The Rite of Passage
When a Suberian child reaches the age of 13 they must face Ht’karkaya to prove themselves worthy of adulthood. The exact details of the challenge vary, but it always involves being alone in the deep wilderness for multiple nights. When (or if) the child returns, they are greeted with a great celebration. Of course if they don’t come back, no party. Often multiple children go out at once traveling in opposite directions. On rare occasions, the children end up finding each other. Such cases can produce a wide variety of interesting results.
A Lost TraditionAs Suberia becomes more and more unified and less primitive, the idea of Ht’karkaya has fallen out of favor in many villages. With logging and exploration on the rise there isn’t really a truly wild to perform this ritual. Many villages have proclaimed that it is too cruel or primitive, and have abandoned it.
For as long as Subrians can remember, they have practiced this ritual. It is said that it was given to humanity at the dawn of time, and that those that fail to perform it will fall into the hands of the Kiv, evil spirits of darkness. Only in recent years has Suberians forgotten this holy tradition. The hermits and shaman morn the loss of this great ritual, saying that it is the heart and soul of suberian culture.
A shaman of some sort often will say priers and sing spiritual songs as the children depart and act as a moderator during the festivities after.
At one point Ht’karkaya was observed all over Suberia. In recent years it has fallen out of favor. Now only the most remote villages observe it, and even they don't do it for every child.