The Ceremony of adulthood
often taking place between an elves 40th and 60th birthday, the ceremony is an important time as it marks the beginning of a young elves assention into adulthood. An elf who has completed this ceremony no long requires the permission of elders to leave the camps, and can come and go from the tribe as they wish, often within five years of this ceremony the elf will leave on their walk, which when they have returned will mark them as a full peer within the tribe.
The Ceremony takes place as follows
1) at least 10 elves who have known the young elf for more then ten years will gather, often it will be much larger, upwards of 60 to 70 elves. The Chief and the Shaman must be in attendance, the Pathfinder is welcome to participate if he/she is there at the time.
2) The holy fire of the vale: here the shaman will speak words to the bonfire, building it up to be larger then most elves stand, with words of Power the fire will shift colours and often show images of the young elves life and accomplishments
3) the Walk of a blood: here the young elf will go and speak to each of the elves in attendance, here the elves will whisper words of wisdom into the ear of the young elf, the words are never the same for different elves as they are always personal and meant to provide wisdom and guidance in life, sometimes it is apologies or forgiveness, sometimes it is final admonishments, as after this, all transgressions of childhood must be left behind and never brought forward again. with each whisper the young elf will receive a cut on his or her forearm, they are not aloud to cry out or staunch the wounds, should they do either the ceremony ends in failure.
4) the test of wisdom: at the end the chief will offer himself as a peer, and allow the young elf to challenge him for scholarship of the tribe. if the young elf accepts the challenge then the chief will brutally beat the young elf and the ceremony ends in failure, often the young elf speaks something to the affect of, “not yet my friend, but perhaps one day should your wisdom and strength flee you” this would be the perfect answer, here the chief will offer a hug to the young elf and greet him as a peer within the tribe, he will also whisper words of wisdom and cut a long cut down each of the arms of the young elf.
5) the Pathfinder: If the elf is worthy enough to have the Pathfinder in attendance the elf will approach him/her. What happens is always different with the Pathfinder, but the young ling will be tested, and often after passing the test the Pathfinder will welcome the elf, and wish them the best on their path, and then using the axe of the ages will cut a slit across the young elf’s belly offering a painful wound that means a slow painful death.
6) whilst this happens the shaman will collapse the fire and rake out the coals in a twenty foot diameter circle all about him, he will then ask the young elf to “find the path”. the Elf must find away to stand before the shaman, any method of arrival is acceptable, but no one may help the young elf, and if the elf takes to long they will pass out due to their wounds. once the young elf arrives before the shaman they must kneel before him, until he/she is ready to speak, sometimes the shaman will wait hours, other times the shaman will speak immediately, while this happens the tribe will hum, sing and drum.
7) the Shaman will speak of the tribes origin, of their importance in the world, of great hero’s the tribe has sent forth and great deeds the tribe has done, of the lands the tribe has explored and lands it has left in defeat. The Shaman will then speak of the elf before him/her and speak of their life and the paths this elf has explored, and the hopes and dreams that the shaman and the tribe has for this young elf.
8)The tribe will again begin to sing and beat the drums as the shaman speaks to the spirits to bless the young elf, as the music reaches a crescendo the shaman will exhale causing the coals to flair to life and soar twenty feet in the air consuming the young elf and the shaman in them, within moments the fire will abate and the coals will be cool, the shaman will be fine and the elves wounds will be healed to very fine scars. The Shaman always ends with “Go Now young ______________ Find your path”
9) usually after this their will be a feast and celebration within the tribe.