Drakiˈla Tradition / Ritual in Estia | World Anvil


Drakiˈla is a Helɉan coming-of-age tradition held yearly in the spring. The tradition is a series of games and competitions that pit young men against one another in battles of strength, endurance and wit. Completing the games is considered a rite of passage to become a man, and usually ends with placement within the community.


The Games

The specific games vary a bit each year, but always fall into a handful of categories to test the men's abilities.


The men are left outside the town, alone, with minimal supplies and a few goals. After 3 days they are picked up again to see how they faired. Depending on where they are they may make it back to town early, but some may hunker down and others will find each other to make the survival easier. The men are then graded on the conditions of their survival as well as their success in the goals they were given. Goals are usually simple and straightforward such as catching a fish without being given fishing supplies. Those who succeed highly in survival will be assigned as explorers and soldiers, those who will participate in rescue parties and helping to escort fishing and hunting parties.


Mining, hunting or fishing(and sometimes all 3) are used to test provisioning skills. The men are split into teams to see how well each work in a group and scored on the overall success of their mission over the course of several days. This is usually an undestimated challenge as this includes the planning of the excursion, finding a fruitfull spot and executing on skills made difficult by the environment. Those who excel in provisioning will be assigned to gathering parties to fish, hunt, mine or gather supplies.


Skill in craft is just as important as sharpness of mind or strength with a spear. Without craft the town would ultimately fail, and so it is included in the Draki'la. The men craft an item under the watch of a panel of craftsmen and they provide the scoring for the game. Those who do well in crafting will be taken on as apprentices and traders.


Juˈɟiɾ is always the game for testing Strategy, but the flavor and format of the game varies year to year. The game is ranked simply, the farther you get in the game, the higher up you are in rankings. Men who excell in strategy are often selected to be trained for leadership, town architecture or to assist the Makkaden.



The final piece of the Draki'la is the assignment within the community. Craftsmen, provisioners, scouts, and architects are all given tokens based on the number of years since the last time they successfully received and assignment, and the number of men they need to fill roles. They will use those tokens to bid on specific games, trying to get the higher placing candidates. For example, an architect who has not had an apprentice in 10 years may place all his tokens on the Juˈɟiɾ game in hopes of guaranteeing the strongest strategic mind to train as an architect. Others may split tokens up into different categories, especially if one category is particularly competitive that year.


Candidates are then assigned based on placement within the game at the end of the games during the final ceremony of the Draki'la. First in each category to their respective bids, then second, and so on. If a candidate ends up tieing for multiple assignments, they get to choose which they would prefer. If there are more candidates than assignments, the candidates at the bottom do not pass the Draki'la, and instead must try again the following year.



As there is no age restriction or limit on the Draki'la, this is not a particularly shameful outcome and it isn't uncommon for younger boys to test their skills in one or two games without completing the entire rite. Typically older boys who have had more time to hone skills will do better, ensuring a better outcome in a later game. Very few men in the community have grown past the age of 22 and not passed the Draki'la, and are almost all are of icemind.


However without succeeding in the Draki'la, a boy cannot become a full member of the community and will forever remain legally under the will of their family and can never become a patriarch. This legal distiction is sometimes used as a punishment, troublesome boys may be delayed from entering the Draki'la as a way of encouraging maturity before they gain any foothold in the community. Additionally outsiders will find the Draki'la is their way to becoming part of the community if they are male.


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