Moke Tar Gar

Orcish coming of age ceremony. Participants are normally sixteen years old.


Orcs recognize three distinct stages of life. Childhood is a time of learning and apprenticeship. Adulthood is a time of making and acting. Elderhood is a time of advising and teaching. Orcs do not hold the three stages as absolute, for example orcs realize an orc doesn't stop learning once he becomes an adult and he can teach others before becoming an elder, but as a general description of the purpose of each stage of life. This "guidelines rather than rules" approach is especially important on the upper end, given the relatively low life expectancy of orcs and the limited number that live to become elders.¬†   The transition from for life stage to another is marked with rites of passage. The move from childhood to adulthood involves two ceremonies. The Mik Narg Gar is the transition from apprentice to journeyman and marks the orc's becoming an adult in his chosen trade or craft. The Moke Tar Gar is the recognition of being a warrior and becoming an adult in society.   Due to the Orc's passage from Korramdak to Therrmordia, the doorway is the main symbol of change and transition in Orc culture. Since most¬†ceremonies involve some aspect of change, doorways feature in most Orcish rituals. This is especially true in a ritual like a rite of passage.  


The ceremony takes place at the settlement's sacred door way. The sacred doorway is a freestanding structure located in a prominent open space and is normally two orcs tall and two to three orcs broad. It is made of a post and lintel construction and may be made of wood metal and stone. The door way is normally highly decorated with engravings and inlays. Children of extremely prominent orcs, such as tribal chiefs, may travel to the First Door to complete their Moke Tar Gar.¬†   Before the ceremony the orc undergoing the Moke Tar Gar must kill an animal. This can be through hunting or slaughtering a domestic beast.   The participant stands on one side of the doorway holding a practice weapon and carrying a favored toy or other object associated with their childhood. When the ceremony begins the participant lays down the weapon and other object and steps through the door. There the orc is met by a tribe sub-chief (Orc Chiefs tend to officiate at the ceremonies for important subordinates, though some chiefs try to attend as many Moke Tar Gars as possible). The sub-chief hands the orc a knife, and the orc cuts off his sukok braid and throws it on the ground. The sub-chief presents the orc with a weapon (normally an axe or spear) and a shield. then paints the tribe's symbol on the orcs forehead. Finally the sub chief dips the palm side of his hands in the blood of the slain animal and holds the participant's face, leaving bloody handprints. Once the ceremony is complete, there is a celebratory meal.


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