Marks of Chance
It's not safe to go alone. Wear this!In a world like Istralar, even the safest areas can have lingering dangers, and not everyone has the power or money to afford protections. Instead, some are forced to rely on what luck they can find - or borrow for themselves. Marks of chance are small but surprisingly intricate tattoos or skin-paintings done with chanceberry dye, whether it be the true rainbow-iridescence of the expensive dye or the simple varying brightness of chanceberries broken down into dyes. The legend behind their power is simple, and one that has many points of origin: if the chanceberries themselves are so touched by fate that they roll the dice at every opportunity, then wearing them could perhaps offer some of that wild fate-twisting chance to the wearer. In some cultures, particularly those in Serendel Forest where the tradition first originated, the dye must be applied by a caring friend or family member to aspect the luck towards positive. Having an enemy apply it would poison the concoction with malevolent energy, according to local lore, and a neutral disposition would result in wild alterations of fate in no particular direction.
The ceremony usually takes place as close to nature as possible - often in the local woods. Metals are forbidden; all swords must be put aside, and no armour is welcome. The paints are made up from cauldrons and effort over the course of days, and in the ceremony itself, they are applied via wooden palettes and horsehair brushes (if indeed they are only paints). Those who prefer to have the ink tattooed undergo a more painful tattooing process instead. Once applied, every individual who cares to offer their blessing lays their hand atop the new Mark of Chance and whispers their wish for its bearer - usually wishes of safety and protection, but occasionally something more. When all is done, a feast is thrown - a celebration of the individual they have marked, and in many cases, a farewell.
Though every country, town, and village has their own rituals surrounding the marks of chance, it is entirely typical for there to be some measure of ceremony for when someone requires the marks of chance. They are not offered to every townsperson, but those going on particularly dangerous journeys or leaving permanently for new, risky sights are usually those who have earned the respect and goodwill enough for their community to rally behind them. Collecting the berries for the marks of chance is not a single-person task, and it is rumoured that the more people are involved in collecting the berries, the greater the luck will be.