Oath to Venderus
The Oath to Venderus is a popular coming of age ritual within Kalriv society, and has been a part of their culture for thousands of years. It marks the transition to adulthood for all Kalriv and is carried out after a Kalriv's eighteenth birthday.
The Oath dates back to the rise of the Kalriv, particularly when they began cementing their hold over other towns and villages in the central Sapphire Coast. As the Kalriv became a much more nationalistic and structured society, such rituals were deemed necessary to solidify loyalty to the Empire. Originally the ritual were only held for Guardians and Solars, but as the Empire became much larger, it was deemed important to include the lesser castes to bolster their loyalty and reduce the chance of rebellion or insurrection.
Each prospective Kalriv citizen is summoned to the Venderan Ziggurat in the city of Var Kalriv. If the prospect is over 500 kilometres from Var Kalriv, they may attend their closest major temple; however they need to travel a considerable distance, if they live in a city with a major temple, they have to travel to another one. Residents of Var Kalriv may attend the Venderan Ziggurat, however they are expected to carry out a journey of at least 100 kilometres beforehand. Prospective citizens gather at the temple and are attended by a panel of Solar priests who witness the ceremony. The first stage of the ritual involves an offering or service to be carried out for Venderus. The nature of the service depends on the social class of the person taking the oath;
- Guardians partake in a ritual full-contact sparring match against five other Guardians close to them (usually friends or non-parental relative) for five minutes. They use wooden weapons to avoid serious injury or fatality. The prospective Guardian must hold their own for the full five minutes- if they are knocked unconscious they must repeat the process.
- Female Guardians may opt out of the sparring and may instead undertake an obstacle course set up in the Colosseum of the Sun which tests their fitness, strength and speed.
- Solars undertake an interview with other priests about various acts, events and laws of the Kalriv faith. They are expected to have these committed to memory. If they fail, they must undertake the ritual again. This is concluded by the Solar performing a sacrifice of incense.
- Artisans present a work of art relevant to the medium they have worked in dedicated to Venderus. Common items are a sun emblem, a priest's robe, a sword
- Labourers must present an offering relevant to their work; for example, farmers may present an offering of their best fruits, grains or livestock, builders may build a shrine, etc.
- Slaves may not participate, as they are considered outside the Kalriv caste system.
I solemnly vow before Venderus, Lord of the World and Master of the Sun, to uphold the values he has tasked the Kalriv people to demonstrate. I will protect those who need protection, defend all that is good and just, and work to improve the lot of those I work and live with. I will respect the Solars, and swear fealty to our Overlord and our Empire. I swear to these souls before me that I will remain true and to my family that I will honour their legacy. I am a Kalriv.Once this is done, the prospect is acknowledged by the Solars and declared a Kalriv citizen of their caste, and attend a banquet in the temple's Great Hall with the Solars and the other inductees. They are from that day considered a full Kalriv adult, with the rights and responsibilities that entails.
Components and tools
The tools used in the ritual depend on the caste of the prospect. Wooden swords, spears and obstacles are used for Guardians, while tools are provided for artisans and labourers.
The most important attendants outside of the prospect are members of the city's Solar priesthood, who observe and sanctify the ritual, and the families of the prospects, who observe the rituals and hold the prospect accountable.
The ritual takes place at the end of each month, and includes every person who turned 18 on that particular month.