The Glorgul clan had been celebrating the Suncrest Festival all day. It was well into twilight when the odd pair arrived. Wrapped in green cloaks, the young human and older halfing were both women. They approached the clan fires without hesitation, bowing to the chiefs. “Where is she?” the older one asked. The chief and chieftess looked at each other in confusion, “She?” The young woman was looking around and made a pleased sound when she saw the very pregnant glorgul woman who was helping with the Suncrest rituals. “Ah, there she is.” Without waiting for the chiefs to respond the two odd women went to the pregnant orc and bowed deeply. She was just as confused as the chiefs for her birthing time wasn’t for some days yet. “We arrived just in time I see.” Before anyone could respond the orc woman almost doubled over in pain. “It has begun.”The birth of a child during the Suncrest Festival is a special event, even considered holy by many. These birthings are accompanied by much ritual and ceremony for all in the vicinity. These traditions vary from community to community but all of them, from halfling to human, orc to fellfolk, share many of the same key points.The entire clan was in organized upheaval after that. The orc woman’s husband carried her to the birthing tent. The newcomers followed. When the clan healer tried to stop them, they let the hoods fall back and the circle clasps of their cloaks caught the moon light. They were both acolytes of the Divines. “We were called.” The healer blinked at the implications and let them pass without another word.Hours dragged on as the entire clan waited. A Suncrest Birth was always a special thing. That two acolytes of the Divines had traveled out here meant that this was bordering on sacred. Soon dawn was approaching and the clan held its breath. Many had turned to the east to watch the horizon. A soft golden line spread across the sky, tinged with orange and barest hint of greenish blue. It didn’t take long for the light to grow, the blue more pronounced and the horizon brightening to almost pure white. Still they waited. Around them the wind began to pick up, the horses becoming restless all around them. The golden light spilled over the sky turning the wisps of clouds colorful pinks and golds, the blue blazing towards the west. Still they waited. Then at long last the first rays of the blazing sun peeked over the edge and the air was filled with the cries of a newborn. Not just Suncrest Born, but Dawn Born!Almost as one the clans folk turned to the birthing tent. The young human woman came out, her white robe decorated with the flowers and sprouts of spring. In her arms she carried the mewing bundle. The air was blowing wildly around them and seemed to twist around the acolyte, her eyes taking in all that was happening around them. The herds of horses had broken into a run, circling the encampment like never before. With joy she raised the child up so all could see, “Glorgul clan! Welcome this day the blessed Dawn Born. Greet now Nori the Restless!”
During preparations, if the community can tell that there will be a pregnant woman, an acolyte of the Divines is summoned as a precaution. All Suncrest births are attended by at least one acolyte. They will act as doulas and/or midwives for the birth. Once the child is born, the acolyte brings the child before the community. After observing things like the position of the stars, current weather, environmental conditions, they will give the babe a blessing is and announce their public name. Then the newborn is returned to their parents.
While the new family is resting the rest of the community begins to leave presents and gifts for them. Flowers, choice bits of the recent harvest, and small articles of clothing are given to the mother. Small tokens, usually carvings, smoothed stones, or handmade dolls are left for the new babe. As the child grows, many will watch how they play with these tokens and view them as omens for those who created them. Whether or not this is true, no one is sure.
From then on the parents are considered blessed by Divine Summer and the child blessed by either Divine Spring or Divine Summer, depending on when they are actually born.
Very rarely, a child will be born exactly at dawn of the first day of Leafglory. These are considered extremely holy events. The Acolytes who attend these births are almost always particularly blessed and they are drawn to the birth from all over Bennoria. The children of these births are considered touched by the Divines and go on to do momentous things. These Dawn Born children are sometimes called the Children of Rembris for the destiny laid upon them. It is said many of those who became Sacred Avatars were Suncrest Dawn Born, though historical records on them are scarce if they exist at all.
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Tell us about a tradition surrounding births in one of your worlds.