Thursday, 14 July 2011

[OuterZone] Krazon Traditions & Superstitions

Spiritual Traditions

Muragh osh ku muragh dakh.
To strike first is to strike last.

A number of spiritual and philosophical traditions have arisen upon the Krazon homeworld of Nokhan in its five thousand years of civilised history, but only a few continue to capture adherence within the modern Empire. Perhaps most prominent are the spiritual teachings of Oblakh, the Sixfold Path. This was the faith of the Emperors who unified Nokhan, and continues to be the dominate spiritual tradition even now during the Korugh Regency.

The Sixfold Heart

Kraz kor ku durab, maz kraz hekh ku madish.
A brave heart is a strong one, but a sixfold heart is invulnerable

The name Krazon comes not from their word for people, or for world, or from the name of some ancient dynasty. It comes from the word krazonku, meaning one of the heart. In the Oblakh tradition, to be Krazon is to listen to the six spirits that dwell within the heart's ventricles.
  • Bokh, the spirit of duty and honour. Associations: Dirt, the colour red, the number one.
  • Kora, the spirit of bravery and strength. Associations: Stone, the colour orange, the number two.
  • Pazh, the spirit of ingenuity and wisdom. Associations: Wind, the colour yellow, the number three.
  • Mozha, the spirit of kindness and mercy. Associations: Water, the colour green, the number four.
  • Hoba, the spirit of friendship and humour. Associations: Ice, the colour cyan, the number five.
  • Mabh, the spirit of trickery and selfishness. Associations: Lightning, the colour blue, the number six.
It is common, although theologically incorrect, for Krazon to speak of the spirits as if they were personified individuals. "By Bokh's beard!" and "By Mabh's mace!" are colloquial expressions that express surprise or anger, invoking the names of the spirits or krazald.

The Sixfold Heart is also reflected in the six castes of ancient Krazon society:
  • The Bokhan, the farmers and workers.
  • The Koroz, the warriors and nobles.
  • The Pazhan, the priests and holy men.
  • The Mozhon, the healers and servants.
  • The Hoban, the merchants and innkeepers.
  • The Mabhan, the unclean and criminals. Foreigners, non-followers of Oblakh, and non-Krazon are traditionally included in this caste.
In modern Krazon society, caste is more a cultural marker than one of occupation. Indeed, nowadays the majority of Krazon merchants and industrialists belong to the Pazhan caste. Since the abolition of the Warrior's Privilege under the current Regency, caste is officially meaningless, but still carries vast weight in society. Impoverished Mabhan can still expect oppression and disdain from high-caste Krazon.

Blood Quest

Lokh tar ogar, kraz muragha durgad.
Through blood and storm, a warrior's heart is forged.

Where other societies might see fit to challenge their youth with a dangerous ritual at the transition to adulthood, Krazon culture demands sacrifice at every turn. It is traditional for any Krazon who achieves a major milestone to undertake a lokh saba, or blood quest; one equal in difficulty to the challenges they are expected to face in their new life.

A blood quest may take many forms, depending on the milestone to be achieved. All, however, involve blood, violence, and suffering. A few examples:
  • To prove their worthiness for motherhood, pregnant Krazon females must hunt and kill a mother kroggar by hand before their child is born. If they fail, both they and the child will be declared Mabhan.
  • In preparation for marriage, a Krazon groom must first defend himself against the sequential murder attempts of his father-in-law, his mother-in-law, and finally his bride-to-be, before embarking on a vision quest into the deep desert to seek wisdom and patience.
  • To join the Imperial admiralty, a Krazon war-captain is expected to wrestle a sea monster known as the Orxan; a fierce, many-tentacled creature that lurks in the deep crevasses of Nokhan.
  • A Krazon male is not considered of age until he can best his oldest male relative in single combat.
Since the installation of the Korugh Regency, many of these traditional blood quests have been abolished or even banned. Positions in the Imperial bureaucracy no longer demand ritual combat; instead, a simple competitive examination suffices to prove one's competence. Still, cultural change is slow, and the Krazon military continues to unofficially maintain its traditions.

Common Superstitions

Muragha morvad tar glash.
A warrior dies with his blade.
Kroggar hekh ku kraz, zed darvad mudh.
Six kroggar make a heart, seven destroy a world.
Dobru kara taron lronad lokh ku aksar darv.
To cross water without spilling blood is to invite disaster.
Ruad murkurad ku zalt Mabh, ruad daklarad glash Bokh.
A whispered promise is Mabh's mace, a bellowed oath is Bokh's blade.

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