"When Dahlia rejoices and blesses the land, the High Priestesses are the first to proclaim their role in it. Yet when she cries, only we are there. Her tears give us life and purpose here among the sands. It is a sorrowful thing." - Yammut Geheb, Shasdjed
A Shasdjed is the mystical shaman that leads a tribe of Shasreel
. They are exclusively male, if only to serve as an antithesis to the matriarchy of the Dahlen
priesthood. Contrary to most shamanic orders, only an outsider can become a new Shasdjed. An outsider's knowledge and perspective bring new insight to the tribe and betters it. It is said that a lone Dahlen that loses himself in the desert but finds his way to one of Dahlia's Tears that will be blessed by her. The nomadic shamans search for these individuals to induct them into their order.
Dahlia's Tears are a phenomenon of the desert, nearly a myth. The Sands of Sturn
surely has great rivers but the hundreds of miles in between are arid and desolate. The Tears are a series of oases that appear seemingly outside of natural cause in the desert and disappear accordingly. Shasdjed are able to sense these pools of water with Dahlia's blessing and find their way to them regardless of how disorienting the desert can become.
The Shasdjed are also said to be the secret behind the taming of the Nehebek for which the Shasreel travel. Towards the end of their rite of passage with the fruit of the Anatra cactus that grows exclusively by Dahlia's Tears, they share half the fruit with one of these serpents that take their arm entirely into the serpent's mouth. If judged unworthy of becoming the serpent's master, their arm is taken by the Nehebek along with their life. Should the serpent and Dahlia judge them as worthy of becoming a Shasdjed, they share a hallucination. It is there that the Shasdjed are said to learn the language of the Nehebek and tame them for their new tribe.
Once a Shasdjed, always one. Though there are no explicit rules or commandments for leading the tribe to speak against it, none of the shamans have ever left the lifestyle. They serve their tribe until death, in which their body is traditionally consumed by their partner Nehebek. The tribe is then dissolved, with the remaining Shasreel separating in the desert to join with other tribes.