Ritual of the Craft
The celebration of 17th birthdays on Arnathia
The time of the The 30-Year Winter was a difficult one in Arnathian history. Many Arnathians were lost to disease, exposure to the harsh elements, and malnutrition. It was common for children to die before they reached maturity. Once the the 30-Year Winter was over, and the world began to rebuild,a grand celebration was held when a child reached 17 years of age (the general age of maturity). This new generation would be key to bringing back civilization to the world. Over time, the age of maturity (wowamaow in Urnati) gained even more importance. As young men and women could become apprentices in a craft as early as 13 years of age, they were not recognized as craftspeople until they reached wowamaow. But celebrating these individually became more and more difficult as the numbers of young people grew. It was decided that the 10th day of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th months would therefore be the official days for the Ritual of the Craft, the day when 17th birthdays are celebrated.
In most regions, a central location is chosen. This might be as grand as an amphitheatre, as ordinary as a town square, or as simple as an open field. The location needs to be sufficient to host at least 5 people for every individual being celebrated. The ritual is officiated by highest representative of the government in the area, usually a mayor or magistrate, but sometimes, kings and queens. Also in attendance are the masters of each craft for that region, including blacksmiths, weavers, glassmakers, tailors and a representative of the magic academy. The lead officiant is never announced prior to the ceremony, and is a surprise to all but the craft leaders. After welcome speeches from the various distinguished guests, the individuals being celebrated are asked to rise. Craft by craft, they are called to the center of the presentation. They greet each craft leader individually, with respect, with the leader of their chosen craft last. The craft leader presents the individual with a token of their craft. The base item is created by the apprentice, but personalized but the leader. This may have their name, a carving of an animal, or a symbol representing the craft. For example, a blacksmith apprentice might receive a hammer they forged that now has their name engraved into the handle. Upon presentation, the apprentice walks to face the lead officiant. They kneel, and hold up their tool for inspection. This is, of course, for ceremony, as the officiant almost never rejects the tool held up. But the officiant will make a show of the presentation, looking the tool over with a critical eye. Upon inspection, they declare that the tool is accepted, and they ask the individual to rise. Once they have risen, the officiant declares that the apprentice has now reached wowamaow, and is now a journeyman in the craft. At this point, cheers are raised and the individual moves to an area specifically for the new journeymen. When the last of the crafts have presented and all individuals have been accepted as journeymen, the officiant declares that these individuals have all reached wowamaow, and the celebrations may begin. Going forward, their birthdays will be the actual day they were born, but their ascendance to wowmaow will forever be the same as all the other of the same time period.
Components and tools
The only components necessary are the tools of the trade crafted by the individual being celebrated and personalized by the craft leader.
There is a main officiant, usually a town leader or even a king. Also present must be the craft leader of each craft represented. The parents, family and friends of the individual being celebrated are normally in attendance
Observed on the 10th day of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th months.