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Weekly Shiryo Update from The Shiryo Team #56

Attention Wolfpack!

Prepare to be enchanted by today’s update!

This week’s article is coming straight from the fingertips of the man behind the Lore of Shiryo, our talented in-house writer, Steve.

Our esteemed writer, Steve, unveils mesmerizing new Shiryo lore, inviting you into a world of magic and wonder.

Get ready for an exciting read; let’s hear from Steve!

Hey Wolfpack, Steve here!

Today, I’m thrilled to dive deeper into the captivating lore of the Garden Order, building on the glimpse I shared in a previous update.

For those of you who need a quick refresher, the Garden Order is a Religion based on worship and protection of the Mother Tree, the great structure that stands tall in the Munsay Flatlands.

It provides a healthy bounty of fruit and mana to the land, making it great for farming and growth. It helps make this land the bread basket of Edrea so all can partake in the fruits of its labour.

Even though the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world, with humanity on its last legs, I’ve always believed that such a world needs a rich past.

By understanding what it was like before the fall, we can better appreciate the echoes of that history in the present.

These settings and events shaped the world and influenced how it grew (and eventually fell).

The world before the fall still leaves its mark even in the present setting. Old memories linger in a Lycan’s mind, and the ruins of once-proud cities now serve as the new homes for those who contributed to their destruction.

There is no present without the past and certainly no future without either. So, without further ado, here is the Garden Order.

Garden Order

This Order was created to protect and serve the Mother Tree, but in the years following its inception, it grew to become a full-fledged religion that spread to nearly all residents of the Munsay Flatlands.

Whilst its worshippers among the general populace don’t need to adhere to any particular responsibilities, there were laws put in place by the Order that the people are forced to follow, regardless of their nationality.

One such rule forbids entrance to the Motherwood, the forest surrounding the Mother Tree.

This rule was instituted to preserve sacred ground from those who may seek to cut down its trees or harvest its fruit and herbs for their own gain.

Any bounty found in this forest is routinely gathered by people known as Gardeners or ‘Greenthumbs’ to those who choose a less formal approach to their naming.

These Gardeners are members of the Order who are trained in the way of harvesting these fruits and herbs with minimal impact on the land around it, carefully taking exactly what they need without damaging anything in the surrounding area.

Other key roles found among the Order are as follows:

Custodian

Even though nature’s path should never be interrupted, it can sometimes be offered a guiding hand so that its constant growth doesn’t rampage through human civilization.

Custodians are the caretakers of the Motherwood, tending to its plants and trees with great care. They receive extensive training on how to guide nature without causing significant disruption, often relocating certain animals to parts of the territory where they are needed more.

Although Custodians do not gather like the Gardeners, they often accompany them to ensure that the natural Order remains relatively undisturbed, taking only what is necessary.

The custodian is a role only open to women, as ancient texts and doctrines told them that, like the Mother Tree itself, only women can truly know how to care for and feel for the nature around them.

Sure, men could be taught, but it would never come as naturally to them as it does to women, who have an innate affinity for the careful and loving guidance that they want to provide.

In the texts, men are described only as destroyers and defenders, and this definition has guided the process of the Order since its inception.

Garden Knights

Things held in such divine reverence as the Mother Tree and any artefacts related to it need to be protected.

Some would argue that, especially now, during an era of peace, there isn’t much threat to the great structure, but the Order isn’t willing to take that chance.

A divine tree needs hallowed protectors, and the Garden Knights fulfill this role perfectly.

Once they join the Order, these holy defenders are forbidden from leaving the Motherwood. Violating this rule is considered heresy and punishable by execution to safeguard the Order’s secrets.

If they are not training, they are always patrolling the sacred forest, vigilantly watching for any threats lurking in the shadows.

In the conflicts of years past, no enemy force has ever advanced into the Motherwood as the valiant and powerful Garden Knights have cut down any threats that have ever tried to breach that sacred border.

