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Offline ephemeralstability

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Ceremonies
« on: December 06, 2003, 11:14:25 AM »
Last night I attended a very bizarre dinner at which they performed a ritual known as the Ceremony of the Loving Cup. It's not as dodgy as it sounds!  :wink:  The dinner was to commemorate the foundress of our college, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and the ceremony was a drink to her health.

The Ceremony of the Loving Cup

The Loving Cup (a hefty silver vessel) is handed around the table (filled with port and with a napkin tied to its handles). Each diner holds it in both hands, stands and his neighbours stand also. This is because when you are holding a two-handed cup, you cannot reach for your sword, and your neighbours are therefore supposed to protect you. You nod to each of them in turn, then recite "In Piam Memoriam Fondatricis Nostrae Dominae Margaretae" (In memory of our founder Lady Margaret) before drinking, wiping the lip of the cup with the napkin, nodding once more to your neighbours and then passing it to your left. It passes all the way around the table. It's not a very hygenic ritual, but it is one that's rumoured to have been in existence for five hundred years. I didn't actually drink any port, but the thought was there...

This made me think of how different fantasy societies might have similar rituals, for instance the Gondorean facing West and toasting the Dunedain Kings in the LOTR.

I was wondering if anyone had attended any other ceremonies which could be adapted to add flavour to a fantasy setting (either that or just come up with some original ones!)

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Offline nitouken

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Ceremonies
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2003, 02:25:49 PM »
An Southern African ritual similar to the Western "Saying Grace". Before a meal there is a moment of silence, broken by the woman of the house handing the first guest his food. Simple, but adds flavor.
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Offline Strolen

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Ceremonies
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2003, 05:36:35 PM »
When an enlisted person makes the highest rank attainable they have to wait a bit before they can actually officially take on the rank. During that time they are required to carry around a 1x1 foot Jeep that must never lose possession of it while everybody else is trying to take it away.

Quote
Rule # 1:  The JEEP Chief is solely responsible for the condition of the JEEP.  The JEEP must be kept intact, clean, and serviceable.  A broken JEEP would illustrate a lack of readiness, and a dirty JEEP is evidence of a dirty mind.

Rule # 2:  The JEEP shall accompany the JEEP Chief whenever said chief is in uniform, throughout the duty day, and to all official functions, regardless of the time or day of that function's occurrence.  This will comfort the young chief during their transition into high-level decision making, and ensure adequate JEEP security while away from the office.

Rule # 3:  The JEEP shall be displayed in a place of honor and in plain view.  Plain view is further defined as a location where all who enter the JEEP Chief's office can see the JEEP.  Lockers, desk drawers and cabinets provide exceptional security; however, they are not considered places of honor, and are not suitable for storage of this National Treasure.

Rule # 4:  The JEEP will not be drilled, bolted, glued, welded, or affixed in such a manner that would prevent its theft.

Rule # 5:  Never leave the JEEP unattended, for this would provide the opportunity for a chief, and only a chief, to steal this most precious symbol.  Retired chief master sergeants are still chiefs and may likewise steal the JEEP whenever opportunity presents.  Chief selects, otherwise known as senior master sergeants, and are not yet worthy of JEEP possession.  The wily chief who steals the JEEP need only report the theft to a Chiefs' Group executive officer in order to officially sanction the fine.  The JEEP is always returned to the JEEP Chief upon their request.  If someone other than a chief steals the JEEP, it will be returned with no fine assessed.

Rule # 6:  If the sacred JEEP is stolen, and not immediately returned or retrieved, the JEEP Chief must scramble in search of this stolen treasure.  The JEEP Chief must fetch the JEEP, regardless of location, and retrieve it prior to 2359 hours that day to limit their liability to $10.  If the JEEP is not retrieved that day, the wily chief who executed the theft, will contact the JEEP Chief the following day to advise of time and place for retrieval: The JEEP Chief will be assessed an additional $10 ($20 total fine) for this most egregious violation.

