Elven Birth Rites
Birth Rites of the Fair Folk
Come o’ sweet babe,For the fair folk that live beneath the boughs of the Elven Forest, amongst the peaks of the Spine of Kallex, or bathed in the sun of the open edges of the forest, there is no miracle like that of a child. When a millennium of life is so close to one’s fingertips, it is easy to lose sight of what truly matters, but with blessings so evident, the touch of one of the goddess so obvious, even the fair folk cannot deny the miracle that graces them by their own Mother, the goddess Lycana. For those that watch centuries pass, the touch of their goddess brings great joy. Within Elven Culture, the birth of a child is a highly celebrated time. The event is considered sacred, a moment when the family and their new life are blessed by Lycana to prosper and grow through the gifts that have been given to the Elves. One of the Elder Races created by the goddess Lycana, Elves see children as a blessing and an honor as it is believed that the goddess is allowing the Elves to continue the line that she began. Because of this most sacred time, many traditions surround the birth of an Elven child and the early months when the parents take great care of their blessing. It is not uncommon for parents to spend the first month or so tucked away in seclusion with their child, only emerging after a time to partake in the celebrations that families and sometimes whole communities have organized around the birth.
Child of the goddess,
Bring with the light of the garden,
A home amongst the shade,
Into the light of glaring sun,
Amongst the Elves you lay.
Birth CelebrationsBirth celebrations are integral to honoring the blessing that Lycana has bestowed upon a family and a community. In most instances, a birth is celebrated amongst the child’s immediate family from about a week before birth until the large celebration held a month after the child’s birth. Upon the parents’ withdrawal from seclusion, the community may also join the celebration, throwing large parties if the community is small and tight-knit.
The celebrations held throughout the Elven Kingdom to honor the birth of a child are said to be as fantastical as the parties thrown by the Fairy King, hours of celebrations, food, and gifts not unlike a large festival. Each community and family celebrates differently, following long-standing traditions that have stood since the earliest days of the Elven race.
Elven BirthsBecause of the inherent magic of the Elves, Elven women take to pregnancy very differently than Human women. It is said that the pregnancy of Elves begins with a vision from the goddess, foretelling of the woman’s child. Information such as the gender and due date of the child are later divined by the expectant mother through the aid of a Cleric that has been chosen to serve as a midwife.
Honoring the GoddessThese celebrations are meant mostly for the child and their parents, but a large part of the event is to honor the goddesses that are worshipped by most of the Elven Kingdom. In this aspect, celebrations can vary heavily as those involved pay tribute to their goddess in the most appropriate ways. All Elves will pay tribute to Lycana during their celebrations as she is who created the fair folk in the earliest days of Isekai. They honor the goddess and her blessing of continuing their race, but certain groups will also honor another goddess and her role in protecting them. Those from the Outlands and areas of the Spine of Kallex worship the Huntress as a protector and the goddess of good hunts. Those that follow her teachings will also honor the Huntress during birth celebrations, but this honoring is more of a prayer in hopes of gaining protection and a life of safe hunts and full bellies.
Elves will have two names throughout their lives, a childhood name and an adult name. Both are important throughout their lives, but their adult name will remain with them for centuries. Upon the birth of a child, they are given a nickname of sorts by their parents. This name is often simple or something that is considered a term of endearment, like Pip, Bug, or Rae. Their childhood name will often only be used by family, as others will often call the child by a title or their surname. The childhood name also serves as somewhat of a placeholder for the first month of the child’s life as the parents begin deciding upon the name that their child will receive as an adult. Adult names can be quite unique or a family name that has been passed down through millennia. Names are extremely important to Elves, so this time is necessary to find a name befitting of their blessing. The adult name will be announced at the birth celebration held at the end of the parents’ seclusion. While a matter of public knowledge after the celebration, the child’s adult name may not be used until they have reached the age of twenty as it is seen as a slight to the goddess if both names are not given their due.
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
I love the fact that elves have both a child and an adult name. That's a really nice cultural touch. You really get across how important births are to them.