the spirit of the rainforest

Here’s an AU and a story thing-a-ma-bobber that’s been on my mind lately.

The world is full of magic and stuff and there are spirits all over the place. But there are eight spirits who have dominion over the eight elements: fire, water, earth, wind, lightning, ice, dark, and light. In ancient times they were worshipped as gods and goddesses amongst the people because they had the power to completely bend their specific element under their will. For example, the wind spirit could conjure hurricanes while the earth spirit could grew rainforests in the blink of an eye. The light spirit could bring shine in even the darkest of places and the dark spirit could bring shadows to the brightest of places.

They were given temples and offerings and were honored by all across the land. They became friends with each other and split into two families of four: the brighter Hoshido spirits and the bleaker Nohr spirits. The names of the families were later used as the names of two countries. They even fell in love with another from the other spirit family. (Though I don’t have to tell you who fell with who, you already know. ;))

Back then it was common for growing plants to be accompanied by gentle breezes. Covers of the night illuminated by streaks of lightning. Cold climates warmed by strong fires and hot climates cooled by gentle snow. Rainbows filling the skies with the multicolored wonder of water meeting light.

But that was in ancient times.

It was common knowledge that the elemental deities still existed, but recently, say, 100 or so years, something happened that changed them permanently.

A magician of unimaginable power had created a spell that sealed the powers of the spirits under his control. They became powerless and weakened, forced under the control of that one magician. The only time they could use their powers was to the command of the man and when they weren’t using their powers, they were forced around like slaves.

Their time with the magician was not a happy tale. Burning of whole villages, corruption of dreams, flooding, tornados, every natural disaster and then some were brought down on the human people.

Delighted at his new command, the magician passed on the spell to different people so they could exploit the powers of the spirits.

They were separated.

The Hoshido and Nohr spirits were separated from their families and significant others to live under the slave control of their new masters. In order to solidify the separation, the temples that had been built were destroyed and renewed in another location, far away from the others.

Sometimes they saw each other. Lost siblings saw how the light in their eyes dimmed with each visit. Lost lovers yearned for their other, but couldn’t interact.

In the present time, the sealed spirits were still being used as weapons of mass destruction. Their humility was all but stripped away from decades of confinement and solitude. Their eyes were blank and lifeless. They abided to the commands of their master with nary a word.

That is until, by pure dumb luck, one breaks free.

A death. Shattering. Running.

Enter Corrin and Kamui, a pair of twins and their best friend Azura, all of which are from Valla, a country not well known in Hoshido and Nohr. They leave their home in search of answers for their mothers’ deaths and to leave behind the life they had in Valla.

Upon their first several weeks in Shirasagi, capital of Hoshido, they find something—

Someone.

Laying in a bright open field, red and white outfit matted with grime and an odd golden substance, is a pink haired girl.

flickr

Spirit “black” bear - mother and cub by Paul Cottis
Via Flickr:
“Cub Creek”, Princess Royal Island. BC, NW Canada

kermode bear

where the signs should live

aries: the amazon rainforest bc that’s where your true spirit belongs
taurus: fancy trash dump because there’s a lot for you to hoard there you hoarder
gemini: on tumblr you literally already live there
cancer: in a fridge because you got no chill
leo: on your phone because it’s the only thing that brings you satisfaction
virgo: inside a kleenex box so the tissues can catch ur tears and you can be free of germs
libra: in a tree just because you’re a hipster tbh
scorpio: in the land of the dead, dark like your soul
sagittarius: inside a broken down car because that’s the only thing you stay in
capricorn: in a gym because you sure got a lot of complaining energy you’d use up
aquarius: space you’re an alien duh
pisces: a fucking aquarium i literally only made this post to make this joke

Kermode “Spirit” Bear by Paul Burwell

Kermode “Spirit” Bear walking along a log over a river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. These bears are not albinos. Rather, they are a black bear that carries a resesive gene that causes about 1 in 10 bears to be born with white instead of black fur. They only live on the west coast of Canada and there are only about 500 of them in existence.

British Columbia reaches agreement to protect vast coastal rainforest

Deal marries interests of First Nations, environmentalists and logging industry, who will see 15% of Great Bear forest available under ‘most stringent’ standards

British Columbia is set to announce a historic agreement to protect a vast swath of rainforest along its coastline, having reached a deal that marries the interests of First Nations, the logging industry and environmentalists after a decade of often-tense negotiations.

The agreement to be announced on Monday will see roughly 85% of forest within the Great Bear rainforest protected, with the other 15% available for logging under the “most stringent” standards in North America, environmental groups involved in the talks said.

