Alńe Initiation Rituals Tradition / Ritual in Nys | World Anvil

Alńe Initiation Rituals

In most regions of the Rojgrasz, nobody cares about the coming of age of new, young Alńe. Ordinary people fear them and do not want to have anything to do with them, even if they are related by blood.   However, in the Zatjal-influenced region, mages are better integrated in society. They can even ask families if they want their children to train as alńe. When parents say so, their children begin a long journey that will lead them to the venerable profession of alńe, feared and respected protector of the people.
 

The Beginning

Mages usually visit the house of the child they want to train some months before their fourteenth birthday celebration, when they would receive a weapon instead of a doll, symbolizing their entrance in adulthood.   If the parents allow the training, and the child is interested, they will become an apprentice. On their upcoming birthday, they will receive neither a doll nor a weapon. They will be held aside from other children, and, after every other gift has been given, the alńe will offer them a magical wooden rod instead. It is enchanted to grant the new apprentice protection against abyssal creatures and makes it easier to cast spells.   The day after the celebration, the alńy goes to the kid's house and bring them to their new home. They are not allowed to spend nights somewhere else, though some masters allow them to visit their parents, friends and village.
 

The Initiation

The apprentice will train for two to four years, depending on their skills and their master's indisputable decision. After some time, they all start losing attachment to their childhood life. They spend less and less time with their parents and friends (even if they are allowed to do so) and become more solitary and knowledgeable.   When the master alńe deemed it sufficient, the apprentice must overcome a final challenge. Every mage chooses a task for their pupil based on many factors, including the season, closeness to other villages or cities, peculiar landmarks, famous (benevolent) spirits, both the apprentice and the alńe skills, the training's focus and many others.   When (if) the apprentice comes back from the challenge, the alńy prepares a final ritual. They bring their pupil to a benevolent spirit nearby and asks them to blessed a new alńy. The spirit always accepts (since the mage had previously informed them and made some pact with them).   As a final step, the new alńe organises and celebrates the next birthday celebration in their own village. In the end, they cast a protective seal on the village, so powerful that it breaks their rod. From that point on, they are initiated as a real alńy. They will choose a village, probably a different one, or travel throughout the Dark Lands, without a home, friends or family, but with the awareness of being a feared and respected person, helping other's survive.
 

Breaking the Rod

The rod works as a catalyser for beginners, helping to channel their magical energies to cast spells. However, when the trainee becomes powerful enough, their energies flowing inside the rod wear it down.   The rod can break before the final ceremony. What happens, in this case, depends on the master alńy. In the original Zatjal tradition, the breaking of the rod symbolises the initiation end, so the training is over, and the apprentice is now an alńe. They would still proceed with the spirit's blessing and prepare another low-effort rod for the final celebration, rigging it so that it breaks easily even though new.   Sometimes, masters do not appreciate it if the rod breaks early, so they replace it and force the apprentice to go on with the training for the remaining time until the final celebration. True Zatjal alńe abhor this decision and take under their protection any apprentice forced to continue training in this situation, helping them find a spirit to get the blessing.
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Cover image: Nys Logo by Fabrizio Fioretti

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