Held upon the death of the Drakari-Ta's mortal vessel, the Drakari-Ta Na'Tika is a 3 day celebration of the God-King's life and rebirth. During this festival, a Drakari chosen and prepared far in advance by the previous Drakari-Ta is 'coronated' as the new Drakari-Ta, and the new leader of the Drakari Union.
Following the Drakari Civil War, the Drakari-Ta Na'Tika has been abolished.
The First Drakari-Ta Na'Tika 96 2nd Era
According to legend, Altara Krieus, the original Drakari-Ta, was approached in his dreams by a spirit during the final years of his life. This spirit told him that he was "destined to lead the Drakari people to an era of peace and prosperity, even in death" and that he "must choose a suitable Drakari successor from which [his] spirit shall continue [his] reign.".
The next day, Altara addressed the people. He told them of the dream he had, of the spirit that spoke to him, and that his decision was already made. His eldest son, Isuro Krieus, whom had already been generally accepted as the upcoming heir would be this new successor that his spirit would reign from. They were told not to feel sorrow for his coming death, but to feel joy for the continuation of the Union and his spirit.
Just two years later, Altara passed of old age. Despite his wishes not to feel sorrow, the Drakari people all came together in a traditional Drakari Day of Mourning (Typically observed the day after family or loved ones pass away). The entire culture following the rituals and traditions of death of a single loved one on the same day was an event never before recorded in Drakari history, and legends claim that "even through his death, Drakari-Ta held his people united.".
Isuro was declared the new Drakari-Ta, and the new leader of the Union with great fanfare the next day. Legend holds that during his opening speech, Isuro seemed to channel his father's spirit - His mannerisms, his intelligence, and his charisma all seemed to change from the Isuro everyone had come to know, to that of Altara, their late king. Some legends claim that Altara was seen standing beside him, other say that Isuro was completely replaced by Altara, but every legend agrees that the Drakari-Ta's vision of his spirit reigning from the body of his son became true. A festival was held shortly after, lasting the evening and the rest of the next day.
These events formed the basis of the 3 day Drakari-Ta Na'Tika - The Day of Mourning and Preparation, The Day of Coronation, and The Day of Celebration. However, the name 'Drakari-Ta Na'tika' was not officially used until much later.
Kritar Vedus's Drakari-Ta Na-Tika 732 2nd Era
In the Drakari year 732 2nd Era, Drakari-Ta Krisus Drara passed and Kritar Vedus was declared the new Drakari-Ta. This came only a month after Drakari Union spacecraft exploring their system were approached by Varkesh vessels with the revelation they had been watching the Drakari for the past millenia. An invitation to join the Varkesh as a 'newly emerged space-faring member nation' had also been presented. This resulted in the Drakari-Ta Na-Tika for Kritar holding a more political focus than ever before. Dovolish, Hydari and Terran representatives from the Varkesh were invited to join the ceremonies, at the dying request of Krisus. Many Drakari were hesitant or even fearful of having these aliens present, especially during their traditions of which they were certain the Varkesh knew little about - Though they were surprised to find the Dovolish, at least, seemed well versed in Drakari tradition, language, and culture.
The Day of Mourning was attended by primarily Dovolish, with only a couple of Terran attendees, and no Hydari present - The Hydari instead offering to assist those observing the Day of Preparation. On the Day of Coronation, during Kritar's coronation speech, he spoke of the Varkesh to his people:
The spirits that came to Us many generations ago, when We were still Altara Krieus, your first Drakari-Ta, have come to Us again. They have told Us the visitors from the stars, the Varkesh as they call themselves, are the next step to our people's path to peace and prosperity. There is still much to discuss with the Varkesh, and decisions to be made. Those of you who are afraid, you need not be - Our traditions will not change, our culture will remain intact. Our very way of life is not under threat. The spirits guide Us, and We guide you, as it has always been, and the spirits have assured Us of this, as We are assuring you now. The Drakari Union and the Drakari people shall have our place among the stars.
Following the speech, the Drakari whom had been hesitant and fearful began to show more openness to the alien visitors and, come the Day of Celebration, most welcomed the Dovolish, Terrans, and Hydari to their parties and traditions with open arms. This collaborated celebration also saw the first use of fireworks by the Drakari, brought to the ceremonies by the Terrans - The colorful explosions in the night sky being a sight that many Drakari watched in awe.
Abolishment 765 2nd Era
In 764 2nd Era, growing tensions in the neighbouring colony planet Takri suddenly burst into an open rebellion. In what quickly became known as the Drakari Civil War, open war broken out between the loyalist clans and the Takri Separatists. In 765 2nd Era, the capital city and palace was bombarded by a Drakari fleet hijacked by Takri terrorists, destroying the city and killing the Drakari-Ta before a successor could be chosen. This event, and the war, marked the end of the Drakari-Ta, and the Drakari-Ta Na'Tika was outlawed by Takri that took over control of the Union.
Officially, the Drakari-Ta Na'Tika is divided into 3 full days of observance - A Day of Mourning for the deceased Drakari-Ta or a Day of Preparation, dependant mostly on local culture and clan tradition. A Day of Coronation in which the new Drakari-Ta is 'crowned' and gives the traditional speech, and a Day of Celebration then follow.
The Day of Mourning
Main article: Day of Mourning.
Following the customs and rituals of the traditional Day of Mourning, the entirety of the Drakari people spend a full waking day in mourning of the previous, now deceased Drakari-Ta. Observances include the wearing of black Karili Tiku symbolizing death, fasting, and leave from all responsibilities and duties. In the evening, as the sun sets, the traditional Passing Speech and Burning Ritual is held - The only instance of such an event being public.
