Thursday, January 5, 2012

On These Rocky Shores

To the north and west of the Grey Hills, the Borderlands slope downward to form broken cliffs overlooking the Northern Sea.  It is here that the Highsmeet gathers every 20 years on the rocky shores of a sheltered cove known as the Court of the High King.  The Highsmeet is made up of one representative of each family, each clan chieftain and 3 representatives of his family, and each King and 5 representatives of each King's family.  

The opening and closing of the Highsmeet are highly ritualized, and have always begun with these words, "On these rocky shores, we pledge our lives, to our family and clan, to our King and High King, and to the King Above.  We take this Oath in good faith."  This is followed by the actual Oath, then a long process where each member presents himself to each of the others.  This process takes days, and is followed by a huge "opening" feast.

The Highsmeet lasts several months, most of which is spent training by day and carousing by night.  Should conditions require it, the Kings and their Zecs will meet to discuss matters of state, including electing a new High King from among their number if there is no incumbent.  The High King is not a hereditary position, and the death or disqualification of the High King automatically invokes a Highsmeet.

The closing of the Highsmeet is similar to the opening, with all members again presenting themselves to all others, (though much less formally and therefore more quickly,) and then a closing feast, and the pledge and Oath, after which the Highsmeet disperses.

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