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Scott wrote and posted this little article to the FR mailing list April 22,
A MULHORANDI MARRIAGE CEREMONY
Written by Belaeos Turanin, A Traveler of Saerloon, DR
During my travels in Skuld, it was my pleasure to be invited by the
Mulhoarandi (sic) to a marriage ceremony. I had been told by some that this was
a barbarous ritual, full of ritual bloodletting, but little of this turned out
to be true. The groom was one Pareb of the House of Ehrekau, was a tall fellow,
darker skinned than many of the Mulani
(sic), while the bride was the Lady Ash, daughter of a merchant Prince, a lady
of sallow complexion, though she was still quite beautiful.
The husband asked the bride's father for permission to marry, and the
bride-father agreed to hear his claim at a feast of troth. There, the
petitioning husband paraded men who spoke well of him, displayed his wealth,
treasures taken from the evil Mulani of Thay in battle, and finally he displayed
his physical prowess and the firmness of his body. When he was convinced the
husband would make a good match (and in this
case, when the bride was agreeable - a woman of strong will often resists such
unions), the bride-father then offered a bride-price, and when this was
accepted, the wedding proceeded.
One ten-day after the bride-price was paid, came the marriage. This was not a
church service or a public exchange of vows, as is the habit of the civilized
West. The bride spent a night of solemny (sic) in a high place. As they were in
Skuld, this was a marriage tower provided by the woman's temple, though in the
wilds, I am told this is a pavilion tent placed on a hill, there the bride was
forced to sit alone and contemplated her life to come.
Then the husband came, sounding a great horn, and calling for any challenger
to keep him from his prize. In days long past, this was often (or so I am told)
a moment of great rivalry and violence, though now such enmity is rare. When no
one answered the challenge, the priests released scorpions and small vipers at
the foot of the tower – the husband must move through these (minor) dangers,
take his bride, and then lead them both safely away to a place of his choosing.
There three bondsmen shed their blood in ritual (this is the bloodletting of
which I was told, though it was not at all gruesome, being a simple cutting of
the hand by a holy dagger, and a few drops of blood upon the sand) and pledged
to protect the wife from all harm, even from the husband in case of madness or
foul magick. The husband and wife then entered the marriage-bed, guarded by
their bondsmen, and consummated their union.
After their passion, the bondsmen escorted them to a nearby temple, where a
wedding feast was prepared. The family and friends of the couple came in holy
procession, dressed in wedding black, and the holy aurke (sic) of the god - this
was a vessel like a small ship, emblazoned with the gods emblems, and containing
his blood and breath, the church considered it their holiest object - was
brought forth from its sacred chamber and placed behind the couple to offer the
blessing of the god, and each laid hands on it three times during the feast. The
couple were blessed by clergy, many horns were sounded and marriage songs were
I am told that the wedding of a poorer or less important family in the
Mulhoarandi (sic) lands is not dissimilar, though the temple will not bring out
its aurke (sic), but parades a statue of the god instead.
I was later told that Pareb was not a good and fit husband, and (compelled by
spell), the bondsmen spoke ill of the husband's treatment of his wife before his
god. The priest accepted their words as truth, and the marriage was made no
more. The bride was given a fortune equal to three times the bride-price, and
allowed to remarry anyone without shame, except for Pareb, the bondsmen, and
those of the house of Ehrekau.
Written by Scott Bennie,