Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vows in the forest

A holdover from the elder Oamnoi is the peculiar blood oath practice found among all three main societies in Torenwœl. The vow is made upon the head of a sacrificial creature who's lifespan corresponds to the term of the oath. For example, a betrothal is a one year oath made on the head of a goose. A vengeance vow is a five year term made on either a boar or a hunting dog. Longer vows may have a ten to twenty year terms and have sacrificial beasts of greater prestige such as the golden sturgeon or the splendour stag. 

The sacrificial beasts are allowed to live until the vow is fulfilled when they are slaughtered, a festive meal is eaten of the the meat, and the blood is poured on a witness pillar. When the vow is first made the animal is marked with some item of gold, usually a ring in either the ear or nose, or a collar in the case of birds.
The witness pillars are of unknown age and are found on the banks of the river in a couple locations. It is postulated that vows were originally tied to the river god  but most information about the cult of the river has been lost. There is a clue to this tie in the  name of the piscine predator sagar-jalaipon or the "oath-blood drinker-fish", a fish large enough to have been known to pull under deer who are drinking at the water's edge.

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