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Image:Scroll2.png "Nature is our mother. Love her. She will love you back. So too will all her creations."
- Valcontina


The living world is your domain.
Granted byCaiyha
Positive marksThe Ability To Communicate And Manipulate Nature
Negative marksNone
Pos. mark appearanceA Tree Of The Witches' Specific Domain + a triskelion
Neg. mark appearanceNone
Mark locationLimbs - either legs or arms or both depending on the number of ranks.
First markUpon Getting The Goddess’ Attention
ChampionValcontina - Caiyha's High Priestess.

Phylonura is the Gnosis power of Caiyha - Goddess of Flora, Fauna, and Wilderness. Caiyha’s followers are among the minority on Mizahar who can in fact survive without civilization deep in the heart of the wilderness. Caiyha’s followers know the language of Nura, granted to them by their first mark and are thus able to speak to the plants and animals of the world in a universal language all creatures inherently know. Caiyha’s followers often specialize in biomes, which are major regional or global biotic community, such as a grassland or desert, characterized chiefly by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate. They tend to learn their first biome which generally reflects wherever their mark was given. Witches learn additional biomes as they progress upwards in marks, growing in strength as they do so. Phylonurists are unique in that each witch is created strong to begin with. The difference is their strength broadens and expands the more they are marked. A first marked witch is just as strong as a fourth marked witch in a biome they have a mark for. The main difference is that a fourth marked witch can move smoothly about the entire world and be a master within its wilds and urban areas no matter where they are.


How Phylonura Works

Witches are wild creatures, most often found out among their biome.

Phylonurists are often considered ‘witches’. They either move into an area or are already taking up residence within an area and do their best to manage that area to the best of their abilities. As land managers, they are responsible for the overall health and well being of the lands they occupy. Once settled these witches seem to have the ability to integrate themselves into an area completely, bringing that area into balance using Caiyha’s power. This works even on seriously damaged areas (by humans, the Valterrian, wild djed etc) by bringing the plants and animals together in a way that creates a healthier whole - even in the most corrupted wilds. The witches will feel the need to eliminate invasive species, thin or thicken herds, nourish floundering herds, and encourage animals to move in or out of an area depending upon what's needed for the domain's health. These witches, while not always accepted everywhere, are indeed important.

Caiyha uses her Phylonurists as a way to remake the world and care take it within her parameters. The Valterrian was incredibly destructive. Even in the current age where more than five hundred years have passed beyond the Valterrian, the world is still out of balance moreso than most people realize. Systems throughout Mizahar are out of balance. They have been artificially made by wild djed or have been violenty recrafted outside of their intended purpose. That’s where the phylonurist comes in. These ‘witches’ instinctively know, because of their marks, what it takes to groom and transform the landscape into its most productive and healthy aspects. They know which plants belong, which do not, and which animals can immediately help or pose a threat to a delicate ecosystem just on the verge of recovering.

Unlike other gnosis', Caiyha is incredibly generous with her followers. If a witch is doing her job, she often feels compelled to move around and as she moves into a new area after being a caretaker of an old one, she will be additionally marked to provide her insight into her new biome if it is indeed different than her old one. Caiyha often marks followers as children, and sometimes these youngsters are raised in the wild by the wilds themselves. Rumors of wolf packs bringing up children are not unheard of, but each and every one of these wilder children are Caiyha's own. Unlike normal people, Caiyha's followers often have a hard time socializing with normal people and tend to have rather feral traits that are not unlike Kelvics. Called Wilder or Wildlings, these witches will almost always take the side of Nature over People if forced to do so. They can be fearsome creatures, powerful wizards, and sometimes formidable fighters. They have the ability to utilize their landscapes in ways other non-Caiyha followers rarely can do. This group, unlike other non-marked folks, have a unique ability to live wild and survive within the wilds whereas other people would perish.

