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Rite of One

The Rite of One is the final of (at least) three rituals in Sadina culture. It consists of a widow/widower preparing and eating a meal in solitude in honor of their deceased spouse. After the ritual the deceased spouse's spirit is said to depart for the afterlife, and the remaining spouse is granted a place beside them when their time comes.

Preparations for this rite begins already at birth when a child is given a name, which is the Rite of Three. Of the four names a child receives, the third name is the same as that of a fruit or berry, usually of a kind that thrive in the Sadina's native environment on the outskirts of the Desert of Kalir. As part of the Rite of Two, the marriage ritual, each spouse will plant the tree or a bush associated with their spouse's fruit/berry name. The plant is then usually looked after by the couple or close family members until it is strong enough to sustain itself. Finally, when one of the spouses passes away, the remaining spouse will conduct the Rite of One, going to where their trees/bushes were planted and prepares a meal using the fruits/berries growing there.

Each meal prepared for the Rite of One can be different, and the only thing tying it all together is that a combination of two fruits and/or berries are used in their making. As some fruit names are more common than others there are combinations that are considered classics within different clans. Some families even go out of their way to match their children up with a spouse of a certain fruit name in order for them to use a family recipe at their final rite. Some couples may have the same fruit name, in which case two variants of the same fruit is used.

Traditional Recipes

Here are two examples of recipes that are repeatedly used by certain clans and families during the Rite of One.

Stuffed Peccary Roll
Associated fruit names: Juniper, Olive, Plum (prune)
Recipe: Tenderize a piece of peccary belly. Sprinkle with salt, cover with pitted and sliced prunes, sliced juniper, and up to four chopped garlic cloves if available. Roll up and tie together with string. Fry with olive oil in a skillet until golden brown, and transfer to a pot or cauldron. Boil enough wine of your choice to cover the meat. Glaze the meat with honey or sweet tree sap if available. Bake the pot or cauldron in a slow fire for 12 fingers while occasionally turning the meat. Let cool for a while before slicing.
Apple Pomegranate Sauce
Associated fruit names: Apple, Orange, Pomegranate
Recipe: Peel, core, and dice two apples. Add a handful or two of pomegranate seeds. Juice one orange or other sweet citrus fruit. Add spices to taste if available, cinnamon and nutmeg both go well with this sauce. Sweeten with sugar, honey, or sweet tree sap to taste. Blend all ingredients in a pot with an appropriate amount of water and bring to a boil. Let the pot rest on the embers of the fire for 3 fingers until the fruit is tender. Discard the cinnamon if added earlier. Use as a sweet sauce for meats, or let it cool to be eaten as a dessert.
Rite of One
A widower preforming the Rite of One in the Desert of Kalir. The berry bushes planted during the Rite of Two can be seen in the background.
Common fruits/berries used in the Rite of One
  • Apple
  • Date
  • Fig
  • Goji
  • Juniper
  • Nopal (Prickly Pear)
  • Olive
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Pomegranate
  • Prickly Pear
  • Prune

Apple is by far the most common fruit name in Sadina culture, and tens, if not hundreds of types of apples grow throughout the Kalirisadin mountains.

Fruit names are not gendered but some names are more commonly found in male names, and others are more common among females. For example, fig, goji, and plum are more often used as male names, while date, juniper, and pomegranate are mostly used as female names.

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Cover image: by Fotoğraf Editörü, edited


Author's Notes

Less of "a food" and more of many types of dishes joined together by a common tradition, the last rite of the Sadina. I tried writing the recipes in the same way recipes were written in the 16th and 17th century and probably even earlier: extremely vague. Still, the recipes are quite real and the dishes can be made (through some trial and error probably).

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5 Jul, 2022 04:34

This is really touching. ;-;

5 Jul, 2022 14:10

I'm glad it invoked some feelings, arguably a bittersweet final rite of life. Thank you for checking it out and taking the time to comment!

Hello there!
6 Jul, 2022 16:47

What a sweet ritual! I love how it's connected to two other rites (which count down, instead of up.) I also like how time is counted in "fingers."

Reading Circle Temple Because magic isn't just fiction
6 Jul, 2022 18:54

Thanks you for checking it out, glad you like it. The idea behind the rite number is actually the number of participants, with the rite of three having a mother, father, and a child, the rite of two having two spouses, and the rite of one being just a widow(er). I though it was clever!

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6 Jul, 2022 19:40

I thought that might be the case. It is definitely clever.

Reading Circle Temple Because magic isn't just fiction
4 Aug, 2022 02:33

What a lovely cultural rite. I love that it ties into the marriage and birth as well.

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4 Aug, 2022 03:08

Thank you, I'm quite fond of this one! And I see you've left comments all around my little world, and while I will respond to each with a small thanks, may this be the one comment where I truly thank you for taking the time to explore my articles. While I do write mostly for myself and my D&D players, I really do appreciate some external positivity!

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Polina "Line" Arteev
8 Aug, 2022 17:51

The worldbuilding around this tradition is so beautiful! It's very clear that the people in your world who practice it foster deep connections within their relationships and I love the way you've written their methods for expressing that.

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8 Aug, 2022 18:14

Thank you very much! My world is all about deep connections, and I hope I get to the point where I can convey that in (almost) every article!

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