Ghenid adulthood rites

  “By Negheru’s will and our chains I pull you Ekyehdee, T’aedoteerua ahna V’angrhu, ikhi esueh cra maupda!”
Ghenid Shadow summoning for a Shadow named Ekyehdee.
  This autumn she noted her scent changing, like that of several age-mates. Fading cub scent and growing sharp allium scent of the adult. Adults are hunters and warriors. Anghru hunger to have and to take is fully open. Yahn, the joy of victory in fights and status, of outsmarting opponents and defeating them, fully engaged. Of course bound by Crazhnee (blood mother) and M'eizhnee ( aunt or "They old mother", sometimes Crazhnee-hing) or T'hing ( My Sister/ My girl). Not Ht (small) anymore.

In summer the tribe had come to the high places in the mountains. They explored and raided ruins, and cubs harvested. Laboring like khaengsi (dust underfoot, dirt/ scum) slaves collecting roots, berries and wood for fires. Adults do not labor like this unless they must, or are slaves. Summer childhood memories - milking goats and making cheese. The tribes ate roasted meat, fat with berries harvested by slaves and cubs, hard cheese and whatever was taken in raids. Sometimes someone died and there was a funeral feast, usually after raids ( see Ghenid Funeral *Disturbing content* . Meat, the flesh raw or cooked on spits. Stew in common family pots. The main flavorings being salt, cheese and bitter herb paste. Berries dried in the sun. One ate because one must, and feasted on the takings of raids. Cubs grabbing food from the clan cook fire and pot. They hunted and practiced fighting with claw and tooth, muscle and force or with clubs. They practiced with wood and rock, bone and frequently had wounds healing. The adults of the family encouraging aggression and teaching fighting skills. This made them strong and tough. Some died of wounds or accidents like falling into a river or attack by Giant serpents or Spiderbears. Or lost to raids by other clans and tribes, sometimes escaping and sometimes reclaimed.
They traded Chains on each other and they tested and fought. They played games of chase and hunt and touching each other. The young females and males, pairs or groups examined each other, experimented physically and in use of Chain and made temporary alliances. Of course almost anyone can Chain a cub. Mother, auntie and grandmother might get mad and punish someone putting a Chain. But adults- much harder to put a Chain on generally if they don't want it. Adults can fight better with the Shadow.

Young cubs race through the camp, chasing a stray goat. The camp smells of smoke, goat, cooked meat, ghenid garlic like odor and the urine marker posts. Older cubs and a slave or two should be tending goats outside the camp, high up the slope. The females in armor and armed, sharpen and clean weapons. They talk and gossip drinking tea. discussing packing camp and heading to the lower lands and raiding there. The cra-mueo practice. Some cubs watch and copy. Practice is daily. A patrol walks the circle of the outer camp, eyes and ears tuned outward. Scouts prowl farther out watching for threats. Angry Bahku or Minotaur . Possibly smoothskins. Maybe other tribes or Titans . Cubs and a slave, a pointed ear smoothskin with an iron collar, tended the goats. Others, mostly of the feline Bahku, treated skins, tended fires, repaired items or worked on hides and leathers, boiled oiled and shaped- with a warrior watching. The pointed ear smoothskin, Sidhe, made many different flavors and kinds of food. This got him a favored place with grandmother.

Winters were down in the lower lands. Bundled in furs and skins, gathered around the fire. Younger daughters suckling cubs while Grandmother chewed bones and told the stories of B'ata and Dherrit and her own battles. Jokes and stories. Songs and drumming. Ghenid and khaengso all together in the Whayetoot (tent) with smell of smoke, food, slave and ghenid body with the leather and bees wax. Cuddling and sex between S'oang-ht and her fighters, daughters with cra-mueo, or crateerua or even khaengsi. Males with the slave or eachother if not the females. Little is secret or hidden in winter, unlike summer when many wander from camp. This is life.
Lessons on the things they need to now and what things are foolish and useless to a Ghenid. Cub questions. “Why are the smooth skins so strange - some with flat teeth and some sharp? The females, some with just 2 nipples or 4,and no little pkoah but the males have pkoah like other males?”
A swat on the head.”Bata” (idiot/ fool)” We are made after our great Mother Negheru - to hunt and eat meat and eat all things. We are made beautiful with shining coats and sharp teeth and cunning noses! The flat teeth are like the goat, they eat leaf and grass! The smoothskins live in caves, and make fake skins for their lack of fur. They can’t smell scents like us, can’t all see like us and don’t hear so well as we. And their females have pkoah smaller than ours and less use!”