Even though a witch might be marked with one domain, they often will move throughout their lives if their current domain is healthy and has no further need of them. Their domains, however, will not change until they are further marked by Caiyha. A witch moving into a new domain will often rapidly receive an additional mark which allows her to interact with her new habitat domain if a witch is needed in an area. Otherwise, he or she will have already received an additional mark that will allow her to interact within her new domains before they moved. For example, a Mountain Witch may spend her whole life in Kalea, get marked with a second mark giving her both Temperate and Coniferous Forest domain abilities and she'll move to one of these areas, answering Caiyha's calls to aid regions in crisis or in need of a guardian. Witches in biome domains that are not matching their marks can still be somewhat effective, in that they can speak to the plants and animals in that domain, but they will not have the inherent sense to know what's needed and whats out of synch until they receive the matching biome mark.

The Phylonura Mark

An example of a gnosis mark involving an Ocean Biome.

Each witch has a different mark depending upon what biome she is first marked within, though buried within each motif is a triskelion depicting Caiyha's influence. A desert witch may have a tall cactus or mesquite tree elegantly etched on one of her limbs with a triskelion symbol clearly evident in the whirls of the grass at its base. The base of the tree will further display details about the habitat and the tree or cactus itself may have wildlife or other plant life within it. In the example of the desert witch, her mesquite tree may have a turtle wandering down at its base which would be surrounded by desert flora. A coyote may be howling in the background while a desert wren may be perched in the limbs or on the arms of the cactus. Arctic witches will have arctic motifs. Each type of witch will have an elaborate depiction of their charged location upon their limb. When they receive a second or third or even fourth mark, those motifs blend into additional motifs until they have gnosis marks that ring their limbs like tattoo sleeves. Caiyha's marks are never mistaken for tattoos though. Water actually looks wet and moves fluidly across skin. Leaves on trees dance in the wind. Birds ruffle their feathers. Caiyha's marks are as alive as her living world.

Typically, ocean witches are very attuned to their environment and frequently found living feral along the coastlines or even among the svefra at sea.

Commanding and Controlling Plants and Animals

Like Caiyha herself, Phylonurists have the ability to command and control plants and animals, even insects, that are within their biomes. However, this control varies on the amount of marks a witch has and which biome he or she is in. Obviously, commanding plants is somewhat limited unless they are plants that naturally move or say have an inherent ability to entangle a prey. Venus fly traps, for example, can be ordered to close immediately, but that will do a witch very little good. More common command and control comes with animals. Using Nura and the force of the amount of marks a witch has, Phylonursts can interact with animals which might under normal circumstances fly away or shy away or potentially even devour the witch. The progression is as follows.

  • 1 Mark - Plants and Animals tolerate the witch regardless of biome. They will not attack. They see you as a friend and will defend if you control a biome they dwell within.
  • 2 Marks - Plants and Animals consider the witch part of the grove or pack. They will protect and might even attack if asked, but must do so of their own volition and will.
  • 3 Marks - Plants and Animals consider the witch a leader or alpha. They will obey, if possible, without question.
  • 4 Marks - Witches are considered the ultimate authority and are no different than Caiyha in their eyes.

Biomes: The Habitat Types of Witches

There are a total of thirteen readily identifiable biomes. These biomes are clear cut. There are also biomes that aren't so clear cut, meaning they fall along marginal areas that are often not classified as any particular biome due to their transient nature or relatively small size. Biomes can have an incredible diversity in size, placement, and history. Some biomes are created for just a short period of time during the day or have stood upon Mizahar for thousands of years, untouched even by major events like the Valterrian. Some biomes are larger than others and thus harder to understand and integrate. When a witch has a biome like 'Ocean', he or she will not work with all the seas of Mizahar at once. Instead, they will look at bays, inlets, sections of the Suvan, and all manner of smaller broken down points in order to tackle local and regional problems easier.

