives and never experience a cyrété towards each other, or towards anyone. It is something beyond divining or planning, and cannot be created. It is there, or it is not.
Cyrété can also be ignored with willpower, but not without loss, and possibly only temporarily, depending on the power of the cyrété. A powerful cyrété will cause the one separated from the other to feel pain and longing, and may even affect them physically or mentally until they recognize and reconnect with the other bound.
The most powerful cyrété that the Tuathans share is The Bonding with the Tuathan lands. The Bonding was facilitated by celestial powers, but all Tuathans spilled blood to the land, and their combined powers with the land drove away its assailants. A cyrété of unknown limits was created in this action. This also created a minor bonding between Tuathans by virtue of their powerful bond to the land itself. Thus, the Leylament exists, such that an elf far from the homelands will experience a growing longing that is rumored to be fatal if ignored.
Other Cultures and CallingsEdit
Both cyrété and irisûr are not particular to elves – they are equally applicable to other races of the world, but are not called the same names. The ideas of Callings are not as understood (if such a thing could be said about cyrété) outside of Elven culture, and are often attributed to divine intervention, intuition or other terms. Elves have just had enough time to contemplate the sources and differences in the two Callings, which provides clarity in how to respond. Many a tale has been told of humans who easily mistake irisûr for cyrété, or the reverse, or confusing other emotions for a Calling (i.e., lust or love for a cyrété Calling to Bond, or hatred for an irisûr.) This usually results in dramatic circumstances for bards to recount. Both irisûr and cyrété are more powerful than typical emotions, and require understanding, and perhaps faith, above a passing whim.