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Established February 2010
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* Plot Information for Pruul

Seven children are destined to save Pruul and shake the traditions of the territory to their very core. In response, factions have broken the peace of a previously unified territory and violence has erupted across the dessert. It is a battle between the past and the future, the young and the old, and blood won’t stop seeping into the sand.
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Author Topic: Warriors, Khanjar, and the Coming of Age  (Read 2663 times)


Offline Saiph al-Kaid

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Warriors, Khanjar, and the Coming of Age
« on: Apr 09, 12, 05:02:38 PM »

Warriors in Pruul can be of either gender. Training for all members of the tribe begins at the age of six, two years before the Birthright. No one is exempt from this training, not even Queens. Females who decide not to begin training as a warrior may bow out of training once they begin their monthly bleeding. Those who decide to remain may join the men's Brotherhood. This is only an option to women who lack a specialized caste like Healer, Black Widow, Priestess or Queen. (So a witch, a Blood female, or a landen can make this choice.) They step, therefore, from a “female” class into a traditionally “male” class; they undergo Ordeals with the males of their tribe and are, for all intents and purposes, male.

In matters of Protocol for Blood females or witches, they are considered male, and may fill male roles, such as escort to a Healer or Triangle for a Queen. They are effectually considered Warlords, rather than witches or Blood females. The proper term of address for them is therefore “Lord”--IE Lord Gulbehar, Lord Yasmina. They participate as males in male and tribal ceremonies, though they are allowed to be courted and to marry while remaining in their place as a warrior of the tribe. They are equals with their male peers in every way, though they are often placed closer to the back of an attacking contingent. It is this reduction in social status that keeps many women from pursuing their combat training past puberty. During their moontimes, whether Blood or landen, they retire to the tent of their closest male relative and remain there until the bleeding has completely stopped.

Before the Offering, boys of the tribe undergo three trials: Strength, Mind, and Fortitude. These trials are officiated by the Priestesses of Pruul.

The test of Strength generally involves combat, and usually are timed battles versus men of the tribe. The amounts and Jewel strength of the men involved vary depending on the strength of the male being tested. This is the shortest of the tests.

The test of Mind is a test of intelligence, cleverness, and resourcefulness; one of the most difficult tests involves being sent unequipped into the desert and being charged to either survive for a certain amount of time or to return with water, but it goes from that all the way down to finding something that was lost or untangling a mystery in a certain amount of time.

The test of Fortitude is often the most difficult, as the male undergoing the rituals has often been going for sixteen hours or more by this point. It is a lesson in endurance; tests have involved being made to sit in the sun for a certain amount of hours, or being laid in a grave full of scorpions for an hour. At the end of these tests, which can vary greatly between tribes and Priestesses, the youth has become a man, will be granted a khanjar of his own, and may make his Descent.

In the range beyond Onn, there is a rather sizable lake which supports the Festival City’s rather large water need. This lake has holy significance--it’s considered to be the place where the first Mother revealed her skills, and the rain that followed was so tumultuous that the lake was formed. Whereas warriors have their Ordeals, females have the Hajj. It is a holy trip to Onn to see the waters, which also functions as a sort of rough-and-dirty census since every female generally goes around her twentieth year with the escort of two or three members of her tribe. It occurs after the Offering, unlike the Ordeals. The Hajj involves remaining at the shore of the waters for seven days and seven nights, while a Priestess initiates secret rites to affirm the female’s place in their Sisterhood.

Males can also make the Hajj, but they do not participate in shoreside ceremonies.

Men (and female warriors) are given the ritual sword (khanjar, literally: man's blade) at the age of seventeen. Once unsheathed, the only honorable way to sheathe their blade is after they’ve been bloodied. Using one’s blood is considered weak, but not dishonorable.

They are trained with “normal” (denagi jar: literally, “Dena Nehelean blade”--the designs for these blades come from ancient trades with Dena Neheleans) blades and in unarmed combat prior to this point, of course--in a culture like Pruul, it would be stupid not to educate what forces they have.  However, they are not given khanjar of their own until seventeen, or the culmination in their training--their coming of age, when they may be recognized as men. This is because a man cannot descend to his full strength any younger than seventeen. The khanjar is about as long as its user’s forearm, from the fingertips to the elbow. As these blades are custom-made for the user, they should not be made until a male or female is almost done growing. The hilt is finely worked metal, marked with the clan symbol in a graceful pattern. It may be decorated with symbols to indicate tribal affiliation as well. These are single-handed blades, usually worn visibly at the waist.

Drawing your khanjar is an unmistakable sign of aggression--why else would you draw a weapon? they don’t have any other point--and the bloodying of them with your own blood is considered an admission that you either couldn’t hurt the person whom you were threatening, or that they are in too strong of a bargaining position for you to hurt them.