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The First Ushering

Humans call it murder, dwarves call it necessity, we call it life
— Naga Shaman
To ularrian naga childbirth is seen in a unique fashion. Being part reptile, naga can lay up to fifty eggs per clutch, most females often have 3-5 clutches over their life. Without the resources and structure that other intelligent spices a naga tribe simply can't feed that many mouths. Because of this certain precautions must be taken to ensure that only those that can contribute to the tribe enter into naga society. These rituals are often seen as cruel and terrible to other humanoids, but to naga it is but another hardship of the unjust world the human race forced them into.   When a naga is ready to lay her eggs, she travels deep into the desert. When she finds a perfect spot she will dig a deep borrow below the sand. There she lays her eggs and curls around them, here the ritual begins.

The Great Sleep

  Under the desert sands, the Nagaess enters a near-death state. She does not need to eat of drink water, and some say that the soul exits the body during The Great Sleep. This maternal hibernation ends when the first egg begins to hatch.
         
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The Climb

  The new hatchlings then must climb out of their nest. The babies are drawn by their mother's sent and slither as fast as they can towards her. If one of the hatchlings can't climb out they might be abandoned depending on the tribe the mother is from.
     
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The Emergence

  When the first eggs begin to hatch the nagaess will burst out of her borrow, casting the rays of the desert sun on the hatchlings. If when the naga bursts out of the ground it is raining, it is seen as a bad omen and the clutch in often abandoned.
       
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The Journey

  After the strongest hatchlings make it to their mother, she then must lead her children though the desert, back to their village. This journey must be completed without food of water, the harsh conditions of the desert often kill off many of the hatchlings, leaving only 5 or 10 that reach the village.
   
When the surviving hatchlings reach the rest of the tribe they are greeted by their mother friends and family and welcomed into the naga tribe with song and dance. Recently, as Yatyanism has spread into naga culture, the mother is gifted a copy of The Hetyemily, the holy text of Yatyan, to teach her children with.

The Soulless Infant

  In naga tradition it is believed that a hatching has no soul until it is touched by one of it's parents. This idea developed alongside the First Ushering to justify the it's darker aspects. The concept of the "Soulless Infant" has worked it's way into Silrian Yatyanisim too, but Silrians say it's not until the father or a priest touches the infant. Believing that their dying children aren't actually alive offers a bit of comfort to the mothers that must go though the pain of the first Ushering.

Evolutionary Effects

  The first ushering has a unforeseen beneficial side-effect. Most of the infants that survive are more acclimated to extreme heat and thirst. Every generation that goes by, ularrian naga as a species get better at dealing with their hostile climate. As naga get more genetically resilient, the first ushering must be done farther from the village to maintain a stable population in the tribe.

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Cover image: by Samuel Robbins

Comments

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Master TimeBender
Unknown User
17 Feb, 2021 00:53

Aw, such a harsh way to enter the world for the hatchlings! But very well thought out, as it makes sense why the naga must do this.

~TimeBender~ Check out my story worlds if you so desire! Error Earth,Modern Fantasy EarthNearthRetaliation Crew EarthSweet Dreams Bakery, Universe 7-41