  • Arctic Domain - This domain includes tundra, arctic forests, and marginal areas along coastal Mizahar in the northern latitudes near Avanthal. Arctic Witches can interact with a vast array of environments from completely frozen areas to places that get relatively warm in the winter. They often have to deal with marginal edges of oceans and might commonly have an Ocean Biome if they are well into their second marks. Arctic Witches are hardy folk who focus on over hunting, overpopulation, and one of the most difficult to balance systems known on Mizahar.
  • Coniferous Forest - Primarily found in Taldera, Coniferous Forest Witches have been known to be in Kalea and Syliras as well, though not to the extent they are seen in the regions around Spires and Karjin. Dealing heavily with pine, fir, redwood, and other sorts of conifers, these types of witches have multiple layers of habitat to deal with and often have to watch over the canopy health as well as the ground level health in their forests.
  • Temperate Forest - Probably one of the most common types of Phylonurists, temperate forest witches deal with tons of deciduous tree environments that might range from a simple orchard to a complex rolling hill environment like the Cobalt Mountains. Often forced to deal heavily with people, Temperate Forest witches are most likely to be found closer to centers of populations than any other phylonurists because the Urban witches.
  • Grassland - Primarily found in Cyphrus and on the sea of grass, Grassland Witches are often found to be of Drykas blood and generally spend their whole lives on their grasslands. Managing wildfires, guarding predators that sometimes get over hunted, the Grassland Witches are often the first line of defense when it comes to whats best for the people verses whats best for the land. For example, the Drykas might want to see all Glassbeaks dead, whereas a Grassland witch will know how important the glassbeaks are to the environment and will protect them the best he or she can in order to keep the Sea of Grass stable.
  • Desert - Located in Eyktols vast tracks of land, desert witches are a hardy and tough breed. Commonly taken from Chaktawe and Benshira stock, these individuals seem to survive and even thrive in Mizahar's most brutal climates. Water conservation, range management, predator control, and even erosion issues plague these witches who are some of the hardest working individuals on Mizahar.
  • Mountain - While found throughout Mizahar, Kalea is the undisputed king of mountains and thus holds the highest concentration of Mountain Witches ever. These individuals worry about snowpack, often guard passes against damage by travelers, and really care take some of the most delicate easily-destroyed environments in the world.
  • Tropical Forest - Undisputed found in Falyndar, Tropical Forest or sometimes called jungle witches live in environments that are seemingly overcrowded with life.
  • Oceanic Island - These specialty witches are most commonly found in the Suvan and along the outer coasts of Mizahar. If singularly marked, they may spend their whole lives tending just one or two islands in a region. Islands are notoriously hard to maintain and balance.
  • Riparian - Where other biomes touch water, Riparian witches thrive. They manage streams and rivers, lakes and ponds. While it is rare to find a Riparian witch with a singular mark, more commonly witches pick up Riparian skills to compliment their primary biomes.
  • Swamps - Considered some of the most elusive and wild of the witches, swamp witches rarely leave their regions unless their regions are balanced and relatively population free. Suffering a similar fate to Jungle Witches (Tropical forest), swamp witches have incredibly busy habitats that team with life. They must think multidimensional and manage not only whats in their waters but whats in the trees and grasslands around the swamps.
  • Oceans - Commonly drawn from Svefra stock, Ocean witches tend to spend their whole lives at sea. Focusing not on the large chunks of oceans, they instead tend to focus on estuaries, intertidal zones, beaches, and bays. If they do guard over say a segment of the Suvan, they will almost always be multiple marked witches that perhaps have Oceanic Island biomes and similar biomes to what touch their shores.
  • Subterranean - Kalinor and Zinrah immediately come to mind when one speaks of Subterranean Witches. But more importantly the caves and environments Mizaharians retreated to during the Valterrian needed habitat managers. Without Phylonurists, the Drykas could have never kept their horses alive underground as long as they did in order to keep their striders safe.
  • Urban - City witches are common and perhaps some of the most challenged of all of Caiyha's children. They dwell in environments where they are automatically outcast and misunderstood. They must work with people who give very little thought of the damage they do when they carry out actions like dumping sewage into streams and diverting waterways for their own use. City witches must work hard and the truth is their duties are often never done. Urban witches will not stay long within the city they pick, often taking long vacations or end up serving a wilder biome nearby to give themselves much needed respites from civilization. City witches almost perfect the art of compromise in their day to day dealings, doing what they can but often those actions not having enough of an effect to truly balance a city. The Spires and Karjin are perhaps the closest to balance in Mizahar, with Lhavit not too very far behind.
Temperate forest witches are some of the most common known on Mizahar.