Mother trained her. Aunties trained her and gave her Chains. Now would come the Shadow and the blood test, their first raid against opponents. She would seize wealth, power and crateerua followers or join a higher ranked female's oang-ht as one of her Chained. This she hungered for.  Her stomach was light and her heart raced in excitement.


Ghenid judge the cub mature at puberty, about age 10. The inciting of the Shadow Binding is dependent on development of adult musk scent which may occur earlier or later by months maybe up to a year. This is the first rite of adulthood.
First cycle of young females induces a brief dominance and control struggle between mothers, aunties and grandmothers and possibly ghostly ancestors. This struggle is over who choses and places the Shadow familiar. It is less fixed and less significant for males since they will be expected to leave the family and tribe and attach themselves to females of other clans and tribes, and a fair number will die.

The rites are performed at night. It is typically just the coming of age individual, mother, aunts and/ or grandmother. Whomever has the rank and chains choses and summons one of their bloodline or clan ghosts. Occasionally a mother will perform the rite alone and chose a chained ghost that she has more control over, cheating more dominant aunt or grandmothers from placing their choice minions of clan or bloodline.
Once the ghost is summoned, they are commanded to manifest materially. Now the cub must perform a Chaining upon the ghost, and the ghost performs one on the cub. The Shadow Chain is placed by the ghost and repeated by the cub upon the ghost - this modified chain opens a linked connection. They will each cut or bite themselves; the living surrendering blood to the ghost and the ghost ectoplasm being consumed by the living cub - this exchange formalizing the connected state. The cub should not show weakness, hesitation or cry out- instead showing admirable strength, will and toughness. Once this exchange has occurred, the rite is done and the first stage of adulthood is reached. Now the Shadow is summoned by the The Dark Hunger Ghost ritual: Rhu’onangrhua
The second stage occurs days, weeks or months later when the young adult has been properly blooded in trial by combat in raid, attack or facing some strong opponent. This will occur with an oang band of youths and seasoned warriors - typically with mother, aunt or sisters. The blooded should be able to take prizes- livestock, prisoners, food, weapons and other useful materials and survive the mission.

After this males will weigh choices and frequently leave the maternal tribe in search of position in a different tribe. Adult daughters become support and commanders under their mothers and grandmothers.
The Shadow bond
The Dark Hunger ghost: Rhu’onangrhua.
The Shadow bond Chain is formed by a modified Chain ritual and exchange of bites and ectoplasmic substance. The Shadow is more than just another Chained. It bestows a connection of extra health, awareness and fighting vigor. Only one Shadow can be connected to at a time. This is also a complex connection and relationship - ally, enemy, spy, tool and interconnection of Chains and afterlife riches. The Shadow bond reverts to a standard chain upon death of the living bound.

The ghost gains access and connection back to the living world, which increases mental clarity. They can gain more goods and offerings. The Shadow is fettered to the living bonded and travels to them each night at sundown. If dispersed and dematerialized, the living bonded is an anchor at which to reform the ghostly body. Amongst the dead, becoming a Shadow is a very advantageous position. The underworld is harsh. You only have what you bring, what you have laid into your tomb, what the living offer in rituals to the fire and what you can take from other ghosts and raid from their tombs. As a Shadow they gain another lifetime to collect resources - now informed by ghostly experience.

The living gains a boost in vitality and energy from the Shadow, as well as a ghostly aid. The Shadow and the living bonded may speak mind to mind without actual vocalization. The ghost is largely dependent on the living for offerings and sacrifices and provides eidelon ghost powers to the living bonded, depending upon it's type and level of advance.

Cover image: by mutterwolf


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28 Dec, 2021 22:20

Another fun story to preface the article. It's a really evocative and wholistic view of what it's like growing up as a ghenid.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
29 Dec, 2021 04:16

Thanks. That is part of what I wanted to carry across. Elders tell you to do something, then add the Chain command to force compliance. Everything and everyone is like that to various degrees. But they still have childhood, and warm recollections of things.