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Leadership Challenge

The challenge is simple. Our leaders randomly designate a selected human. I am sent here alone, no weapons and no assistance. I must locate and obtain the trophy, and return home with it, victorious. By doing this, I ascend to leader. This is the ritual of the Stenza.
— T'zim-Sha, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth"


The modern form of this ritual is a revisionist version of a romanticized conception of more ancient traditions regarding gaining status within the clan (such as repeatedly bringing in large kills, such as Basket Horns, to provide food for everyone). In the early years of the Stenza state, these sorts of commendations were within living memory, and the challenge was modeled after them (and even set this way into The Twin Pillars). However, after 2500 years of advancing technology and discovering new worlds (and, admittedly, the Stenza mind not quite knowing what to do with the existence of alien life), the attitude shifted. At first, many remained steadfast that they were to hunt an individual that had a chance of putting up a fight, either due to size or cunning.   Curiously, the discovery of then-level-four civilization Earth changed the game. After a brief spot of research, the native humans were deemed fairly capable, but incredibly stupid, and thus generally fair game for a hunt (the nascent Earth Fandom has always objected, and continues to object). Humans quickly became the target of choice, prompting some elders and ranked officers to feel the challenge for Leader had become too easy, and any simpleton could do it. Now, it is common for humans to be the "default" for such a challenge, but a contender is allowed to choose a species of prey (the individual is still randomly chosen for him or her, however). Many past leaders are known for insisting to the Droghi on something other than a human simply to feel as though they've earned something and the position has value.


A typical challenge is a hunt. As noted, a contender may select the species, though a human is the modern "default". The clan elders randomly choose an individual and give the contender just enough information to find them and return them to Mudewei. The hunt is completed without gear or assistance from others, to the point where not even pups are allowed. Successful completion rewards the contender with the rank of Leader, and he may be challenged in such a fashion in seven years.   In the event that the serving leader is assassinated, killed in battle, dies of an unforeseen illness, or some other horrible tragedy befalls them, it becomes necessary to hold a challenge as soon as possible in order to fill the power vacuum. In the case of assassination or being killed by a fellow Stenza acting in self defense, the killer is rarely considered a candidate themselves (the one exception in modern times being Creyth, who refused on principle) but may name someone they believe will be better suited to the position. That named individual has the option of undergoing the challenge or not.

Components and tools

Notably, this is the one Stenza tradition which requires, in the absolute strictest sense, no tools whatsoever. A prospective leader is only allowed to bring their Battle Armor onto a hunt for safety reasons, and he or she is to complete the mission unarmed and with no assistance.

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19 Dec, 2019 02:34

"the nascent Earth Fandom has always objected, and continues to object" - I am a fan of the Earth fandom. :D

22 Dec, 2019 18:00

That is absurdly cute I love it :D