[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

A pitch, because I can't figure out where else to put it

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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Colt on April 8th, 2016, 10:34 pm

Hey, guys! I've found some extra time on my hands and I've cobbled together something I think might add a little more color to the Drykas as a whole. I wasn't sure where to put it, since traditions seem like too minor a thing to put in the wiki, and Prophet said this would be the best place to put it. I'd like y'all's help with it, since lots of heads are better than one. What do you guys think? Is this something you'd be interested in using as a roleplay setting? Is it missing something? Does it have too many things? Let's rip into it!


T'yahli-kai :
Although rarely observed in Endrykas, the T’yahli-kai (literally, “The making of brothers/sisters/siblings”) is an important pinnacle of Drykas life. The vast majority of horseclan families spend their lives roaming the Sea of Grass, aside from the occasional rendezvous with Endrykas, and it is entirely possible for a pavilion to spend days and even seasons entirely by themselves. As a result, the interaction of different pavilions on the open plains are essential to the culture and wellfare of the transient race.

A T’yahli-kai is a celebration that occurs when two or more pavilions cross paths on the Sea of Grass; while two average-sized pavilions will usually observe a six- or seven-day T’yahli-hai, especially large and prosperous families can sustain longer ones. If two pavilions are within a day or so’s journey of one another, they each will detour and meet in the middle; to refuse a T’yahli-kai is a very grave offense, and is considered the equivalent of one pavilion refusing to acknowledge the other’s existence. This is very rare, however, and usually only done when families already have a deep feud with one another and want to avoid bloodshed. If two pavilions pass each other by simply because they didn’t know the other was close, then it is considered to be something of a tragedy, as a T’yahli-kai is a celebration meant to bring joy, prosperity and strength to all who take part in it.

It is the ankals that will usually begin things by sensing one another’s presence in the Web. Once location is determined, both pavilions will send scouts to meet halfway and find a suitable area for the two pavilions to settle for the next few days. Because the length of the celebration can vary depending on size, it is essential that the meetup site have access to water and food. Once a location is decided upon, the scouts will return to their respective pavilions and the two families will move towards the halfway point.

Day 1
The two pavilions will usually meet at midday or sometime after, and there is little to no deep interaction the first day; what light they have left will be spent setting up and preparing for what is to come. The two scouts who chose the location will usually meet once more to discuss wild animals in the area and touch base before returning to advise their own pavilions about the area. Each pavilion eats separately.

Day 2
On the second day, the hunters and warriors of each pavilion will wake before dawn and meet each other in between the two tents, usually with the scouts in attendance. This joint party is responsible for hunting an animal that can feed both families, and they will usually be gone by sunrise. It is common for hunters of different pavilions to be quite competitive during this hunt, and good-natured teasing is expected, although it must never progress to a point that it endangers the success of the group as a whole. It is unusual for the party to fail, and considered bad luck, but the gathering will still continue regardless.

Meanwhile, the rest of the pavilion members will mix and mingle into different task groups; many will go out to forage for wild plants and roots, while others will stay with the tents and begin heating water and building cookfires. Cooperation is in the air, and it is considered bad form to not work with someone of the foreign pavilion.

The night ends with a feast prepared by the joined hands of both families; the hunting party will regale the others with tales of the hunt, paying special attention to the deeds of their new friends; to talk about one’s own deeds is seen as self-centered, but to talk about the deeds of members of the other pavilion is considered graceful and polite. This feast takes place in the space between the two pavilions and can last well into the night.

Day 3
The third day of a T’yahli-kai is spent appraising the other pavilion’s wealth and resources. The ankals will spend most of the day showing off their horses and zibri, informing one another of various strengths, weaknesses and important bloodlines. They will ask each other questions and examine animals for specific traits that they would like to see in their own herd, although there is no talk of exchange just yet; today is merely for assessment. It is common for ankals to be accompanied by firstborn sons during this day, or another heir to the pavilion; when an ankal asks to be accompanied by a specific individual, it is essentially a declaration of that individual’s claim to leadership.

In the meantime, the first wife of each ankal will spend the day as the guest of the other pavilion, undertaking something cheekily referred to as a “head-hunt,” during which she will meet and converse with as many members of the strange pavilion as possible with the intention of finding potential marriages for her children. The second or third wife might or might not come along to help.