The Drakari-Ta's body is laid upon a pyre and those closest to him speak of their experiences. A chosen Dalo Kota, usually the Drakari closest to the deceased, then performs the Burning Ritual. Unlike other instances, this ritual is directed at two spirits - The Drakari-Ta himself, and the spirit that shared his body with the Drakari-Ta's spirit. The sharing spirit is guided to the afterlife in the first half of the ritual by the Dalo Kota via throat-singing while the pyre is lit and the body burned. The Drakari-Ta's spirit is then guided by his chosen successor performing the second half of the ritual, taking over the traditional throat-singing and embracing Altara's spirit into his own body.
Once the ritual is completed, the soon-to-be Drakari-Ta withdraws to rest and meditate, not to be seen by anyone until the coronation ceremony the next day, and the remaining Drakari break their fast with the Feast of Passing.
The Day of Preparation
Some Drakari elect to not observe the Day of Mourning, respecting the original Drakari-Ta's wishes to not mourn his passing. In such instances, however, the Passing Speech, Burning Ritual, and Feast of Passing are still attended and observed. This is typically only done by Drakari of the Chatari Clan.
It is these Drakari that make the preparations for the Day of Coronation and Day of Celebration events, and even for the Feast of Passing. While others follow the traditions and rites of mourning, meals and decorations are prepared, events are coordinated and organized, and some of the younger Drakari even begin the celebrations early - An act that tends to be frowned upon as impatient and disrespectful to tradition and to those observing the Day of Mourning.
The Day of Coronation
On the morning of the second day of the Drakari-Ta Na'Tika, the chosen successor presents himself in the capital, outside the palace. Addressing the Drakari people, he provides a speech, traditionally speaking of the history of the Drakari-Ta and the future of the Drakari and the Drakari Union.
Following this speech, in a ceremony lasting hours, the chosen successor is officially declared the Drakari-Ta. During this ceremony, the Drakari-Ta declares himself as both Altara Krieus and the successor, taking on both names for the remainder of his life. However, history only records the name of the successor - Altara Krieus' name is only ever recorded as the original Drakari-Ta, and only ever named as the current Drakari-Ta.
The remainder of the Day of Coronation sees the Drakari-Ta touring the Union's capital planet, meeting with Kari-Ta from the various clans and other prominent figures. As is tradition, the Drakari-Ta formally recognizes each Kari-Ta as the continued leader of their respective clans, with both the Kari-Tas and the Drakari-Ta exchanging gifts with eachother. Some Drakari-Ta also elect to hold feasts and parties on the evening of Coronation, while others choose to wait until the start of the Day of Celebration.
The Day of Celebration
While many Drakari begin their festivities on the evening of the second day, and some even begin theirs on first day, officially, the third is the day for celebration. It is on this day the Drakari-Ta himself can take part in the festivities - Dancing, feasts, parties, and singing. More gifts are exchanged between the people , their Kari-Tas, and the Drakari-Ta himself. Great, communal feasts are held for all three meals of the day, prepared in advance and served by Drakari whom observed the Day of Preparation instead of Mourning. Alongside the feasts and parties, festivities and traditions include dancing, singing, gift-giving, and re-enactments of Drakari history and legend in the form of plays, song, and poetry.
Bloodless Battle of Kitado
Main article: Battle of Kitado
Every Drakari-Ta Na-Tika includes a re-enactment of the legendary 'Bloodless Battle of Kitado', in which Altara Krieus faced off against the Kitado Clan's warriors, and convinced them to join him and his vision of Drakari unity without ever drawing a weapon. Traditionally, the role of Altara Krieus is played by the Drakari-Ta himself, and his role purposefully left completely unscripted - Every re-enactment is different, with the arguments and speeches provided by the Drakari-Ta during this play usually referencing current events, progress, and conflicts. This play is seen as a re-enforcement of the Drakari-Ta's continuing vision of unity, peace, and prosperity.
Great Feast of UnityMain article: Drakari Feast of Unity
The third and final meal of the Day of Celebration is known as the Great Feast of Unity - A tradition that is held not only during the Drakari-Ta Na-Taki, but also on other occasions where the Drakari-Ta decides to holds it. During these feasts, Drakari from every clan come together in a great potluck, sharing the food and customs of their cultures with eachother. This feast was first held by Altara Krieus shortly after he untied the clans and formed the Drakari Union, and is held in honor of the close-knit unity of the Drakari people and to reinforce the bonds between each clan.
As the focus of the 3 day event, the Drakari-Ta himself is always in attendance. Kari-Ta from every Drakari clan also attend the festivities in the Drakari Union capital. Following the integration of the Union into the Varkesh, representatives from other member nations have been invited to attend all future Drakari-Ta Na'Tika festivals - Though it seems unlikely that another such festival will ever be held following the Drakari Civil War.
The Drakari-Ta Na'Tika is held the day after the Drakari-Ta's death, and honors the life, death, and rebirth of the Drakari-Ta's spirit.
AppendicesAppendix A: Related Articles
The first Drakari-Ta of the Drakarian Union, and the legendary spirit said to inhabit the bodies of all past, present, and future Drakari-Ta.
An alien race that resembles some form of a furred humanoid bipedal lizard.
Drakari Day of Mourning
The traditional rites of passing for the Drakari people, including the day-long mourning, Passing Speech, Burning Ritual, and the Feast of Passing.
A republic of Drakari clans, and a recent addition to the Varkesh
The last formally declared Drakari-Ta of the Drakari Union. Kritar Vedus and his family were killed at the close of the Drakari Civil War.