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Shazzie

Once a year in the desolate desert wasteland that is the Sandsea, on the fourth day of Solmonth, the Sand Elves of Scrapheap form an enormous festival to celebrate the ascension of Shazza the Dunesplitter into Godhood. Much as Shazza was never seen without a drug of some sort, the Elves that gather at Scrapheap down narcotics. Much as Shazza shrieked as her ascension began, so do these Elves every year, and much as Shazza, as every cell in her body morphed and burned with radiant power, slaughtered her fellow tribesmen, so to do the partakers in the festivity.   The day starts with travellers from many different tribes who, on any other day, would be hostile to one another. They share food, drink and drugs from their own tribes and makings, sharing their own unique cultures and ways with one another in what is the most cheerful event that could ever occur in the Sandsea. This is, of course, what occurs before the Shazzie Slaughter. Rainbow Feydust, a powerful psychedelic drug, is littered on to the crowd, increasing the festivities excitement.   The Shazzie Slaughter begins around midday with the beating of the Drum-Drum, an event in which two armless Thornies (a subspecies of lizardfolk), headbutt a double-sided drum on a platform raised high above the celebration area. This is to mark that any Elves not participating must bar their doors or flee the city until the event is complete and it also signals that it is time for participants to equip their katars and consume Banshee, a liquid narcotic that causes shrieking, uncontrollable bloodlust and a rapid increase in muscle mass and speed. While this occurs the Warboss roars a prayer, downing his own ritually selected narcotics and potions.   The streets run red with blood as competitors dash in between buildings, slashing and leaping at one another, belching fire and deafening one another with bloodcurdling shrieks. After many hours the Banshee will wear off, and the tiny number of remaining Elves will gather tiredly back to the celebration area, now depleted of bloodlust. Once night falls they are ritually painted with the stylings and patterns of their tribe and they are to battle one another in the Skumtracks, the cities Sandship course, laden with explosives, deadly monsters and magical traps.   If any survive the Skumtracks they are taken away to be ritually prepared using mystical herbs and brews. The Warboss reads aloud a well-protected prayer offering the survivors to Shazza, and if she accepts, their mortal forms are frail no longer, age no longer seeps into their bones and wounds that would slay an ordinary man become mere papercuts. Their fiery breath becomes an inferno of blue flame and they gain the strength of many men. They stand before the Goddess, taking her power for their own and they become War Daddies.

History

It is believed amongst the Sand Elf tribes that Shazza, a Sand Elf from an unknown tribe, singehandedly slaughtered a tribe of Thornies to steal what appeared to be a glowing, golden orb. This orb was in fact a Godsoul that the Thornies had unknowlingly come across.   The divine energies drove Shazza into deeper madness and she had absorbed it by the time her allied warriors had found her. As divine energies raced across her body, threatening to tear her from this reality into the Outer Planes, she screeched with a sound that could not be produced by a mortal voice. She leapt from warrior to warrior, brutally slaying any that stood in her path. Very few were left before she was dragged kicking and screaming, pulled away from the Material Plane.   The survivors had approached the Warboss of Scrapheap with this story, at which she promptly laughed, believing it just another story from the Wastes. The glass in the War Chamber then shattered, destroyed by a sound so loud it deafened the survivors and Warboss alike. The warriors of her tribe who were there that day were blessed with powerful clerical abilities, but were cursed never to hear again.   In surprisingly good spirits at what had just unfolded, the Warboss announced, albeit without the ability to hear any responses, that they would now celebrate the ascension of the first Sand Elf deity. The current day Shazzie celebration slowly fell into place over many years, with many elements of the event changing but the core concept forever stayed the same.

Components and tools

Religious symbols depicting screaming mouths (Shazza's mark) are often used to represent Shazza's terrifying shrieking as she ascended to godhood.   Sandships are magically enhanced ships that treat sand as if it were water. They can reach very high speeds easily and are often raced or used as war vehicles by Sand Elves.   Katars were the weapons of choice for Shazza when she was a mortal. In celebration, those partaking in the slaughter use ritual Katars.   Cactii Spirits are traditionally consumed by the few Sand Elves who can get their hands on it. It is difficult to harvest because it involved maiming the extremely elusive Cactii.   Banshee, a powerful narcotic produced within the deep bowels of Scrapheap is taken in large doses by the Elves partaking in the celebration. It increases their strength, stamina and bloodlust, causing them to shriek violently as they fight one another uncontrollably with their Katars.

Date of Origin Unknown   Theme Shazza's Ascension   Clothing Those celebrating typically dye their filthy clothes a myriad of bright colours. Sand Elf festival clothing often consists of several types of traditional headwear, colourfully dyed tunics and tightly tied boots, as so they do not come loose after the Banshee is taken.   Food and Drink Sand Elves bring food, drink and drugs along with them from all over the Sandsea. During the Shazzie a typical Scrapheap marketplace seems to be filled with insects that were prepared with some dizziness inducing narcotic, cigarettes made from hardy desert weeds and alcohol created from a strange species of sentient cactus.

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Comments

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25 Apr, 2018 09:17

Really well written article! I love the names you use in your world and am interested to explore the rest of your setting :D

25 Apr, 2018 09:43

Thank you, I appreciate it!

25 Apr, 2018 13:35

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