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Rebuilding Rites

History

Rudimentary forms of rebuilding rituals have existed between and among Stenza clans since the earliest days, as part of the fabric of recovering from war. The Clan of the Lost had assumed it as part of its official duties, while also giving Stenza whose settlements and clans awaited rebuilding a home in the meantime. It was, and is, believed that no clan was truly gone as long as at least one member survived, and even this tenuous state allowed the possibility that a clan could be rebuilt. In the pre-Unification years, clan rebuilding required strict adherence to the Hospitality Code and delicate diplomacy. Inter-clan marriages, blood-sibling relationships, and so on were taken into account during the process.   In the years immediately following Unification/the Battle with the Stone Menace, clan elders rightly worried how a unified Stenza political entity could impact their traditional rebuilding rites, including the use of their specific songs and dances and recipes. The specific fear that all of it would be replaced with a standardized vision, possibly originating from Strares droga, was at the fore of many minds in those days. However, cooler heads saw the impossibility of the task of standardizing all of Stenza culture (and agreed that such a project should not be attempted), and it was agreed that clans may perpetuate their unique customs, stories, dances, and other traditions as they saw fit.   This ultimately allowed the clans who had suffered severe losses in the battle (and there were many) to begin rebuilding in peace, maintaining clan identity while also beginning to foster a sense of a broader "Stenza" identity.   Unification allowed for the freer movement of people between settlements, but the rules of hospitality still held some sway. Clan elders continued to meet and negotiate terms with the parties of a long-term relationship, with blood siblings (another factor that contributed to broader Stenza identity), and with litter mates if they are involved in the situation.   In modern times, following the Clan Killings, there has been a gradual uptick in the performance of rebuilding rituals as clans nurtured by Creyth have begun to hive off and return home. Even clans with few survivors, most notably 'Elokh with one, are expected to recover (see above; no clan is truly lost as long as one person lives).

Execution

When the remnant of a clan is ready to hive off from the Clan of the Lost (usually when it is agreed the clan can support itself again), its members return to their former settlements and the ritual begins.   The ground must be broken again. This touches the liminal and may require the help of a Religious Expert if one is available (if not, the Droghi can serve the role in a pinch). The first thing done on the "new" ground is to dig a fire pit; this is one of the occasions for which the Kʉrdeneχ bird is smoked. While the bird is cooking, clan members all collaborate in telling stories from the clan's history and performing its specific dances. This is much less formal than the recitation of Khe'drakha, although that may be included, and Ale tends to flow freely during this phase.   The finished Kurdeneχ is also shared among the individuals present.   Once the food and drink have been consumed, the stories have been shared, and the fire extinguished, then the restoration work begins. The Earth saying that "Rome wasn't built in a day" is universal, but the first stages of cleaning out the settlement's Ccan residential are always initiated first, so that they can be moved into as soon as possible.   This work continues for up to several years, reconstructing buildings and other structures. This is about the time when the clan is considered its own unit again, although it will be some time before the Droga formation is once again operational.

Participants

The first stages of the ritual are reserved exclusively for the members of the clan at the time of initiating rebuilding. The liminal moment of breaking ground is considered delicate, and must be kept within the clan and closely-tied outsiders (such as Blood Siblings). However, following the initial phases, people can be brought in from anywhere to help with the effort, as expertise is needed.

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