The Great Bear rainforest is one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests and the habitat of the spirit bear, a rare subspecies of the black bear with white fur and claws. It is also home to 26 Aboriginal nations, known as First Nations.

“Under this landmark agreement, more old and second-growth forest will be protected, while still ensuring opportunities for economic development and jobs for local First Nations,” said Premier Christy Clark in a statement.

The province will introduce new laws to support the measures later this year.

The Great Bear rainforest, which includes forests, waterways and mountains, covers 6.4m hectares (16m acres) of the province’s coast. More than half its surface is forest, including 2.3m hectares (5.7m acres) of old-growth forest, which store high levels of captured carbon.

In the 1990s, frustrated over what they saw as destructive forestry practices on their traditional lands, First Nations partnered with environmentalists to fight back against logging companies, blockading roads and protesting.

By the early 2000s, environmental groups and industry players, including Interfor Corp, Western Forest Products Inc and Catalyst Paper Corp, had started talks. At the same time, government began negotiating with the Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council.

The final agreements, reached more than a decade later, will “help mitigate climate change, support improved community wellbeing, and provide economic certainty to the forestry sector”, environmental groups that engaged in the process said.

The deal will also see the end of the commercial grizzly bear hunt within Coastal First Nations territories, though other existing tourism-related businesses will not be affected.

“This full implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest agreements is one of the most visionary forest conservation plans on earth,” said Valerie Langer, ForestEthics Solutions director, in a statement.

“It is a principled approach that sets a new legal and science-based standard for sustaining healthy forests.“

The announcement will come nearly two years after a landmark decision by Canada’s supreme court that granted title to a vast swath of British Columbia’s interior to First Nations, who had gone to court to stop logging in their traditional lands.

The Tsilhqot’in Decision, named for the bands involved, has bolstered First Nations across the province, who now have a legal precedent for fighting development on their traditional territories.

Kermode “Spirit” Bear by Paul Burwell

Kermode “Spirit” Bear walking along a log over a river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. These bears are not albinos. Rather, they are a black bear that carries a resesive gene that causes about 1 in 10 bears to be born with white instead of black fur. They only live on the west coast of Canada and there are only about 500 of them in existence.

Photograph by @paulnicklen taken while #onassignment for @natgeo. A rare encounter with a Kermode Bear (aka Spirit Bear) in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, BC. Please stay tuned for more and #follow me on @paulnicklen to see more images from this experience with a friendly bear that I will never forget. #beauty #nature #keepexploring #letsexplore #love #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday by natgeo

Kênê. The Amazon Rainforest Spirit by Nixiwaka Yawanawá. Brazil.

“The Yawanawa people use body painting represented by the Kênê. Since time immemorial, we have used Kênê to celebrate traditional feasts and ceremonies and also within our daily life. When we paint our bodies we are gracing ourselves, staying beautiful and become protected from disease. The spirit of the Kênê lady appears in visions during Uni - Ayahuasca ceremonies. We receive the paintings and practice these among the people of the tribe as a way of learning through the spiritual world.”
- Nixiwaka Yawanawá

@paulnicklen gets up close and personal with a Kermode Bear (also known as a Spirit Bear) in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. My good friend and guide, Marven Robinson from the Gitga’at First Nation of Hartley Bay introduced me to a bear he knew well, knowing that if we managed to get good pictures for our story in @natgeo then we would be able to bring global attention to an ecosystem that needs protection. Spending time with this bear as it fished and walked through the forest was one of the greatest moments in my life. Thank you @marvenrobinson. The photograph was taken by friend and superstar field companion, @jedweingarten With Pat Freeny and @cristinamittermeier
Hey @NYC. I’ll be sharing more stories from my adventures photographing wildlife on Feb 4th @nyuskirball. I’m excited to be a part of the inaugural #natgeolive #nyc season. Hope to see you there! #spiritofthewild #saynotoenbridge #nature #wildlife #beauty by natgeo

Photograph by @paulnicklen while #onassignment for @natgeo. A Kermode Bear, also known as a Spirit Bear falls into a deep sleep under an old-growth red-cedar tree in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. A Spirit Bears is actually a black bear that possesses a rare recessive gene that turns their fur completely white. They are not albino. After spending a full day of watching this large male eat salmon in a small creek and then following him through this ancient forest, the highlight of the encounter happened when he let me lean against the same tree he was under and take this portrait. Definitely an encounter that I will never forget. To see a picture of him doing serious battle with another black bear, please follow me on @paulnicklen. #gratitude #nature #bear #spiritbear #kermodebear #wildlife @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #beauty #keepexploring #letsexplore #love #follow #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #instagramhub #keepitwild by natgeo