GM Ellerina on: S'kra Mur Weddings

A player asked on the boards about the S'kra Mur words for "My life is yours, your death is mine, in Hav'roth's will for eternity." used for a public S'kra Mur wedding. Below was GM Ellerina's reply:

Aelanahh ka saarlanahh, aepivo'hhr ka saarpivo'hhr, hisakna'hhs Hav'roth isha re'halen.

Of course, users bear in mind that this is S'Kra, as opposed to the formal tongue Sharaanpon'u -- the actual phrase in a wedding would most likely be in formal tongue. Though in interracial marriages plain S'Kra might be used, because non-S'Kra are much less likely to have access to the formal language.

The other resource on weddings was released in the form of an article in Waerd Aev. :) It should still be there in the archives.


This article was taken from Waerd Aev:

"The Homemade S'Kra Wedding"
by GM Ellerina
Feedback welcome at

Ideally, almost nothing the S'Kra do will be in line with the other races, and weddings are no exception. This is not out of striving to be unique just so that they can be so, but rather because the S'Kra fill one of-- if not the-- most unique race-roles in Elanthian society; this is what makes them so interesting to play. While there are fleeting tinges of past and present RL human societies throughout S'Kra-- mostly middle-eastern with some Asian touches-- I'm hoping to increase that uniqueness and deepen it to increase the capacity for roleplay, which I feel has been gravely overlooked in favor of other systems. Previously there was always something deemed 'more important'-- but the game as a whole, this year in particular, is coming upon a golden age much like the one the S'Kra reached immediately preceding the rise of the Empire of the Seven-Pointed Star.

The wedding ceremony in particular should be a representation of the S'Kra's unique culture. Humans might say it's because they're cold blooded, but a S'Kra would likely tell you that spewing out one's feelings on a regular basis only indicates that those feelings don't run very deep. Essentially the 'words' in the ceremony will revolve around one line: "My life is yours, your death is mine, in Hav'roth's will for eternity." Any other words spoken in binding will be dependent upon the clan and upon the individual S'Kra being joined. There will be a shaman present, but not to create an earthly binding, for the S'Kra should feel that any such commitments come most powerfully from themselves; and in some cases the shaman need not speak at all. Feel free to give feedback on that, as well as any other aspects of S'Kra life that get laid down, here or otherwise-- this is, after all, about the players.

Being a very traditional civilization, the S'Kra will keep many day-to-day freedoms, but when they do something traditional, it's generally thickly laced with ceremony. There will be ceremonial foods, each symbolic, and likewise much symbolism to the colors of their clothing, their amount of jewelry, and the types of flowers carried by the bride and groom. (Flowers themselves play a large role in many clans as, being mostly a rugged species accustomed to living in harsh climates, they are rare and therefore an indication of nobility.)

Another primary factor in determining the scope of one's wedding-- or any ceremony, really-- would of course be social and financial status. This is easy to determine if one is born into a clan-- if, however, one has ventured out into Elanthia as an adventurer, as most characters have, it gets a bit more difficult. At the same time, though, it provides a great opportunity to deepen your character's background. Who were her parents? Did he have any siblings? What sraans were involved? When going the traditional route, all of these (as well as the members of a S'Kra's ru'at) will have a tremendous impact on what sort of ceremony a S'Kra would have. Culturally, though, a S'Kra-- sraan member or not-- can keep in mind one rule of thumb: Do what you can afford, so long as in so doing you don't bring shame to your elders. (For example, don't out-do and therefore shame your Speaker unless you want to be snickered about by the young and have your union disparaged by the old.)

While going with a full GM-assisted wedding broadens your options, perfectly beautiful ceremonies can be prepared using only those items and resources already available in the game. Here are some tips for putting together a traditional S'Kra wedding.

For the bride and groom:
Wear your favorite clothes, but keep an eye on the color, remembering that S'Kra culture rests strongly on symbolism. Orange is considered bad luck; brown shows homage to Hav'roth, gold to Peri'el, steel grey to Ush'nish; red for courage in battle; blue for youth and boldness; white for peace and purity of spirit. The dye shop in Leth Deriel provides an array of colors that can turn an ordinary sash from Brisshon's Haberdashery in the Crossing into something colorful and memorable. Take a trip to Ratha and have the bride and groom's initials embroidered onto these items for lasting family heirlooms.

