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Silver Elf Birth Rites

Birth Rites of the Dark Folk

O' goddess of the night you have given us strength,
Now we ask for a better, a child, a priestess, a warrior,
One who shall lead in your name,
One who shall hunt in your stead.
We ask for one not weak,
One that shall bring greatness that we seek.
— Prayer of Childbrith,
Silver Elf Culture
  For those that call the scattered caverns and reaching tunnels of Káto home, there is no miracle like that of a child, especially for the Silver Elves. Much like the Elves of the surface, the Silver Elves face a millennium of life, one that must be filled with some sort of meaning. The Silver Elves look to the blessings that the Huntress gives them, the hunt, life, and above all, power. Children are a blessing, one that can easily grant power with a great prodigy.   Within Silver Elf Culture, the birth of a child, while highly celebrated among certain people, is still a secretive time. The event is considered sacred to all women in the culture, but is considered a moment of divine clarity for the Matron Mothers of noble houses. Because of the matriarchal nature of Silver Elf Culture, a birth is considered an event that only women celebrate, or in rare cases, mourn.   Male and female children are always considered to be the same type of blessing. In this culture, female children are often more highly celebrated as they will continue a family's ties to the Huntress and continue the work their mothers have done. Oftentimes, the first two male children in a family are celebrated, but a third may be mourned as it may seem that the goddess has forsaken a family and given them a Third Son.  

Birth Celebrations

Birth celebrations for Silver Elves are meant to honor the blessing one receives from the Huntress, but these celebrations are strictly for select women chosen by the expectant mother. Oftentimes, the chosen circle of women are close family members or may even be from other houses if the family has a noble status.   The birth of the child is the main celebration, requiring a great deal of tradition and magic on the part of those that attend. The expectant mother and a trusted midwife will be shrouded from the others by a screen, allowing only shadows to pass through. The other women circle the screen, chanting a variety of spells, wards, and prayers that are meant to bring great strength to the child and family. This celebration can last hours, but the chanting never ceases until the child has entered the world.  

Silver Elf Births

Much like the Elves of the surface, the pregnancies of Silver Elves are altered by the inherent magic of their people. A vision from the Huntress foretells the birth of a child to a family, but the gender of said child is kept from the mother until the birth. Trained midwives can often divine the due date of the child and help begin preparations for the celebration.
  These celebrations do not always end well. If the child is unwanted, as in the case of a Third Son or a child with a deformity, the child may be destined for a life of servitude as little more than a slave to their family or may even be killed. Noble houses, especially those that are seeking greater power in their city, may allow a Third Son to live to near adulthood so as not to be seen as following archaic traditions, but will ultimately kill the unwanted child.  

Honoring the Goddess

All celebrations surrounding the birth of child, whether wanted or unwanted, is meant to honor the Huntress. Prayers are constantly spoken to the goddess throughout the birth and gifts may be left on altars afterward if the child is female. This culture centers heavily around women's ties to the goddess and childbirth is no different.   Some Silver Elf families have also been known to offer sacrifices of Káto monsters or other things to the goddess as a way to celebrate and honor the blessing granted to them. Much like the killing of Third Sons, this practice is seen as extremely archaic and something that is better left to the past. Even so, some families refuse to give up what were known as the old ways.
Primary Related Location
Related Ethnicities

Naming

Silver Elves, much like the Elves on the surface, 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 mother. This name is often simple and easy to say, a name that would never be used for an adult, like Ri, Io, or Zak. Their childhood name will only be used by their mother, elder women in the family, or possibly sisters, but males in the family or those outside of the family will call the child by a title.   The childhood name also serves as somewhat of a placeholder for the early months of a child's life as the name that their child will receive as an adult or when they have reached their potential in the family. Adult names are quite unique and may use part of the childhood name. These names are considered to be sources of power so mothers spend a great deal of time finding a name that is befitting of this blessing and the power they wish for their child to have.   The adult name will be kept amongst the women of the family until the Matron Mother of a house chooses to bestow it upon the child. This could be once they have reached adulthood, roughly age thirty, or when the child has begun to fulfill the potential space in the family they were given, whether this be priestess, scholar, or warrior.


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