Running with the Wolves
At the weekend, the tribes' adulthood ritual took place again in the northern wilderness. As every year, the ritual claimed several lives. Independent observers believe that there were several dozen deaths this year.
The rite, which traditionally young men undergo at 15, is one of the oldest of its kind. It is one of the most dangerous. Every year, about a quarter of the young men die. The tribes call these victims the restless ones. They believe that the souls of these boys remain trapped in their status. They are neither children nor adults, neither living nor dead. To prevent these souls from haunting the other tribesmen, the bodies are burnt.
"The running with the wolves is the most important adulthood ritual of the tribes in the northern wilderness. It has centuries of tradition and claims several lives every year.
Settlers in the border areas keep demanding that the governments do something about these rites and stop what is happening. So far, at least the Celestrian queen vehemently opposes this request, while other rulers in border realms double the guards at the borders during the time of the rituals.
The tribesmen see this reinforcement of the border troops as an insulting attack, which leads to tense situations and events. In the weeks following the rites, there are fights, raids and attacks on the villages on both sides of the border.
The only region that does not seem to be affected is Celestria.
Dis-favourable rulers and diplomats, especially from the west of Eivrune, insinuate that the Celestrian government is behind the raids on the villages. They claim Celestria intends to conquer the borderlands. Nothing about the Celestrian actions confirms this theory.
The fact remains that if the rites of the tribes disappear, a not inconsiderable piece of Eivrune's history disappears.
There are 87 tribes in the Northern Wilderness. Each one has unique rituals for different occasions. Some of these occasions, such as the transition to adulthood, are shared by all tribes. In most, this rite is one of the most important known to the respective tribe.
However, very few of these rites are lethal. We can say that tribes that are more warlike have the more cruel and violent rites. The run with the wolves, which claim lives every year, tests the courage, endurance and ferocity of the young men.
These characteristics are considered desirable, especially among tribes living close to so-called civilised lands, where they have to deal with invading settlers from time to time.