The Language of Nura

Nura is the language of Phylonurists. The knowledge of how to completely speak this language is granted to a witch with her first mark. Nura works almost like a combination between empathy and intuition. A witch must make eye-contact with a creature or touch it (if eyeless) to speak Nura to it. Nura is a silent language of emotions and intentions, often conducted like a telepathy that instead reveals images and feelings to each user. Plants as well as animals can utilize this language.

Quick Guide To Progression

  • Mark 1 = 1 Biome or Habitat Type
  • Mark 2 = Gain two additional habitat types for a total of 3 Biomes
  • Mark 3 = Gain three additional habitat types for a total of 6 Biomes
  • Mark 4 = You are Caiyha’s Champion. All Habitat Types Are Yours To Understand.

Assisting Skills

There is a whole host of assisting skills that can seriously aid a Phylonurist Witch. Herbalism, Animal Husbandry, Morphing, Shielding, Botany, Gardening, Wilderness Survival of multiple types all can be an asset to the witch in and out of his or her domains. Other gnosis marks can also be helpful to witches, such as Bala’s roots, Eywaat’s feather, and Morwen’s snowflake. These additional marks all form a collective gathering of power that can double or triple a witches’ usefulness, depending upon the source. World magic, personal magic, even skills too numerous to mention can aid a witch in their endeavors - all of which Caiyha compels them to learn.

Mark Progression

Marked [Cursed] - 1 Gnosis Mark
The singularly marked individual is granted the language of Nura and begins to learn to communicate with plants and animals of all sorts. Nura can even cause the witch to actively associate with insects which are vital forms of life in Caiyha's domain. The witch is granted one biome to look after, and is given often multiple years to hone her skills and branch out to invest time and energy in the space she or he protects. The more skills a witch learns and perfects, the more likely she will feel the urge to move and resettle, especially when her current biome has been in balance for a significantly long period of time. Many witches at this stage can also 'lose' their marks if Caiyha finds them lacking in motivation or determination when it comes to being her guardians of the world.

Caiyha does not give Negative Gnosis Marks.

Favored [Despised] - 2 Gnosis Marks
A favored follower marked by two gnosis marks has proven herself or himself worthy of being a guardian and is thus granted two more biomes for a total of three biomes he or she is able to blend with and have knowledge of. This means this type of witch can more easily move around and is often called to a location by Caiyha to work on significantly harder problems. Witches at this level are considered more diverse and often work on fringe areas where one biome blends into another creating unique or even more complex habitats than simply one biome could provide. Witches with two marks are still encouraged to diversify their skills and keep learning. They are also encouraged to earn more gnosis marks from other Gods and Goddesses that help with Caiyha's agenda.

Caiyha does not give Negative Gnosis Marks.

Priest/Priestess [Adversary] - 3 Gnosis Marks
At this marked stage, the follower becomes an actual priest or priestess of Caiyha and is hers exclusively at this point. Granted three more biomes, for a total of six, these witches are the most common sort Caiyha has among her followers. Well able to move around, these followers are experienced in healing land, balancing ecosystems, and even have very little trouble dealing with things like wild djed because odds are they've dealt with it before. Caiyha still strongly encourages broadening skill sets and expanding awareness' as followers, though at this point the window for earning other gnosis' has closed and her witches are as diverse religiously as they are going to be at this point.

Caiyha does not give Negative Gnosis Marks.

Champion [Nemesis] - 4 Gnosis Marks
Truly diverse in their power, Champions of Caiyha know all the biomes of the world and move freely throughout it as an integral part of both the natural and urban world. Powerful, driven, and completely owned by Caiyha, these voice pieces of the Goddess of Flora and Fauna often appears almost inhuman in their strangeness, so powerfully tied to Caiyha they are. They need no food, clothing, or basic necessities to survive in the wilds. Known to den with bears or to curl up with hibernating snakes, Caiyha followers at this level can find shelter where seemingly none exists. Their ease with Nura is surpassed by only Caiyha herself, and often if these champions are male, they become Caiyha's mate.

Caiyha does not give Negative Gnosis Marks.