The First Joint Hunt
The human traditions of marriage could not be more different from ours. They spend hours sitting in a church and praying to the Mother for her blessing. Not that the favour of the gods is a bad thing. But maybe, if they did something that actually forms a strong bond between the new couple like we do, they wouldn't need that much blessing.
In the morning of their wedding, the groom's right leg is chained to the bride's left leg and the groom's right arm is chained to the bride's left arm. Then, with the chains in place, they go hunt! During this so-called first joint hunt (Rurqr Ouurr Uhrr), the two will learn to fight side by side as one, and in doing so think as one. This will form a bond between them, stronger than anything merely promised. They are only allowed to return to their hometown after they have slain at least one animal. While a small one, like a rabbit, is sufficient, larger and more dangerous animals, such as wolves or boar, are considered a better omen for the couple. Usually, they will hunt the first animal they find and then continue to search for something larger. In the meantime, friends and family prepare a large feast in the hometown. Everyone who knows them is welcome to join. Once the couple has returned, their game is grilled and will get eaten by the guests most dear to the newly married couple. The larger the animal was, the more people get a piece of it. During the feast, a short prayer to the Mother is said. Later in the evening, the feast usually transitions to a party with music and dance. This is also when the chains are released.
Components and tools
The most important tools are obviously the two chains used to tie the bride and groom together. They are especially forged for this occasion. For richer orcs, they might be made of precious metals and may feature engravings of the couple's names or good wished for their marriage. But for the poor, a simple metal chain is sufficient. After the celebration, the chains are typically displayed in the couple's hut. They will stay with them for their entire life, as a symbol of their bond, and will be buried with the one who lives longer.
This rite has been part of the orcish culture for longer than anyone can remember and is observed everywhere where orcs live and hunting is possible. Those who have given up on the more traditional lifestyle and live in cities sometimes travel to a nearby orc village to marry there or have adapted to the human marriage traditions.
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You have both right arms tied together.... Otherwise, a freaking sweet orcish marriage rite! I'd love to see more BBcode formatting, and maybe an image or even a quote from a non-orc on the tradition.
Whoops... that would require some interesting contortions, let me fix that. Out of interest: where/how would you add more formatting? I try to add images where I find something fitting, but two orcs chained together is too specific to be freely available. A second quote is a good idea, thanks.
I'm sure many of the artists on our Discord would be willing to help, or even finding and photobashing some chains on a wall into something nice could work. Perhaps throw the second quote inbetween the third and fourth paragraph? Something like a parent telling their children about their hunt?
i think this is really sweet idea! are there any other cultures that adopted similar ideas? or maybe people who immigrate into orc territories would adopt it? nice idea!
Other cultures hesitate to adapt orcish ideals because their ideological focus on strength and honour is often seen as brutish from the outside. I don't see anyone adopt this in the foreseeable future on a larger scale, but a few individuals might.
I like how the orc in the beginning quote is so dismissive of human marriage ceremonies, and the idea of a marriage rite being more about the bond between the newlyweds.
I also like how they are actually forced to think as one, and how they're forced to cooperate with their spouse-to-be. And the idea of a bigger kill being a better omen - take down a bigger challenge, you can handle the bigger challenges life may throw at you.
And the fact that they display the chains in their house and that they're buried with the last orc to die is rather sweet, especially with a species that most fantasy worlds only characterize as "this is Orc, Orc is evil, you kill Orc".
All in all a very nice read!
Agreed. The whole article was just amazing.
I'm really trying to work against that "black and white" moral system RPG systems like D&D have established. I'm trying to make orcs more "human" while still keeping something wild about them. I'm glad it seems to have worked.