in response to popular demand (I've always wanted to say that...). :) Here's the notes on Vingan initiation. It's meant to represent a "typical" initiation. Probably lots of temples do it differently.
I'll post the accompanying myth separately.
VINGAN INITIATION Once the candidate has been brought to the temple by her mentor ("mother"?), and has been seen by the priestesses there (and they have taken the chance to talk to the mentor about the candidate), her initiation will begin. Any red dye that she has in her hair will be washed out. If she is a natural red-head, a temporary dye will be put in to alter this. She is dressed, for the last time, in girl's clothing and, after a night of fasting for purification, she is led out to the open ground at the centre of the temple. Her mentor will meet her there, and will begin to narrate to her the story of How Vinga Became A Warrior, which she will probably have already heard before. As the story is told, the candidate will be led out of the temple. On her way out, she will meet each of the following:
Her mentor will whisper to her that she does not need to listen, that the choice of what to do is within her: "no one can make you do anything". From each of them, if she resists their blandishments, she will receive a gift or some advice:
By this time, she is outside the walls of the temple, and her mentor will continue with Vinga's story. As they pause here, the mentor will fortify the girl with some small piece of food and a little ale or mead. After a short time, she will wish the candidate luck and leave her to walk ahead. She will find herself alone. At this time, she will face some enemy - this should be perhaps a portent of an enemy that she will come to face at a later time in her life. It could be a broo, or troll or whatever. Regardless, she must face this enemy alone and, ideally, will demonstrate a feat from each of Vinga's affinities, if only in a small way. For example, she might leap over a stream in the fight for the Leap Over Water feat. Whichever one she does best or most dramatically will be the first feat that she is considered to learn? When she has (hopefully!) beaten this menace, she will find her way back to the temple where the assembled warriors, along with her mentor, will be waiting to great her. She will be given a great reception, and will also be given some sort of gift, perhaps from her mentor, perhaps from her birth parents. (In my PC's case, this is a sword from her father). She is now formally initiated into Vinga, and her hair is now dyed red by her new "mother" as she welcomes her into her new family. Then, of course, there is a huge drunken feast.
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