I should have known that something was awry when I started entering the center of the village. All those Beghrest who were playing drums were getting more excited and seemed to increase their pace as I drew closer to it. The one with the massive drum seemed to start the increase of the pace when I was walking closer.
I had been to many a ceremony before, however I had never been to an arrangement ceremony. This is what I found out this ceremony was called much later in life. An arrangement ceremony was what my father had taken me to and to top it off the one who was getting arranged was myself.
Up until that point I had never met Lacia D’Opidium, I had heard of her. Baharus had mentioned her many times before when we had visited the Obscuros Village. Later, I found out that when she was born was a few months after I was, and Baharus had decided then that he would have her marry me. I also found out that the reason I had never seen her was that it was tradition for two arranged Beghrest to not see each other until the Arrangement ceremony.
At some point as the sun started to set in the sky, there was a chant that started to be chanted. It was slow and steady it went along with the beat of the drums. At first, I couldn’t figure out who was chanting, then I heard the rattles and I knew who it was.
Sure enough, DA’mon had appeared quite suddenly in the middle of the group of drummers and was starting to chant. I had never heard this chant before, though I had heard our Shaman make similar chants, before a pack went out for hunts or after a Beghrest had passed, or to summon the warm weather back after a abnormally cold winter.
Though I feigned understanding this sort of ritual, this to me was extremely stupid. Why waste man power and resources on doing such idiotic things. Even as I stood there, I remember looking at these drummers especially the one who carried the massive drum and thinking what a waste of a proud warrior. Back then I really did not understand our tradition.
I found later that this chant was called the “good future chant.” It was sending a prayer to our Chief God Lord Brahma for guidance and carving a good path for the future. This was chiefly used for arrangement ceremonies, and later on for the actual marriages. Of course at the time being a young pup I had no idea about any of this at all.
It was not long after the chants started that they suddenly stopped and DA’mon had crouched down with one knee to the ground. He was staring off to the distance seemingly waiting for something. I followed his line of sight and saw that there was an entourage of female Beghrest coming from a hut off in the distance.
I had recognized them as dancers, in my tribe a similar set of females would dance during rituals. I figured that this whole entourage was the same deal here in the Obscuros. The females lined up, about fifteen of them, in the center of the village. The fifteen of them split up into two groups. One set of groups were holding white flowers, these were called Alqamaries, the flowers of the moon. The other set of females on the other side had these things that looked like, from where I was standing, tambourines.
The Beghrest with the massive drum started tapping his mallets together and the females with the tambourines started doing the same sort of tapping on their tambourines. The drummers started drumming slowly after this began. The females with the flowers started dancing when DA’mon had raised that stick up he had and started shaking it in the same rhythm as the drummers and the one with the massive drum.
It took me a while to realize that the females with the flowers had these strange beads on their arms and legs they were making this strange rattling noise similar to DA’mon’s stick that he had in his hand. As they danced they kept the same harmony as the beat as DA’mon and the drummers were keeping. They suddenly increased and started dancing quite fiercely.
I had not seen such an elaborate performance like that before however, at that age I remember thinking how ridiculous this whole thing was. They were wasting a lot of resources simply to perform this stupid dancing ritual. I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily as I waited for the stupid ritual to end.
I remember thinking to myself, that when I was the Supreme Chief this was the first thing I was going to get rid of. Such things were no longer needed in our society. Foolishness, like praying to gods for future prosperity was simply something that I saw as folly. It just seemed it was just a tremendous waste of time and resources.
A short while after these dancers had began dancing, Baharus suddenly appeared. I looked around shocked trying to figure out how Baharus had done this. He had appeared, seemingly, out of no where. Baharus was a tall Beghrest, he was nowhere near as tall as my father, but for him to just appear out of nowhere like that was quite impressive. Surely it must have been a trick of the eye, he must have had some sort of way he had done this.
Baharus, was a tall black furred Beghrest, he stood over 13 feet tall but again he was much shorter than my father. Like my father he wore a head dress with different feathers in his mane. Unlike my father he only had one row of feathers. Baharus rose a hand up as the drummers really began drumming faster and faster and faster and faster.
Suddenly, Baharus gave a loud bellowing howl.
“ARRRWOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” He howled and the drums got faster and faster and faster. The drummers had begun to pound on them so hard the ground around us began to shake. Suddenly with a deep guttural chant Baharus began to follow the similar beat to the rest of the contingency.
“YARRAGGGGGOWWWWW!!!!” He howled again and started to chant stuff that was nearly indecipherable. I remember thinking to myself that if I understood what he was saying maybe it would be actually interesting. I had never heard such chanting before.
He continued his chanting, it was deep guttural and still nearly indecipherable. This continued for several minutes. Eventually he gave another unearthly howl.
“OWWWWWWWWWWWWLLLLLL!” He yelled out.
But when this happened everyone in the village did the same thing. It was insane how loud everything got in a matter of seconds. The drums pounded, the dancers danced, DA’Mon rattled his stick and Baharus continued his unearthly howl.
I felt the ground underneath my feet begin to vibrate violently from the drums, I saw rocks on the floor begin to hover in the air from the vibration. All the Beghrest who were on the drums were shaking their heads violently, they thrashed their heads as they hit the drums. Their manes swirled in the air too and fro. It suddenly, as if on cue, started to slow down.
When they stopped the village erupted in howls and applause. I looked around at everyone. As impressive as it was I still didn’t understand why one would applaud that. I remember looking at everyone thinking of how stupid it was for one to applaud, it was not just for the performance but how was it that applauding was a sign of acceptance? I did not understand this.
I glared at everyone and looked around thinking to myself how I was going to get rid of this ritual when I was Supreme Chief and how they should enjoy it while they could. It was perhaps then that I saw her: Lacia D’Opidium.