Aaulin's Morning

A lit­tle gift to my dear­est friend Aldric of her char­ac­ter Aaulin, the flex­i­ble elf from the Ori­en­tal vil­lage and a very in­spi­ra­tional char­ac­ter for me ^-^ I pre­vi­ous­ly made a draw­ing of his broth­er, Aorev, that was named sim­ply "Aorev":

And so I guess I'll name this draw­ing just "Aaulin" then XD

The elves of the Ori­en­tal tribe have al­ways con­sid­ered flex­i­bil­i­ty a di­vine qual­i­ty and be­lieved that on­ly true gods could do what­ev­er they liked with their bod­ies. The elves them­selves al­ways tried to get as close as pos­si­ble to the gods, flex­i­bil­i­ty has been the ma­jor part of re­li­gion in the Ori­en­tal vil­lage.

There is a leg­end that tells about a group of re­li­gious devo­tees, all of them ex­treme­ly lim­ber elves, who dis­cov­ered a beau­ti­ful place and sim­ply loved it, the for­est, the riv­er, the plains and the hills. They loved the place but had nowhere to live, so they built a huge house made of carved stone, so they could sleep there and live. They kept dec­o­rat­ing the house year af­ter year and even­tu­al­ly it be­came a tem­ple, and they built more hous­es to cre­ate a vil­lage around it.

That's how the Ori­en­tal vil­lage was born. It's a leg­end that the elves re­al­ly love, though no­body could tell if it's true. But the fact is that con­tor­tion is very high­ly praised in this very spe­cial vil­lage. Every child is en­cour­aged to be­come lim­ber to please the gods and make sure that good foods and easy life fall up­on this grow­ing tribe.

Con­tor­tion is part of every­one's life and every elf stretch­es for at least half an hour every day. The rest of the day most of the elves are too busy with mun­dane things: build­ing, sewing, mak­ing jew­el­ry, gar­den­ing, har­vest­ing berries... The vil­lage is grow­ing big­ger and many elves are now too busy for re­li­gion, but they still prac­tice for at least half an hour dai­ly.

But there are boys who con­tin­ued the tra­di­tion of ex­treme con­tor­tion. They grow up to be­come train­ers and raise the next gen­er­a­tion of bendy elves, and so on. The vil­lage's chief (more like the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the tribe) is usu­al­ly the most flex­i­ble elf, spend­ing his whole time to prac­tic­ing. All oth­er elves who don't prac­tice ex­treme con­tor­tion, are still wel­come in the tem­ple to pray and watch the lim­ber dances ded­i­cat­ed to the well-be­ing of the vil­lage.

Aaulin had be­come the chief of the Ori­en­tal vil­lage when he was on­ly a boy. As a child he was al­ready seen as a half-de­ity in the tribe be­cause of his ex­cep­tion­al abil­i­ties.

Aaulin's train­er usu­al­ly liked to fo­cus on bend­ing the boy back­wards as much and of­ten as pos­si­ble, say­ing that back­bend­ing is es­sen­tial in con­tor­tion­ism. Aaulin liked his back­bends very much but he of­ten won­dered what oth­er things are pos­si­ble... When­ev­er his train­er wasn't there, the boy tried to bend in all kinds of sil­ly ways, check­ing how far he could stretch this or that body part, even fin­gers or toes, or what kinds of knots he could tie him­self in­to.

His train­er Emaryl was some­times se­cret­ly peep­ing at him just to make sure that every­thing is fine, and one day all of a sud­den mas­ter Emaryl ap­peared from be­hind a cur­tain when the boy was least ex­pect­ing, and asked the young elf to wait and hold that par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion for longer. The train­er was spe­cial­ly im­pressed that Aaulin not on­ly stretched him­self in­to a great over­split but al­so used his leg as a han­dle of sorts, to pull his tor­so in­to a deep back­bend.

The whole pos­ture looked in­cred­i­bly ex­treme, some­thing you'd on­ly ex­pect from a de­ity. Im­me­di­ate­ly the po­si­tion was in­clud­ed in Aaulin's reg­u­lar per­for­mance. At that time Aaulin was on­ly 8 years old and he's been do­ing the pose for many years since. Over the years, he learned to fold his back even tighter and pol­ished the pose to per­fec­tion as we can see it now.

Aaulin spe­cial­ly loved to strike this pose up­on a high stone block. There were sev­er­al of such blocks across the vil­lage and they were made spe­cial­ly for con­tor­tion­ists who used them to per­form hand­stands and var­i­ous pos­es. The blocks had dif­fer­ent sizes, some were the size of a ta­ble, so even new­bies could prac­tice up­on them, but the young chief al­ways chose the high­est and most nar­row one.

See al­so

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