Aether is the force of energy that is exchanged from mortalfolk to godfolk through the act of homage that supplies their power then released back into the mortal realms. It is the form of mana on which the spiritual energies actualize themselves within the Auldensphere. The origin is unknown. What is known is the aether has long been the link between mortals and gods, with each needing the other to survive.
The aether present now is said to be leftover energy still present from the great storm that created the Auldensphere. The chaotic power was then channeled by vessels that could contain and use, who became gods. From there, the gods put the energy into the mortal vassals that sprang to life and died again, returning the energy back to the Auld in cycle. The mana can therefore be seen as "the energy of the storming winds" which is why places of intense gathered worship are reputed to generate a breeze. One of the original spirit weavers and noted scholar, Miizreldana, took note of the power in this energy and described it as "the most pure power apart from any physical form, which acts on the will of its beholder, be it good or evil, to the greatest advantage of those who harness its control."
The creation of aether comes from the acts of mortalfolk, who are of the greatest base creatures capable of taking willed actions to produce the energy. The actions that create aether are most responsive when fueled through willed passion, increasing the aether output, aetheria. These acts vary and which gods may benefit change as well. Main well-known aether producing acts include: warfare, birth, maintaining balance, intercourse, violence, great perseverance, protecting an intense bond, caring, killing, gardening, ecstatic play, giving gifts, elation, deep sobbing, laughing, matching colors well, keeping animals soft to the touch, being punctual, buying from local markets, supporting independent artists, reading more about all the gods, being naked, and so on.
Animals produce a very slight amount of aether, if to be considered any at all, because they function only on pre-determined instinct. Mortal vessels produce an aether output when they choose an action otherwise outside instinct in a way that devotes attention to the god, hence why something like stopping to pray would be ridiculous to animal beig pursued, but creates a boon of aether for a mortal putting their actions towards a god in, say, such a time of need.
Uses of AetherEdit
The primary function for mortals producing the mana of aether is to take actions that grant the aether to a god. The god then exercises their powers as vessels capable of manipulating mana to augment the life of the mortal creation giving them mana, usually in a way that is beneficial, be this improving luck in an event, infusing greater strength, or causing the same action take again to be more fruitful.
Physically Storing AetherEdit
If you ask a women in a moth-bitten cowl with one eye, clubfoot, with a flock of birds around her if aether can be stored, she will undoubtedly claim it to be possible, and most likely have a number of such aether storing devices beneath her tunic for a quick bargain sale. People differ on their opinions of if aether can be stored, or if wearing certain items can increase aether output to gain a god's favor, but those desperate enough for the beneficial results will often succumb to believing it possible, especially if it is at the low-low price of 4 potatoes.
It is thought animals may indeed be responsible for an amount of aether created, possibly of a different genre and somehow more green. Another theory suggests that all things on the Auld, such as trees and water, have a life and therefore possess aether, but are unable to take actions that use it. Gods related to these creations of natures are said to still be able to tap into the aether they possess, but it's a low, slow yield similar to a winter's molasses spill.
Some scholars have put forward the idea that mortalfolk need no aether to survive. Inverse to that, it is the gods and all range of other spiritual deities that draw power from aether, and a complete loss of that energy would lead to the gods' end. The scholars who put forward this variety of theory have notably bad luck and tend towards shorter lives.