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Zighaak Vo

Among the Ngavari of old, marriage was a deeply spiritual and personal affair. Though often undertaken for purposes of business or politics, the act of nuptial union was incredibly intimate. Whereas other cultures might mark such an even with dancing, feasting, or some other such frivolity, a Ngavari couple bent towards marriage would journey out into the wilderness to find a Spirit of the Green, before whom they would recite the vows of marriage, their voices quiet in reverence. The Spirit would reach into them, and taking hold of their souls, bring them into a very literal spiritual union—a process which has been known to spark love even in couples in which it was not previously present. Then, returning their spirits to their natural state, within their bodies, the couple would consummate their union there in the wilderness, the Spirit warding off any possible interlopers, mortal or animal. This union would always be fruitful, even if the woman of the pair were otherwise infertile, or the man otherwise impotent.   With the Sundering of Ngavar, it has been only through significant effort that this rite, the Zighaak Vo (/ziɣaːk voː/)—meaning the "Long Embrace"—has survived. Most of the Spirits of the Green are now dead as a result of the Sundering, most of those few which remain sheltering on the grounds of the Temple of the Sundered Green. The Temple Gardens, which have been very carefully cultivated in order to provide a home for the Spirits of the Green, have been the site of this ritual for the past two centuries, and the Ashfolk, and the successors to the Ngavari of old, have diligently observed it the entire time.
— from Twofold Armageddon: The Modern Ngavari, by Quondrus Betelon

Participants

The Zighaak Vo has exactly three participants: the groom, the bride, and the spirit. Ritually speaking, the groom and the bride have what are essentially the same role in the event. The role of the spirit, which officiates marital union and performs the rite's spiritual aspects, can be filled by any Spirit of the Green. Before the Sundering of Ngavar, the role was conventionally filled by the patron spirit of the bride—whether that be of the place she lived if she were poor, or of her house if she were wealthy. Since the Sundering, with the vast majority of Ngavari dwelling in Kul Khalesi, the essentially all families have a patron spirit dwelling within the Gardens of the Temple of the Sundered Green, with many providing patronage to multiple families.

Related Location
Temple of the Sundered Green
Related Ethnicities

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