Theiket's Singing Tradition / Ritual in Lethea | World Anvil

Theiket's Singing

Soothing Songs & Lordly Lions

Theiket's Singing is a ritual performed by the Lorati to honour the great lion Theiket, a wise creature who guided the Lorati ancestors away from the drying savannahs and grasslands into the lush and fertile fields beyond the Vemari Mountains and over the Roh. Hundreds of people from the Lorati Grassland, Wane Woods, and the southern parts of the Cenisis Uplands travel to the centre of the Lorati Grassland to perform, socialize, and celebrate. The ritual and celebration lasts for four days and involves several deaths, most of which are intentional.
We come here every year to remember the generosity, the wisdom, and assistance of our saviour, the great lion Theiket. Without his guidance, we would have dried up along with the desert, but thanks to him we are here. Let us sing as he did all those years ago upon our arrival. Let's sing and celebrate so that his wondering spirit can hear us!
— Hemhet the Hammer


After the end of the fourth day, the organisers of the event gather everyone around a large bonfire and announce the location and date of the next Theiket's Singing ritual. The event typically takes place in the middle of Autumn, but there have been years when the date and location changed due to an ongoing war or a nasty plague. Each Lorati tribe has to bring their own lion and several slaves to the ritual. Tribes who fail to meet the requirements aren't allowed to participate.


Day 1

The first day of the Theiket's Singing ritual is for honouring the wise lion's generosity. The Lorati tribes use the opportunity to repair relations, solve disputes, and to forge alliances. When the sun's the highest, the participants gather around a sacrificial stone. Every tribe has to bring one of their slaves to the stone, and their leaders have to plunge a dagger into their spine.

After the slaves have been killed, the tribes will allow their lions to devour the sacrificed men. While the great beasts feast, the participants gather around in a circle and quietly play their drums and chant as long as the lions eat.

Day 2

On the second day of Theiket's Singing, the participants start the day's activities by burning what's left of the sacrificed slaves. As the fires die out their choirs will begin to sing the ancient songs of their ancestors that described how the lion led the Lorati through the treacherous Qurwood and over the river Roh. Once they've finished singing, the tribes will celebrate with a feast.

The feast involves fresh gazelle meat and fish cooked by the finest chefs from the tribes and the nearby city of Last Hope in Alminthas, elaborate meals made from corn, chillies, and other locals ingredients.

Day 3

The third day and its rituals are dedicated to recovery. Just as the mighty lion slumbered after reaching the Lorati Grassland so must the descendants of those who followed him on the long journey to salvation. The day is spent by resting, telling stories, singing quietly, and enjoying the company of the other participants. Those who disrupt the peace by yelling, fighting, or by beating the drums will be tied up to a long thick post.

At dusk, the tribes will bring their last slaves in front of the post and a circle of onlookers will form around it. If anyone is tied to the post, the slaves will let them go, but they'll have to stay in the circle and partake in the ritual. When the drummers begin banging on their instruments, the slaves will start a silent wrestling match in the circle. The last person standing will be granted freedom while the others will be fed to the lions.

Day 4

At the break of dawn the participants will gather around to finish off the event by singing as long as they can. At first, the singing is quiet, a way for the people to warm up their voices, but as the minutes turn to hours, the chants and songs will turn more and more intense. The first person to stop singing will be captured later and sacrificed and fed to the lions and the same goes for disruptive individuals.

If by the end of the day there are people still standing on two legs and singing the songs of their people then they will be awarded furs, exquisite foreign wines, coins, jewels, and other valuables. They will be celebrated as people blessed by the spirit of Theiket for only the lion's help could have assisted them in such a great feat that mimicked the lion's actions.
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Lionman Theory

There are some who question the stories of the great lion Theiket, and instead, claim that this creature was but a normal man. According to such conspiracy theorists, Theiket was a human who ended up leading the Lorati after their previous leader had passed away. They say that this man was strong and imposing, scalp covered beneath a messy mop and jawline hidden under a fluffy beard.

Theorists claim that due to his hairy appearance and imposing presence he became known as the lion and from then the oral stories failed to mention that he was an actual person.


Author's Notes

Blame Theiket for the creation of this article.

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May 12, 2019 22:32

Beautiful work. I love how you've formatted each day. It reminds me of something I need to do for a few of my own rituals.   Well done.

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