Nam-Khet Bennu

The Enethi are semi-nomadic dwellers in the Chisisi Desert. Their "cities" are technically Zun-Ara, or small strongholds whose populace include a parental set and their offspring, plus any extended family and friends of the family who may not have other relatives to care for them, who are taken in by the graces of the family's heads.
When a child of any gender within a Zun-Ara comes of age, they may choose to commit to a comming of age ceremony called the Nam-Khet Bennu. This ceremony is not required in order to be considered an adult within Enethian culture, as that is something which is itself granted merely by age. However, it is required to be considered an independant member of the community without necessitating an arrangement such as marriage; being independent within the community allows one to lead religious ritual, have a voice concerning community issues, create one's own household, and many other things.   Due to the unforgiving nature of- and many dangers faced within- the Chisisi Desert, though, choosing to undertake the Nam-Khet Bennu ceremony is not a decision made lightly or spontaneously; a child prepares their entire life for the decision, and many often choose not to take on such obligations and responsibilities. If they do decide to participate, the child must first leave their family's Zun-Ara on a solitary mission of their own to find a stalk of Nefru: A rare Herb which grows in the hottest expanses of the desert. It is a key component of the ritual meal that comes later in the ceremony. If the child returns successful, having obtained the Nefru as a symbol of their commitment to the ceremony, then the entire populace of their family's Zun-Ara (except for those unable to travel, or who are unable to hunt), leave off into the desert for the second part: To hunt a (CREATURE).   The populace of the family Zun-Ara are only present during the journey for moral, later labor, and other support, however, and may lend no aid to the child during the journey. The child whose ceremony it is must themselves commit to the action of tracking and slaying the (CREATURE) on their own, without any aid. This is itself a symbol of their capability to face- and overcome- the dangers that may lurk within the Desert. If they are successful on this second mission, then, once the (CREATURE) is killed the heart is rutually prepared with Nefru collected earlier for the child to eat- thus marking them, finally, as a full and complete adult and independant member of the Enethian community. The rest of the meat is smoked, dried, or otherwise prepared for storage so that it doesn't go to waste.   Meanwhile, while the child prepares the ritual meal for themself, the bones and other materials from the (CREATURE) are used by the accompanying populace of their family's Zun-Ara to construct a new Zun-Ara for the child on the site where the beast fell. This then becomes the child's new household, of which they are the head. Afterwards the child is presented to the rest of the community within the area via another "coming out" ceremony of sorts- during which they are formally introduced to the community's Besai; an Enethian Matchmaker who will find a suitable spouse for them to start a family with.

Cover image: Trinity College by Henry Be


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially diferent, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misued a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal english" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

Please Login in order to comment!