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The Coming of Age Ceremony

Written by Loremaster Aemon

"May our Gods Protect Us,May our Strength Unite us,May our Wisdom Guide Us and May our Courage Defend Us"
 

The Tribe of The Horse Ritual:

 

The participants of this tribal ceremony are all the eighteen year old male and female members of the tribe (or turning eighteen before the years end).The ritual begins in Mid Summer on the 15th day of Firesun,the seventh moon (month),all will leave on foot carrying a backpack,a bedroll & blanket ,a waterskin,dried food for a few days,a dagger,a spear or bow with one quiver of arrows,and their personal weapon of choice.All will have traditional leather and wool clothing,fur or leather boots and fur cloak to protect them from the elements.

 

Ritual Teachings:

 

The ritual teaches how to survive the cold harsh landscape of The Wintermist Plains and beyond.Staying warm and knowing how to hunt and fish are a priority,without these essential skills,death will seek to end your life.The weather is an important factor,it is easy to get caught in a snowstorm in deep winter and become stranded or lost for days,or die of thirst in the height of summer due to a lack of water,but the beasts and creatures of the wilds will hunt you,you are not the hunter here,so knowing how to fight or evade them is survival.

Skills you will use: 

 

Athletics,Investigation,Nature,Perception,Stealth & Survival

     

The Return And The Acceptance Ceremony:

 

The Ritual ends during the first thaw of the new year usually around the 15th day of Thawian (Icemelt),the second moon.All who return to the tribe will be accepted back as a Warrior,Hunter/Huntress,Druid or Priest/Priestess when the ceremony is completed.The Acceptance Ceremony is held on the Eve of Springs Dawn,the 7th day of Ploh,the third moon.

The Ceremony:

 

All the individuals who have completed the ritual gather in a circle with the Chieftain and his family,the High Priests,the High Priestesses,the High Shamans and the family members of the returned.A prayer is spoken by the Priests and Priestesses,The Shaman's chant and dance around the circle,the Chieftain lifts his sword aloft and shouts to the heavens "May our Gods Protect Us,May our Strength Unite us,May our Wisdom Guide Us and May our Courage Defend Us".

Each of the returned are given a pair of bronze engraved arm bands,fashioned by the Armourers of the tribe.Each depicts a Stylized horse,patterned runic edges and a representation of the individual,A Warrior has a sword and axes,A Hunter a bow and arrows and animals,A Druid a sickle and leaves or trees representing nature,and A Priest a staff and a scroll.Once the ceremony is over a feast begins,and all the remaining tribal members join the celebration,Eating,drinking,singing and dancing lasts until dawn.

History

This Tradition is vital in making sure only the strongest of its young members are part of the Tribe,which keeps the Tribe strong for future generations.To be a full member of the Tribe this Rite of passage must be taken and fulfilled,and has been this way for centuries.The only changes to this ritual are the age of the participants and the duration.In the past the ritual was undertaken by individuals of sixteen years of age who would have to venture into the wilderness alone,surviving from Mid Summer until the first snow of Winter.Now participants must be eighteen years of age and can go in groups of two or more,depending how many are coming of age at that time,and the duration is now from Mid Summer until the first Thaws of Spring.The age of the participants changed less than ten years ago because many promising youngsters were not returning to the tribe because of starvation,injury resulting in death,Death from the elements,captured and enslaved by rival tribes or desertion.The length of the ritual was extended until Spring because most were groups of four or more now instead of one person,which meant survival was easier because of the more varied skills.

Components and tools

A backpack,a bedroll & blanket ,a waterskin,dried food for a few days,a dagger,a spear or bow with one quiver of arrows,and their personal weapon of choice.All will have traditional leather and wool clothing,fur or leather boots and fur cloak.

Observance

The ritual begins in Mid Summer on the 15th day of Firesun,the seventh moon (month),and ends during the first thaw of the new year usually around the 15th day of Thawian (Icemelt),the second moon.

Wild Horses.jpg
Wild Horses by Lisa Dearing
Related Location
The Wintermist Plains
Related Ethnicities
Tribal Armbands.jpg
Tribal Armbands by Moda Operandi

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Cover image: Wild Horses by Lisa Dearing

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