Initiation of Acolytes Tradition / Ritual in Adyll | World Anvil

Initiation of Acolytes


The initiation of acolytes in service to the Lady is meant to mirror the tribulations of their Goddess before she escaped and fled from the Devil across the desert. Many of the reasons for the ritual have been lost to time, but each tribulation can be traced back to the original stories of the Goddess written in scrolls deep in the library of the Temple.


Candidates may only be female, and must be at least 15 years of age at the time of their selection, and of good character. The acolytes go through a rigorous selection process and must be approved by the High Priestess herself before the Spring equinox. At the equinox, the chosen initiates present themselves to the Temple along with their families where they are ritually blessed by the Holy Mother (High Priestess of The Lady) through laying on of hands and prayer. Each family brings what sacrifice they can afford based on their station. These sacrifices are then prepared by the men of the initiate's families. Everyone in the capital is welcome to attend the feasting at this time. After the feasting, the initiates are sent home with their families to enjoy the last of their days serving only themselves. This represents the sweetness of life the Goddess enjoyed before her tribulations began.   On the day of the summer solstice, the initates present themselves again to the Temple, where they bathe in sacred hot springs, washing themselves clean of their old lives. Once they leave the baths, their heads are shaved, and they are led to cells with one small window that faces the desert. They are left there, naked and hairless until the Fall equinox. This mirrors the Goddess's confinement at the hands of the man who took her captive. The cells windows allow only the desert winds to come inside. The confined acolytes are provided only the comfort of a straw mattress and a hole in the floor that will carry waste from the cell. They are forbidden to speak while they are confined, remaining uncomplaining and silent just as the Goddess did in her own captivity. The acolytes only food is slipped through a small slot at the bottom of their doors at sunset each evening. Meals for the confined acolytes consist of barely cooked meat along with raw fruit and water, the same as the Goddess was fed by the birds of the air while she was confined. During confinement, the acolytes spend their time in silent contemplation of their Paths and in deep meditation, seeking to hear the voice of The Lady in the darkness and heat of the desert air that rises to their cells.   At the Autumnal Equinox the acolytes are freed and taken to the desert at the foot of the mountain where they are expected to walk barefoot up the secret ways of the crevasses and canyons back to the Temple, where they present themselves to the Goddess again, born anew to Her service. They sleep in front of the great statue of the winged Goddess, and dedicate themselves to a life of service to Her.   The next morning, each acolyte chooses their Path within the Temple as Prostitute, Midwife, Healer, Librarian, Teacher, or Caregiver, and joins the other priestesses within their Path as Apprentices to learn fully the Path of the Goddess in their chosen profession.

Components and tools

sacrifices befitting the station of an acolyte's family; sharpened blade used to shave the heads of the initiates; meals of meat, fruit, water


Female citizens of Adyll who wish to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of service to the Goddess; Families of initiates, including male relatives; All citizens of Adyll; The Holy Mother (High Priestess Temple dwellers


Spring Equinox; Summer Solstice; Autumnal Equinox
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