Once the curse fell over Edrea, the knights were pitched into endless war against the savage beasts, and the blood of man and wolf alike spilled over the roots and flowers.

When the Final Spell turned against humanity, the new beasts that arose proved too much for the Garden Knights. Despite their heroic efforts, they were eventually wiped out by their opponents’ sheer elemental power.

High Priestess

This role stands at the peak of the Garden Order, a voice that rings louder than all others.

As the order has always been a matriarchy, there have only ever been women elevated to this position, most of whom have hailed from the village of Rosewater.

In addition to leading the order, the High Priestess must be an accomplished mage with mastery over the Earth element, enabling her to commune with the Mother Tree.

The method of this communion is a closely guarded secret known only to the High Priestess.

Besides communing with the Mother Tree, the duties of the High Priestess include:

  • Leading worship.
  • Overseeing the preservation of the Motherwood.
  • Passing down holy decrees to the populace and, most importantly.
  • Taking care of the people of Munsay.

There are whispers among the land about more covert duties that the High Priestess undertakes, but none have managed to ascertain any details or truths about the nature of these duties so far.

Founding of the Order

In the early days before the nations of Edrea were established, scattered tribes still explored and settled the land.

Those who crossed Munsay gravitated towards a great and proud tree that stood far above the rest. Soon, settlers from all across the land migrated their villages closer to this great structure, also feeling the strange pull that attracted so many others.

It wasn’t long before these people began to openly worship the tree, even going as far as to spend their days tending to the forest despite their usual list of work for that day.

Soon, all tribes had put aside their squabbles and unified in worshipping what they came to call the Mother Tree due to the healthy bounty of food and mana it bequeathed unto the land, feeding all visitors.

They continued on blissfully for many years, never feeling the need to claim a name or title for their worship as the people were merely content with just living in service of the Mother Tree.

Some devoted their entire lives to serving the forest, while others resumed normal lives, keeping the Great Mother in their hearts as they went about their daily activities.

It wasn’t until a century later, when the beginnings of towns and cities began to sprout across the surface of Edrea, that some felt the need to solidify their devotion, to make it official in some capacity, in an attempt to legitimise it in the eyes of their neighbouring nations.

A council of the most devout worshipers came together to negotiate this new change and this resulted in the creation of the Garden Order, with a prominent woman named Eden naming herself the first High Priestess.

There were those who resisted the concept of the Order, feeling that doing so muddied the splendour of gods with the chaotic affairs of humanity, but as years passed, those voices slowly died out and made room for the unified cries of worship seen across Munsay today.

Things changed rapidly with the inception of the Garden Order.
New laws and rules were swiftly enacted, Friargarden was constructed, and people were recruited to fill it.

The forest where children loved to play became forbidden to enter, and the only passage to the great structure was through a heavily guarded gate in Mother Embrace.

People questioned whether this was the will of the Mother Tree, if she wanted this new nation of acolytes to throw up an invisible wall around her domain, or if this was just the darkness of greed creeping its way inside a faith that was once so pure and free.

These questions are asked in dark corners of taverns and homes, and such words are not looked upon with warm hearts by those who stand at the top of the Order.

An interesting concept, isn’t it?

People were brought together by a tree that exuded some kind of influence that drew people towards it, growing to both love and revere this incredible structure.

Do the people genuinely love the Mother Tree, or are their minds lulled into it by some ethereal connection stemming from the tree itself?

Was the Order created with pure intentions in mind, or is something lurking beneath the surface, a shard of man’s darkness corrupting what was once a place of warmth for many?

There is much more to explore than what I have written here, but I can’t give you all of the answers.

I merely give you the tools to ponder it for yourself when you step into the land of Edrea and explore what it has become.

This is all I have for you guys this time!

I hope you enjoyed this deeper peek at the lore surrounding one of Edreas’s nations, even if it is just a piece of the greater tapestry.

But before I go, I will share a taste of the possible lore that comes your way next: The great Pirate Clans of Ganasea…

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