Inferni -- Cultural Practices




Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Fire Worship
    1.   1.1  Fire Dancing
    2.   1.2  Pyromancy
    3.   1.3  Ash Marking
  2.   2.  Rituals
    1.   2.1  Death Rituals
    2.   2.2  Blood Rituals
  3.   3.  Wine
    1.   3.1  Types
    2.   3.2  Uses
    3.   3.3  History

Inferni has always had a unique culture among the wolf packs of 'Souls -- and it's continually evolving! New practices regularly come into place as a result of the clan's current conflicts, attitudes, and leadership, such as the border decor that is such a large part of Inferni's culture today.

This page is to describe "specific" instances of new Inferni culture, such as ritual, ceremony, and superstition. Read more about Inferni's overarching culture and its timeless practices on the website!

Credit: Mathias Erhart

1.  Fire Worship

Introduced by emigrants from Ceniza Valley, the art of fire dancing, as well as ritualistic ash marking, have found an early foothold in Inferni culture.

1.1  Fire Dancing

Skilled or devout coyotes entertain Infernians or act out stories using fire performances -- from spinning poi to fire-eating and other pursuits. Fats and oils are often used for fuel. In Ceniza Valley, being a fire dancer is a great honor -- and even in Inferni these flashy coyotes are popular.

1.2  Pyromancy

Divination by fire, also called pyromancy, is practiced often by the community; they look for signs in flame and burns to foretell future events, read omens, and other things. There are several types of pyromancy, and different coyotes might be "experts" in various kinds.

  • Osteomancy: divination using bones. Bones are heated to produce cracks, which are then read.
  • Capnomancy: divination by smoke. A thin, straight plume of smoke is thought to indicate a good omen whereas the opposite is thought of large plumes of smoke. If the smoke touches the ground, this is thought to be a sign that immediate action must be taken to avoid catastrophe.
  • Botanomancy: divination by burning plants, tied into capnomancy -- though scent and the way sticks break and leaves curl plays a part, too.

Some coyotes, of course, see this all as superstitious nonsense -- or outright blasphemy!

1.3  Ash Marking

Laurel showing the communal pawprint and ash markings on his face and mouth.

Ash marking is often a communal activity -- though even alone, it shows deference to past events and is a common style in Cenizan culture. Marking one's body (or another's) with ash is considered good luck.

  • General ash markings, from body smudges to dusting on the hands and tail, is for general luck.
  • Marking the face with stripes emphasizing on the eyes and nose is said to increase perception.
  • Emphasizing the mouth with ash stripes brings good luck to one's verbal ventures -- making them a better liar or giving them the courage to confess love, for instance.
  • Marking the face with many stripes increases one's attractiveness.
  • Pawprints, as mentioned before, are meant to bring the community together. Pawprints are most common over the heart or on the shoulder. Applying pawprints to oneself is bad luck.
  • Bands on the legs or arms brings swiftness and agility, either for running or weaponry.
  • Rubbing ash into one's scars shows that one is willing to learn from their mistakes, or that their wounds are a badge of honor.
  • Infernians may apply ash markings to their horses; these usually follow the beliefs above.

2.  Rituals

2.1  Death Rituals

2.2  Blood Rituals

3.  Wine

Wine production was not extremely popular in Canada; nevertheless, to the south of Inferni, along the Annapolis Valley (northern Ethereal Eclipse and Overgrowth Sunrise) grapes grow wild, leftover remnants from a budding Canadian industry. While regulations restricted massive groweries, small producers did keep Concord grape vineyards in the area, and their wild descendants now survive in the lush valley. Inferni frequently sends scouting expeditions to the south in late summer and fall to harvest these grapes, which are in turn used to produce wine of two types. [1], [2], [3]

3.1  Types

From Wikipedia

Icewine

The first is an extremely sweet ice wine in early winter. The yield of this wine is small, and it is an intensive process, requiring members to rise extremely early in the morning for the most well-frosted grapes. The wine is then pressed on-site and carried back to Inferni to ferment. This is frequently poured over packed snow to create a sweet frozen drink; stone jugs are kept in snow prior to consumption.

It is pale red in color and smells of sweet flowers; it has a refreshingly sweet taste and less alcohol content than firewine. The stores of this wine are reserved for special occasion, typically enjoyed over the winter to boost morale. It is infrequently traded.

Firewine

This is the more basic wine; the grapes needn't be frozen and this can be made at any time grapes are in season. Inferni generally transports the fruit back to their own territory for crushing and fermentation, adding various spices to the mix so the wine adapts a fiery taste. This wine is made in abundance, as opposed to icewine. Some canines choose to heat this over a fire before consuming.

It is inky red in color, very nearly black, and smells strongly of cinnamon; it has a sharp taste and more alcohol content than icewine. Each member of the clan receives a generous supply of this wine following the harvest. It is frequently traded.

3.2  Uses

Sacrifice

A small amount of icewine is poured over the sacrificial stump in Ravenswrest as a show of gratitude for the harvest. Failure to perform this rite is a bad omen for the following year's harvest. Individual members may choose to perform this rite for various reasons: apology, prayer, etc.

Trading

Inferni primarily trades firewine, as the supply of icewine is usually reserved for pack consumption. The pack does value this resource pretty highly, as they make it themselves and are capable of enjoying it themselves, too, if hopeful traders aim to remain unduly cheap.

3.3  History

The processes of crushing and fermenting icewine, and the plans for firewine, were introduced by Denise Bellamy in early 2016.

Category: Inferni