Grindylow Ritual of Obligation

Grindylow are a 1 meter tall species of creature that may be Lares or prodigal fae (that is fae that have forgotten and lost fae abilities and history). Amongst their many strange practices is the ritual of Obligation. This is an honor bestowed upon those who save a Grindylow or perform some significant favor or aid. (see Picker, chief of the Rockhouse Tribe ).

Execution

The Grindylow don't have Gods or don't recognize what others call Gods.  The most significant religious objects/ things are their Charms.  Carved objects of shiny, sparkling or polished stone. The charms are believed to be aware and help or hinder a Grindylow. If someone saves a Grindylow life or performs some major significant favor, a Grindylow may feel obligated.  They will then perform the Ritual of Obligation which involves invoking the charms to observe the obligation owed. They state what the occurrence was, their name and to whom or what the obligation is owed. The Grindylow will bite themselves to draw blood and will place a dab on the a charm to carry the note of obligation, and a dab of blood on the one to whom they owe obligation.  They will then hand over the witnessing Charm.  To wipe away the blood right away or to reject the Charm is to reject the obligation.  This is an insult. It may be ignored.

Observance

What does the Ritual of Obligation give to the recipient?  A Charm, which is a significant magical and personal aid to Grindylow.  You now have one additional one and if it is fancier may move up in significance and priority amongst your charms.  If you had none, now you have one.  But more importantly you now have a follower.  In Grindylow culture to take a captive is to take leadership over them.  This is how they chose mates and leaders.  Walk up and beat them into surrender or take them captive. In these situations they don't give up Charms. It is just they way of things.  But if you save one or otherwise help them with some action which is to them "superior", they are now a loyal follower. Wanted or not.  Anyone with followers is a Grindylow chief - even if not a Grindylow. Congratulations!

Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf

Comments

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25 Aug, 2022 10:17

Interesting ritual! I wonder how the other races react to having a Grindylow follower, and what they do with them? Are they nice to them, or do they think the Grindylow are "lower races" and try to abuse them? I can easily see the Obligations leading into great stories!

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26 Aug, 2022 03:42

I think it is mostly seen as annoying. Babbling, hyper toddler getting into everything, taking things not tied or locked up, following you around and offering grubs, various mushrooms, grilled squirrel or jumping into combats they are not well equipped for. If you equip them, you are a great leader! The Minotaur and Centaur and fae races likely better tolerate them. Humans will be put out, offended and cursed and called out by nobles, aristocrats and gentry, officials, innkeepers and many others. It might be comic.