That night, dinner is again shared by both families, although it is much more relaxed and informal. The leftovers from the night before are the mainstays of the meal, and there tends to by more music and joking this time around. The ankal and his wives, however, will not partake; they will retire and the first wife will advise her husband on what she has learned from her head-hunt.

Day 4
Negotiations begin. The two ankals will look over breeding rights, material trade goods and unmarried individuals; male animals are evaluated for stud worth, female animals for fertility, sons for strength and daughters for skills. All actions are expected to be repaid with something of equal value, and these negotiations will usually take the entire day. Larger pavilions can sometimes spend several days in this stage.

The rest of the families, meanwhile, will usually make small one-on-one transactions of their own, usually amounting to tools or services. Warriors will likely be trading skills, cooks will be trading family recipes, and craftsmen will be trading their wares. At the same time, there is collaboration; although there are no great hunts at this time, everyone except the ankals will pitch in to help find food. Hunters and gatherers will usually pair off with someone of the other pavilion to help accomplish this.

At the end of the negotiation period, there is another feast held during which the ankals announce the exchanges that they have agreed upon.

Day 5
Breeding and livestock exchanges begin. This usually takes a single, full day, but occasionally takes more if there are many resources being exchanged. Soon-to-be-married individuals, if there are any, are isolated to their own pavilion so that they can be prepared for the wedding. Their family will usually have their own traditions that take place during this time. Warriors will usually spar, craftspeople will usually collaborate; now that material trade is more or less completed, this is a time devoted to cooperation and group projects. Scouts will also go out and get a location on nearby animal herds. If this stage takes more than a day, then dinner will be another informal affair. If this is not the case, there will be another formal dinner in which the ankals will thank each other for all the joy and happiness that will come of this trading, and usually express excitement at the upcoming wedding, if there is to be one.

Day 6
Once again, pavilion hunters will rise early and embark on another big hunt. This is more formal, and somewhat bittersweet; friendships have been made, and if a marriage is taking place, there are new brothers- and sisters-in-law to be had, and this is the last large hunt that will be staged. Back home, the situation is the same; craftspeople and gatherers are spending as much time with their new friends as possible, preparing for the closing feast.

If there are individuals about to be married, they will remain secluded in their own pavilion with their immediate blood relatives, deep in preparation for the wedding. Because the woman shall soon move in with her husband’s pavilion, the bride-to-be will be especially fussed over and tended to, as it is entirely possible she will not see her birth pavilion for seasons or even years.

The hunters will return and a great feast will be prepared. Marriages will take place just before sunset, followed by a large celebration and procession of gifts. This can last very late into the night.

Day 7
The day of departure. If there are any leftovers from the night before, they are divided equally between the pavilions. The campsite is cleared and the tents packed up. After a few final, last-second goodbyes, the two pavilions part ways and return to their own paths.
Last edited by Colt on April 10th, 2016, 5:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Naiya on April 9th, 2016, 2:38 am

Perhaps to say that they might never see a married off daughter again is not accurate?

In a culture such as the one surrounding the Drykas, to lose ties with the birth pavilion of the woman is to lose access to an extraordinary resource. Not only in material wealth but in people and skills. Perhaps a secondary tradition that stems distinctly from marriage in this context...

A woman married during a T'yahli-Kai is tied to both families through the web, the connection allowing the families to find one another in times of great need or great celebration.

Just a thought, but to trade, marry, and then lose the entirety of that resource... Sure there is valitia to consider, bride price a sure point in price negotiations, but to have no way of reconnecting in the future seems against the idea of Drykas culture to me.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Seirei Dawnwhisper on April 9th, 2016, 3:19 am

I love the idea of the Tyahli-Kai! It sounds like a beautiful celebration. I do, however agree with Naiya about tying a woman who is married during a Tyahli-Kai to both families. Even when there isn't great need/celebration, if both pavilions are in the area of Endrykas during the same season with the intent of spending some time in the city, they may want to arrange to go to the city at the same time, or to intersect their trips so people can reconnect with friends they met during the Tyahli-Kai.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Colt on April 9th, 2016, 3:43 am

That's a good point. Now that I think on it, would it stand to reason that pavilions follow a yearly travel pattern of their own? If they did, then the same pavilions would likely intersect at the same places every year, and so would have a fairly regular schedule of T'yahli-kai celebrations.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Merevaika on April 9th, 2016, 8:27 am

