Leadership Challenge Tradition / Ritual in Mudewei | World Anvil
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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.
— Tzim-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.


Every seven years at Last Sunset, the Droghi Council selects a human at random, although pools of other targets from different species are maintained should a candidate request one of those, instead. The candidate is sent in a transport pod to a spot near where the target can be found, and they must return before the start of migration. Weapons and assistance are explicitly banned (although another Stenza, often a political opponent, has the option of interfering in a hopeful's hunt, often with the aim of "running out the clock": for more, see Transition of Power).

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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Dec 19, 2019 02:34 by Amy Winters-Voss

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

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | Author Website
Dec 22, 2019 18:00

That is absurdly cute I love it :D