Flower shops in the Crossing and Riverhaven are excellent sources for symbolic flowers. Wedding pairs traditionally wear four flowers apiece, with the most important flower resting in a band across the base of the tail. A medieval flower-symbolism reference online can be found at Beware of those begonias and remember that these flowers don't necessarily have the same symbolic meanings in Elanthia.

The shaman:
No matter how good a friend that human cleric is, if you want your wedding recognized by mainstream S'Kra society, find a S'Kra. If your friend is that dedicated to your welfare, they'll understand. While outsiders can scholastically learn quite a lot about the S'Kra, they can never know what it is to truly live as one, because some things are simply never divulged to q'alri, and in order to take on a S'Kra existence, they would have to completely unmake their own-- which is essentially impossible.

Age does not matter, but the respectful shaman will take care to increase his or her favor with the couple's chosen deity, as well as performing a ritual cleansing prior to the ceremony.

The ceremony:
Location is simple-- find a place symbolic to you and your loved one. While there are some truly spectacular buildings in Shard and Ratha, if that little pavilion behind the waterfall in the west forest of Crossings means more to you, by all means hold it there.

Before the actual joining of the pair takes place, the parents of the couple will traditionally exchange gifts to express their goodwill at the union of their young. If parents are unavailable, take the most respected and loved among your ru'at and honor them with the blessing of your wedding.

For the ceremony itself, the bride and groom each provide an item representative of themselves. In older times this was a ribbon crafted in the S'Kra's personal colors. It can be anything-- a flower, a dagger, a stone, a small statuette. These two items are clasped in the joined hands of the couple. The shaman then produces three ribbons in colors symbolic to the three aspects of the god or goddess that the couple wishes to watch over their union. The ribbons are twined 'round the hands, and the couple shares the words "My life is yours, your death is mine, in Hav'roth's will for eternity." (It is necessary to note that these words generally remain the same, even if one's patron god/goddess is, say, Eluned. S'Kra all across history have many things in common, despite the differences between clan and individual-- and one of them is that they revere their creator unstintingly, even if they choose to uphold the standards of another god as well.)

It is *vital* that these words never be repeated in public again; doing so without the binding, in fact, nullifies the ceremony. The bride and groom then share their own words-- briefly, for to speak of feelings too effusively is to weaken them in the heart-- and that concludes the ceremony.

The reception:

Like the ceremony location, the spot for the wedding reception should ideally be a meaningful, nicely secluded place. There are many of these scattered throughout Elanthia-- find the one that brings back the most memories for you (the proposal site?), gather up some bards, and hie your party thither.

Likewise, there are an incredible number of delicacies available to augment your reception. For the best variety one would of course travel all around the realm, gathering up favorites-- but I'll close this article with four menus, one from each province, along with prices and locations.

If you'd like to stay in Zoluren:

Candied violets - 350 kronars at De'ali's Elven Delights in Leth Deriel.
Blackened trout - 40 kronars at the Gilded Unicorn Inn in Kaerna.
Spiced peppernut rolls - 300 kronars at Mithin's Bakery in Leth Deriel.
Dandelion wine - 45 kronars at the Gilded Unicorn Inn in Kaerna.

And for the meal:
The drink: S'Kra Mur nectar, available in the Gilded Unicorn Inn for 35 kronars.
The appetizer: Pinenut-stuffed sparrow, 900 kronars at the Rest of Ages Inn in Leth Deriel.
The soup: Wild sorrel soup, 300 kronars at the Rest of Ages Inn in Leth Deriel.
The main course: Braised yak ribs, 850 kronars at Arnack's Tavern in Wolf Clan, accompanied by a side of Harvasa rice, 275 kronars at the same location.
(The daring might substitute an entree of roast wild dog, available in Dirge, 500 kronars at the Darkstone Inn.)
The dessert: An herb and honey tart from Saranna's Specialties in Crossing, 32 kronars, accompanied by mulled sicle cider from the Arthe Hollow Inn, 375 kronars.

For the northerners in Therengia:

Buttery chive biscuits - 325 lirums at Lokthal's Bakery Shop in Riverhaven.
Apple hearthbread - 225 lirums at The Baron's Table in Therenborough.
Braised ox tongues - 700 lirums at the Saltfisher Inn in Riverhaven.
Fresh grape juice - 70 lirums at the Telgar Inn in Langenfirth.