I think it would make sense for them to have their own yearly routes. After all, it would be much easier for them as it means they know the surrounding area better. I can see the T'yahli-kai celebrations happening regularly with the same pavilions, which would work if they've married together before. The only problem with that would be that they wouldn't meet many new pavilions, at least not often, except in Endrykas.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Kaitanu on April 9th, 2016, 10:40 pm

I agree with Merevaika. If the yearly routes are the only means of bringing about T'yahli-kai, is there some other way for clans to indicate that they want to meet with different family groups than usual? The idea that the same families tend to bond together isn't necessarily a bad one- it has the ring of truth to it. But I'd definitely like to see a shake-up sometimes in the status-quo. Overall, the concept is awesome.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Colt on April 10th, 2016, 5:17 pm

Well, Endrykas itself has a two-year travel cycle that alternated every odd and even year. Perhaps pavilions could have something similar, mapping out a travel cycle that takes two or even three years to complete? This would give it a more flexible schedule, and would mean that it would only meet with the same neighboring pavilions once every two or three years.

Then, of course, there's the fact that pavilions aren't permanent. If a pavilion gets too large and splits into two, then a new pavilion will be running around and meeting lots of new people; engaging in brand new T'yahli-kai on an entirely new route, especially if it's in a different area than the parent pavilion, could be essential to a new family establishing itself as a separate entity and building/diversifying its resources.

Also, pavilions sometimes die off. Disasters, animal attacks and Zith can combine and drain a pavilion's ability to stay together, and if too much bad luck happens too quickly, a family can split and disperse into nearby pavilions once they can't hold it together. That leaves their previous travel route open to an entirely new family, and therefore opens up all the neighbors to entirely new T'yahli-kai.
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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Prophet on April 10th, 2016, 8:22 pm

I like the idea of a ceremony. I like a lot of the facets that you've laid out for this Shahar and I can tell you've done some research because there are many aspects that I can pick out from various historical cultures. I love that!

Knitpicks:
  • Only large pavilions can sustain themselves independently from Endrykas. A large pavilion would be at least 12-15 adults capable of fighting, working and suffering long shifts without sleep. Add in children of various ages and elders and we're talking 25-30 members. This is bare minimum. There will be no exceptions to this and i'd prefer to see the number closer to 40 people. I've spent many hours working through details and hashing out probability of scenarios, etc. Anything less that 25 would create a situation of being "mortgage poor". That means you make enough to pay your bills and break even but when something bad happens, you're screwed. A night lion pride, glassbeak pack or any natural disaster could easily wipe 5-10 people out at any given time. If this happens to a pavilion with 9 adults and they lose 4 it's basically game over because the likelihood of finding help in time is slim. Responsible ankals would not leave themselves open to that kind of risk.
  • We need to be careful discussing migratory routes for individual pavilions. If you make it too similar to Endrykas, the point of being separate but intersecting becomes moot. I can see a large enough group having a sizable herd that could be moved every week or so from one area to another while remaining within a set range from a stationary main camp. This could go on year round or a complete move might happen seasonally. In truth, the migration pattern makes little difference in regards to the ritual but I took the opportunity to add my two cents.
  • I think 7 days is a long time. I see the breakdown that you were using for your progression and it's not illogical. However, woodland native Americans would gather dozens of tribes together in a single place at set intervals (annually, bi-annually, seasonally, etc) and have hundreds to thousands of people yet only meet for a week. The hardships of life demand a more compact package. For the most part, I think 4-5 should be sufficient especially when you consider that there will always be deviances from the set time in a plus/minus fashion.
  • Where are the games? At night while there is feasting and drinking and merriment, there should be wrestling and archery contests. Young men should be showing off tricks on horseback and young women should be having a pageant to display their variety of talents.
  • Lastly, I think this could also be applied to when a pavilion that is mostly independent makes its yearly trip to Endrykas. They could set up just outside of their clan and the same events could take place.

That's all I have for now. Continue to chip away at this and refine it. It's a brilliant idea, it just needs a bit more polishing.

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[Discussion] T'yahli-kai

Postby Prophet on May 13th, 2016, 1:24 am

Bump.

Just wanted to see where this was at... with the ritual list I added, this would certainly fit but it needs shaved down.
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