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Rituals

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Rituals are established within cultures through the ages. These may be of various origin, nature, frequency and intensity. Rituals can be celebrations, pilgrimages, competitions, parades, inaugurations, rites of initiation, etcetera. Especially religious and tribal rituals can have significant impact on the lives of many Elyrians. As the game development proceeds, we will gradually get to learn more on the established religious rituals of Elyria.

Religious[edit | edit source]

The religions of Elyria have developed rituals for many purposes, like celebration, commemoration and initiation.

There are some religious rituals we now know of and the main ones are briefly described below.

Al'Tifali[edit | edit source]

The coming of The Eye in the Elyrian sky marks the beginning of the Longest Night. For the Al'Tifali - the Waerd and the Dras - the Eye is a direct link to the Two-fold Queen. In this time of year, the Waerd feel her gaze keenly and throw themselves into “The Great Work” of keeping the balance. Under the scrutiny of the Two-Fold Queen, the Dras likewise aim to impress, often traveling to nearby settlements to help with the sick and the injured, or to see to the funerary rights of the recently deceased. Many cultures use the appearance of the Eye as a reminder to devote time to remembering and honoring those who have passed on.[1]

The Queen's Carnival[edit | edit source]

This festival is said to be celebrated in the settlement of Derriben. It is related to a tale connected to "The Queen's Gaze" and Derriben called "Ilnajeren and The Lantern Man". A description of this Festival and a detailed record of this tale is presented on this page: The Queen's Carnival.[1]

Faedin[edit | edit source]

The best known ritual this religion established is the Festival of Passage[2][3], which celebrates the Cycle of Souls. The three tribes known to historically support the Faedin faith each have their own way of interpreting this ritual. See Faedin for more info.

Longest Night Tribal Rituals[edit | edit source]

The tribes of mann have developed several tribe-specific rituals. These predominantly function for the tribe to confirm their identity and culture. The rituals briefly described below can be considered a major aspect of the life of the people of a tribe. Most are related to major life events, like the Longest Night[4]. For other rituals, see the info on the pages for the tribes.

Brudvir[edit | edit source]

Winterswatch[edit | edit source]

The Brudvir spend Winterswatch, their name for the Longest Night, fortifying their settlements to withstand the raids and attacks from those facing starvation in the long, cold dark. Additionally, Brudvir allied with nearby Hrothi settlements will often work with them, “earning” their share of the Hrothi’s gifts by fortifying and securing the Hrothi’s expanded food stores and aiding in their disposition.

Hunting is scarce in this period, and so the Brudvir in settlements dependent on their hunting prowess often form elite hunting groups that will range further than usual, seeking prey typically too dangerous to consider in normal conditions.

Dras[edit | edit source]

Long Singing[edit | edit source]

During the Longest Night, the Dras as a culture come together to sing for the Two-Fold Queen in a three-year-long choral performance of rolling duets. It begins with a solo performance in each settlement: a single Dras sings a doleful, lengthy ballad known as the Light Lament. After four hours, the singer is joined by another who overpowers the refrain with the introduction of the lament’s counterpoint, the Triumph of Night. At this point, the first singer bows out and is replaced by a new singer who sings along the Triumph of Night’s first vocalist. This process continues throughout the period, such that, from start to end a Dras settlement will have performed a continuous duet, a combination of the Light Lament and the Triumph of Night known as the Duality.

Hrothi[edit | edit source]

Time of Charity[edit | edit source]

The Hrothi see the period of Longest Night as a test of their virtue. They believe the Creator has put them to the task of ensuring the world’s continuation, through the virtue of Hrothic Charity. When the Hrothi see the Eye’s return, they immediately throw themselves to the task of growing, baking and stockpiling foodstuffs that will last through the long winter. In the time leading up to the long winter, many often mistake the Hrothi preparations as hoarding, which is further proof to the Hrothi that this a test from their Creator. In order for the Hrothi to prove their virtues, they will need to enter the long cold prepared to offer their neighbors, and even their enemies, the food stores they need to survive the three-year winter. These provisions are known as Gifts of Charity, and are given with no obligation to the receiver.

Janoa[edit | edit source]

Night Hunt[edit | edit source]

For the Janoa, far removed from the cold of winter in their tropical homes, the Night Hunt (their name for the Longest Night) is considered an important moment. The jungles become dangerous in the dark, and the most powerful predators of the biome roam more brazenly as they stalk their prey in the dark. This includes, of course, the Janoa themselves. It is a rare opportunity for young Janoa to prove themselves and potentially to acquire great renown and, through the spirits of their kills, great power and wisdom.