And for the meal:
The drink: Spiced wine, 70 lirums at the Telgar Inn in Langenfirth.
The appetizer: Potato dumplings, 400 lirums from the Saltfisher Inn in Riverhaven.
The soup: Fish bisque, 400 lirums at The Baron's Table in Therenborough.
The main course: Saffron grilled swordfish, 800 lirums at The Baron's Table in Therenborough, with a side of stuffed leeks, 400 lirums at The Baron's Table in Therenborough.
(Those desiring something a little more robust might substitute roasted boar, 100 lirums at the Telgar Inn in Langenfirth, for the swordfish steak, but if this is done it is advisable to replace the fish bisque with the more hearty yet subtly flavored peapod potage, 300 lirums at The Baron's Table in Therenborough.)
The dessert: S'Kra fig pastries, 400 lirums at Lokthal's Bakery Shop in Riverhaven, served with a glass of Blackberry Stout, 85 lirums at the Telgar Inn in Langenfirth.

For the southerners in Ilithi:

Snacks: Steamed leek rolls - 35 dokoras in Milene's Rose Inn in Shard.
Mushroom tart - 60 dokoras in Liani's Heaven in Shard.
Leg of Leviathan - 800 dokoras at Marachek's Oak at Fayrin's Rest.
Lahini juice - 40 dokoras at Liani's Heaven in Shard.

And for the meal:
The drink: Ishra's Pale, 40 dokoras at the Broken Blade Tavern in Steel Claw clan.
The appetizer: Grilled garlic shrimp, 40 dokoras at Milene's Rose Inn in Shard.
The soup: Onion soup with cheese and toasted croutons, 50 dokoras at the Golden Phoenix Inn in Shard.
The main course: Veal in mushrooms and wine sauce over rice, 75 dokoras at the Golden Phoenix Inn in Shard, with a side of steamed carrots in herbed butter, 30 dokoras also at the Golden Phoenix.
(For a lighter fare, substitute a grilled poulet in creme Sauce over pasta, also 75 dokoras at the Golden Phoenix, for the veal with mushrooms.)
The dessert: Seventeen layer cake, 755 dokoras at Marachek's Oak at Fayrin's Rest, topped with a white chocolate unicorn, 18 dokoras at Genevive's Sweet Tooth in Shard, and served with cinnamon mead, 35 dokoras at Milene's Rose Inn in Shard. Those with less delicate throats might also try Shorka's Venom, available for 35 dokoras in Milene's Rose Inn in Shard, as an after dinner drink.

For the islanders in Reshalia:

Steamed clams (called "steamers") - 25 lirums at Kygar's Pub in Ratha.
Marinated eel and octopus kebabs - 55 lirums at the Itinerant Fishmonger's stand in Ratha.
Apricot raisin bread - 20 lirums at the pushcart in the Ratha Bazaar.
Hot spiced rum punch - 25 lirums at Jack's Tarr Rest in Ratha.

And for the meal:
The drink: Siren's Lure, 25 lirums at Jack's Tarr rest in Ratha. The appetizer: Lime-basted red darter, 70 lirums at the Itinerant Fishmonger's stand in Ratha.
The soup: Blue crab stew with potatoes and leeks, 30 lirums from Jack's Tarr Rest in Ratha.
The main course: Baked halibut with a lemon caper sauce, 40 lirums from Jack's Tarr Rest in Ratha, with a side of herbed dumplings, 15 lirums from Kygar's Pub and fragrant coconut rice, 20 lirums from the Ratha Bazaar.
(For a bit more spice, substitute curry-marinated sea bass, 40 lirums from Kygar's Pub, for the baked halibut, and exchange the blue crab stew with a creamy seafood bisque with lobster and crab, 20 lirums from Jack's Tarr Rest.)
The dessert: Blueberry walnut chutney, 15 lirums at the Ratha Bazaar, served with melon wine, 15 lirums from Denison's Pub.

This concludes my advice for a home-grown S'Kra wedding. I hope that it may have shed some light on an otherwise fairly shadowed ceremony, and wish you the best of luck in making your union a memorable one, if marriage is what you seek. Happy playing!