Erast

Of the great Spirits of Reann, Erast is perhaps the greatest. Nothing short of divinity himself, Erast takes the form of a majestic stallion, black as night with a silver mane. He is the patron spirit of horses, horseherders and cavalrymen all over Kulthea, and especially he is concerned with the mounted knights of the paladins of Reann. To these, he may bestow a special gift.

Erast has never been mounted, neither by Man or God, and never will be. He has a wild temper, and will only tolerate Men who are the devoted priests of Reann around him. All others he will attack if they approach, or, in the case of Reann's paladins, he will keep a respectful distance. When speaking of a wild, untameable horse, Men will often say "he is possessed by Erast", and some cultures consider such horses just short of divinity themselves.

Erast is rarely seen on Kulthea, most his time he spends with Reann's great herds on Orhan. These herds, all offspring of Erast, constitute the most noble strain of horses in the Shadow World. The courage, endurance, strength and near-human intelligence of the lowest of these steeds is unmatched by even the best individuals bred by Man. Only the demonic steeds bred by the Unlife compete with the Erastkin in physical prowess.

Erastkin

Erastkin, as their kind is called, are without exception black as night, with a silvery luminescent mane, images of their sire. They gallop through the night at twice the speed of a mundane horse, not making a sound as they tread the ground. In combat against the Unlife, their fury and prowess is unmatched and never will they turn in fear. Should they die, their spirit is returned to Erast on Orhan where they will regenerate. As such, they share some of the qualities of the more powerful Orhanian Spirits.

Erastkin are born from the mating between Erast and a mundane mare of any equestrian race. The offspring will almost without exception be coloured as their sire, and will be majestic specimens of their mother's race. Erastkin mature quickly, in only two months will an Erastkin have reached maturity. Rarely will an Erastkin choose to stay on Kulthea for very long, for they can teleport themselves to Orhan at any night when that moon is full, and they yearn for the company of their brethren there.

One notable union is the mating between Erast and a white unicorn which produced Reann's steed, a white unicorn with a luminous silver horn.

Erasta

Erastkin may mate with ordinary beasts, and the nature of the offspring depends on the nature of the mother. If the mother is Erastkin, so will the foal be. However, most Erastkin are male, and when the mother is a mundane beast, the foal will be an 'Erasta'.

Erasta are akin to normal horses, only superior to them. As their sires, they are black as the night, but their mane is not of a silver colour, it is also black. Only their eyes twinkle as stars on the otherwise pitch black hue of their skin. They are of high animal intelligence, never spook or get scared by the horrors of the night, make excellent mounts, and have high endurance. They are one of the most noble strains of horses known on Kulthea, and they are only available to the devout followers of Reann. Erasta will rebel against any rider of obvious evil motivations, and will be uncooperative with those not clearly of Reann's disciples. Erasta mated with Erasta will produce more of their kind, and Erasta mated with mundane horses will produce a watered-down strain.

Erastkin may be summoned by devouted followers of Reann, as may Erasta. These horses are always treated with great respect, and are only used for riding animals and for war. Never will a follower of Reann use them for draft animals or for breeding. If he did, he would face immediate Excommunication.

Erast's Gift

Erast himself may be summoned through a lenghty ritual. This ritual must always take place on a night of full Orhan. It starts at dusk and finishes by dawn. If it is successful, Reann will appear astride his unicorn as the first rays of the sun become visible over the horizon. At his side will be Erasta. They will slowly ride towards the gathered ritual members, and at a few hundred feet distance, they will stop. Reann will turn towards Erasta and be seen to give a sign of farewell, whereupon he will turn around and gallop away. Erasta will approach the leader of the ritual and will accompany him to a nearby field. On this field there will be a number of mares, with which Erasta will mate during the day. At night, Erasta will ride into the darkness and vanish. While Erasta mates, noone may watch. As long as any individuals are nearby or directly watching the goings on, Erasta will do nothing. If the congregation have not succeeded in holding prying people away during the whole day, and Erasta did not get the chance to mate, they will be held in great disregard by Reann until they prove themselves worthy of his respect once again.

It is important to note that Erast does not honour his followers with a visit lightly. Rarely is the ritual successful, and only when Reann percieves that this particular congregation needs the gift of Erast to do their work.

The offspring of the mares will be Erastkin and as such will quickly grow to maturity. They will stay with the congregation only for as long as it takes the offspring of the Erastkin, the Erasta, to reach maturity, then they will go to Orhan and their sire. Thus, the congregation has gained a herd of Erasta with which to fulfill Reann's will in the world. This is the only way for Men to gain a herd of Erasta without angering Reann and Erast.


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