Successful hunters return home adorned with the fruit of their kills (pelts, teeth, claws, etc.) while those who fail to acquire said prizes do not return at all, choosing instead to become hermits or leaving to reside in non-Janoan settlements.

To the Janoa, this is the way of things, and ensures that the weakness of those failed hunters is culled from the settlement, keeping the settlement strong and powerful for the next generation.

Kypiq[edit | edit source]

Sunsleep[edit | edit source]

The Kypiq believe the sun’s disappearance during the Longest Night represents the spirit of the sun becoming weary from its long job of warming and enlightening the world, growing bored and turning away from its job to focus its attention elsewhere. The Kypiq believe that it falls on them to recapture the sun’s interest, to entertain and delight the spirit of the sun so that it will return its attention to the Kypiq and their forests and bring life-giving light and warmth, once more.

The three years of Sunsleep makes for a long period of elaborate parties, feasts, and entertainments, capped by the Sunsight Festival, where Kypiqs use lanterns, fireworks, and other lights to recreate a raccous sort of daylight amidst the Longest Night. Sunsleep is characterized by colorful celebration, generous hospitality and breathtaking works of art made to commemorate unique events.

Neran[edit | edit source]

Twilight of Care[edit | edit source]

The Longest Night is a time for kindness for the Neran, who call it the Twilight of Care. As Neran families lay in supplies and prepare for the long dark, they also traditionally set an additional place at the dinner table each night, a symbol of their willingness to offer succor to any who might appear at their door in a trying time for Elyria. And, should any such unfortunate soul in need appear, Neran families take it as a sign to show that kindness, inviting the stranger in and offering them a meal and a warm fire. This can also take the form of a nightly communal meal at the neighborhood level, where each family who has the means contributes a dish toward the meal, offering kindness and support to aid the community through the Longest Night. Sometimes called the Long Feast, these group meals can become continuous affairs that literally last the entirety of the dark winter.

To'resk[edit | edit source]

Tragedy of Mydra[edit | edit source]

For the To'resk, the darkness and rising tides of the Longest Night are proof of their origins and validation of their faith. The To’resk believe that Mydra, the Qin of the Sea, seeks her son, To’ran, Qin of the Wetlands, whom she gave to his father, Ne'ran, Qin of the grasslands, who in turn gave him away to the people of the coast, as To'ran was a continuous reminder of Mydra. The rising waters that come with the long night are evidence of her continued presence and power in Elyria. It’s generally believed that the time, while dangerous, is a necessary and good thing that occurs in the world, as it brings with it opportunities and a renewal and revitalization of the wetlands. At the peak of darkest night when the sun is entirely removed from the sky, most To’resk settlements will perform the Tragedy of Mydra and Ne’ran or a variant thereof, to commemorate Mydra’s search for To’ran.

The Waerd[edit | edit source]

Night of Blood[edit | edit source]

Many among the Waerd believe that the appearance of The Eye does not guarantee the Longest Night that typically follows it a few years later. Instead, the erosion and disappearance of the sun in this period are seen as a sign of the Two-Fold Queen’s displeasure. The Waerd believe that if "The Great Work" proceeds in accordance with her will, this period of twilight which they call the Night of Blood will not occur. Instead, they believe that the Night of Blood occurs when the Two-Fold Queen’s ledger is unbalanced as a direct result of their failure to accomplish the Queen’s will while they were under her scrutiny during Queen’s Gaze. To restore the balance, then, Waerd settlements will choose 6 sacrifices that are offered up to the Queen, one per month. If the light returns at the end of 6 months, the Waerd consider the Queen appeased and they can continue on with the Great Work with the balance and the Queen's confidence in the Waerd having both been restored. Thus, the Waerd view the Night of Blood as a time of sacrifice.

Civil[edit | edit source]

Next to religious and tribal rituals, more secular, or 'civil' rituals are common practise throughout Elyria. Some are established to support political agendas and some are there to celebrate military achievements or a realms military prowess or economical power. The definition is broad and one may even consider a towns weekly market an economically driven civic ritual. Those that are most reknown are summarized below.

Sedecim[edit | edit source]

The Sedecim is held every 16 years in order to gather people from a region to meet and discuss important matters. Nobility, aristocracy, gentry, and best craftsman all get together to hash out land boundaries and trade agreements, arrange marriages, and purchase and sample wares from the best craftsmen. Weddings and festivities are held, and there's temporary booths set up so merchants can show off their goods. Each Sedecim is hosted by a different realm.[5]

Tournament of Champions[edit | edit source]

The Tournament of Champions is held every 4 years. For this event, Dukes and Kings gather with each of their favourite Knights to determine who are the most gifted warriors of the realms.[5]

References[edit | edit source]