Querna

                                    Proluge

            A scroll written in study of the Natresses by Scholar Byrnison

            The Natresses are a cult following Savonna, the Goddess of Nature.  For those unfamiliar to our religion, Savonna was the first daughter of the creator-gods, Senya and Azmah.  Thus, she is a bit spoiled and is never reprimanded.  She has a hot temper and is not a goddess to cross.  She also rules over hunting, but does it more to keep the animal population in check than to harm animals; in fact, she rules over animals and cares for them passionately.  She usually remains on Earth, within the woods and watches over the plants and animals.

            Savonna has remained a virgin and the Natresses, trying to mimic Savonna's way of life, also do this.  They pray constantly throughout the day and often fast.  They are strict vegetarians.  Also imitating Savonna, they use bows and arrows and hunt often. 

            Only those blessed with "Savonna's Gifts" can become Natresses.  These Chosen can goad plants into growing, are gifted with the bow, are very in-tune with the balance of nature, and, in the cases with the most gifted, may even understand some animal-language.  Occasionally, a Natress can produce poison out of thin air.  Each Natress has her own individual gifts, some more powerful than others.  It is said that Savonna chooses the girls in their mother's womb and they are born with these powers.

            The Natresses are centered in the Sher Woods.  Deep within these woods, there is the central meeting point, which the Natresses refer to as the Shrine.  Not usually venturing out of their own huts, the Shrine is scarcely used.  In seemingly random points around the Shrine, the Natresses' individual huts are placed.  The hut is mostly bare; the Natresses try to purge themselves of all unnecessary necessities. 

            The leader of the Natresses serves in this position until old age catches up to her.  She is chosen by Savonna; some sign indicates her being the selected one.  Some of the signs are usual; often a small painted flower will appear on her hand.  Some are different; I have heard of a flower actually growing out of a chosen one's hand.  It disappeared as soon as she became leader.

            The Natresses are also the source from which Savonna gets her attendants.  Though blessed with immortality, occasionally an attendant will die.  A challenge among Natresses will then be arranged by the Leader and the winner will fill this deceased one's position.

            A very special Natress (whom I had the privilege of meeting) was Dreana.  She is the root from which we get most of the knowledge of our religion.  Young Dreana unraveled many secrets on her own quest…