by Martin Crim




This pilgrimage allows Ducks to honor Grandfather Drake. By doing so, they strengthen their social bonds. Similar exercises exist for humans to honor Grandfather Mortal, Morokanth to honor Grandfather Morokanth, Windchildren to honor The Winged One, and just about every other species, tribe, and clan to honor its founder. Thus, this appears to be a Daka Fal pilgrimage. However, the members may belong to any cult or no cult, so long as they all descend from the ancestor honored by the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage takes the form of a retracing, backwards, of the society's origins in the founder. The retracing takes the pilgrims back to the founder and enables them to draw from his power afresh.

Duck Pride. The ducks get together near their normal habitation, form a circle on a convenient pond, and chant slogans affirming their solidarity. (One popular one goes like this: "Say it now, and say it loud/ I'm a duck, and I'm proud.") Many duck clans have battle cries. Others have mottoes or affirmations of membership. A few hours of this builds up their courage to the point where they can go on the pilgrimage.

The State of Duckdom. The pilgrims enact certain rituals to indicate the current state of the group. If the group is in a sorry state, then the rituals will express mourning, bewilderment, and doubt. If the group is strong and suffering from too much success, the pilgrims will loudly express pride, praise, and pleasure.

Return to the Duck Homeland. The pilgrims journey from their current homes toward the place they supposedly came from, near the source of The Stream in the Quivin Mountains. They engage in rituals that show how the group came to be where it is. Grandfather Drake's followers grew cold in the mountains, and desired a better and larger place than the small lake at the source. The pilgrims enact this in reverse, by showing how warm and happy they are at the Marsh, and acting progressively colder and less happy as they travel.

Duckhood is Powerful. The pilgrims visit minor shrines showing the power of the founder. Here, Grandfather Drake stole grain from Esrola. Over there, Grandfather Drake conquered the water weed spirit. Just over the hill, Grandfather Drake built his first nest. If the pilgrims all belong to the same lineage, they also visit sites holy to the lineage founder. All the major Duck lineages had founders who lived when Grandfather Drake did.

The Bill's Eye. The pilgrims reach the locus of their species' power and identity, the place where Grandfather Drake alighted from the sky. Nearby, sacred spots indicate where his companions landed. Three companions held hero status: one each in the cults of Humakt, Orlanth, and an unknown water god. The pilgrims offer sacrifices, and throw small arrows over their shoulders. They leave these arrows where they lie. This represents putting their quarrels behind them.


These go to all present in equal shares, because Grandfather Drake loves his grandchildren all the same. This pilgrimage is unusual in that the type of reward varies little. Only the distance from the pilgrims' home matters. Traveling from Duck Point merits The Duck Star, a mark which acts as a River Eyes matrix. Traveling from, say, the Zola Fel merits The Duck Pin, a mark which acts as a Spirit Block 1 matrix. Spirits appear and bestow these blessings. Then the Ducks must tattoo their beaks appropriately to retain the gifts--roll Craft/Tattoo. If the roll succeeds, the mark carries status and acts as normal matrix for all purposes. If the roll fails, the mark indicates completion of the pilgrimage and only carries status.

Grandfather Drake priests learn the names of these spirits, and what spells they know.


Last updated 30 Jul 96 drd

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