Dwarven Courting Tradition / Ritual in Eddur | World Anvil
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Dwarven Courting

Known to frustrated young dwarves as "Stonefishing", this process is a delicate dance of emotions, knowledge, and skill between one and many suitors. There is no prescribed gender that does certain things (as most dwarves have similar features at a glance), but most commonly you will the the most extravagant practices of this tradition from men to women, especially a particularly fetching woman.   The first step in this long and sometimes painful process is the statement of intent. This is done in public, usually in view of as many other potential suitors as possible. The dwarf will approach his intended romancee and draw a specific rune in the dirt or, if dirt isn't available, will lay a piece of parchment with the rune clearly drawn on it. This is a clear and obvious description of the suitor's desire to capture the heart of their recipient. It is also a declaration of war to any suitors who are also invested in the recipient. In young dwarf slang, this is referred to as "Tranking", a word developed from the name of the rune "Tran".   Next comes the cycle of skill, so named because it involves a gradual improvement of a skill until it is honed to the romancee's desire. In the past this was based purely on metallurgical skill, as that was once the most desirable of dwarven pursuits. The people as a whole have evolved, however, and now any sort of demonstratable skill is viewed as a potential option. It is a decision made with the recipient in mind, as they are the ones who must approve of it in the end. The process here is simple. The suitor will present the fruits of their labor to their intended lover. By custom, the first gift is rejected, and the presenter takes his creation back and improves on it somehow, learns something valuable, or corrects mistakes that he or she missed the first time. The next product is presented again and if acceptable, he or she is allowed to proceed to the final step, but if he or she is found wanting, the product must be taken back, refined and presented until it meets whatever arbitrary criterion the judge of it has set forward. This is by far the longest part of the process, and has been known to take weeks, months, and, in some very rare cases, years.   The final step is the presentation of wealth. The practice of it is simple, the suitor merely buys any one thing for their intended, it cannot be made. One would think that a fairly easy prospect, but his portion most demonstrates the knowledge one has for their potential lover. There are those who value material wealth highly, and as such you might need to present something worth a considerable amount. You might be courting someone who prefers meaningful gifts, no matter the price, and therefore must bring a present that embodies their values or a time you two shared. You might be courting someone who values frugal spending, and as such your best strategy would be to purchase something of value, but at a very reduced cost. There are many strategies to employ, but the most important part is to consider the value for your recipient. This is often the last chance of a suitor. If you fail to present a worthy purchase, then you might be struck from the list of potential candidates.   From the remaining suitors the intended makes their decision and the couple prepare to spend the rest of their lives together.
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