Rule # 7:  The JEEP Chief will render all fines assessed to the Chiefs' Group by the first payday following the day of theft or violation.  Payments may be made by cash, check, or money order.  Payment by allotment is advised if the JEEP Chief is assigned to a unit with an abundance of chief master sergeants.

Rule # 8:  The JEEP Chief will maintain custody of the JEEP during the entire promotion month.  If more than one JEEP Chief is identified for promotion at the same time, they will share possession of the JEEP in equal measure for the month.  Date-of-rank to senior master sergeant will determine the order the new chiefs possess the JEEP: The most junior in that previous rank will be first to possess the JEEP.

Rule # 9:  The JEEP Chief will display pride in ownership of the JEEP.  The JEEP Chief will view possession of the JEEP as a golden opportunity to excel, and will make one improvement to this sacred symbol.  This improvement will be completed by the end of the promotion month.  IF, the improvement is acceptable to the Chiefs' Group then, and only then, will the JEEP Chief complete the rite of passage into the final frontier as a Chief Master Sergeant.  


The jeep could easily be changed to any kind of item but it should be of such bulk that it is slightly awkward to control and also something not easy to just store on the person.[/quote]

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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2003, 05:41:16 AM »
In Antioch, and most of the Known World, almost every main building has a "kretch" near the entrance (if public) or in the main room.  A kretch is a small religious cubbyhole, holding symbols of the five elements, bells, candles, prayer tops/ wheels, prayer papers, mirrors, and other religious nicknacks.  It is a place of observance.  

The semi-official prayer of Antioch is "mumble" while bowing ones head infront of a kretch.  Sure you are supposed to actually go through an actual prayer, but it is said the observence is more important than the actual form.  Most people pray to a kretch when they leave or enter a familiar or important place.
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Offline Kinslayer

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Ceremonies
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2004, 05:06:40 AM »
There's one ritual that's exclusive to one particular order of knights.  The Crimson Order of the Knights of the Shadows (AKA shadow lords or death knights) have a duty to shrive any battlefield that they encounter, whether created by their own efforts or not. The death knights meditate amidst the carnage, listening to the whispers of those departed soldiers. This ritual helps to ensure that no ghostly platoon or death-mist will ever arise from the site. However, it is suspected that there is a secondary and sinister purpose to the ritual, one known only to senior shadow lords and certain powerful necromancers.

In addition to preventing hauntings on the site, this ritual allows a high level shadow lord or necromancer to later reanimate the slain soldiers as part of their Army of the d**ned ability.  This is perhaps the ultimate "last act of defiance," and may be used to raze cities and destroy entire armies; after only a brief 5-minute ritual, the ground explodes with all of those who have been slain upon it, destroying all who live save only the invoking death knight; the ground so used must have been a battlefield cleansed by a shadow lord (yourself or another), and may not be again invoked for a year and a day (when it may again be used by summoning the dead from this battle as well); due to their numbers and savagery of the Army of the d**ned is undefeatable—only the invoking death knight may walk away—all else is slain or destroyed
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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2004, 06:01:54 AM »
The Snake Riders that come from their islands to make war on the Eshal or eel-men of Tarrod,have a custom that many other human cultures would find abbohrent.

 In a primitve culture where virility is much respected,the the tribal chiefs have have formed a strange relationship with the giant aquatic serpents that these men ride into battle.Right before the first born son of every chief can replace his sire as leader of the tribe,he has to copulate with a female Great Snake that is in heat.The female Grest Snake is drugged with special herbs by shamans,so that the young would-be chief will not run any unecessary risks when trying to penetrate the giant female reptile.Those who refuse to perform this ceremony are not only removed from the line of succsesion,but are also made total outcasts.They must choose between castration and a sucide raid against a rival tribe or an Eshal surface colony.A large majority opt for the latter.
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