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The Pilgrimage is a ritual left behind by the Divine as a means of calling upon them should they be needed after the Departure. It was originally saved exclusively for wars and other major crisises, but is now commonly used as a rite of passage for rulers.

Performing a Pilgrimage

A Compass Stone is a rare, glimmering gem that, when activated, will initiate a Pilgrimage. It is common for royal families to have a well-guarded store of these Stones for their inaugerations. The process of activating a Compass Stone has never been documented. It is passed on by word-of-mouth only.

Once the Stone is active, it will guide the way to the nearest Beacon. Beacons are hidden temples that cannot easily be found without a Compass Stone. Even if one were to find a Beacon on their own, they would be unable to enter. These temples only open their doors to those who hold an active stone and who are accompanied by a person who embodies a trait favoured by the Divine the Beacon represents. As well as being a compass that leads to Beacons, the Compass Stone also leads to these people. Each country has one Beacon.

With all Beacons active, the Pilgrimage must find their way to the top of Mt. Rakihi[1], where the Signal must be activated. Once the Signal has been activated, the Divine will soon appear. One must remember that, even with a successful Pilgrimage, the Divine are under no obligation to fulfill the Pilgrimage's wish.

Famous Pilgrimages

The First Pilgrimage

The First Pilgrimage was performed on Day 40 of Year 347. It was initiated by Ka Pua, a Keiki woman who wanted to put a stop to the Keiki Hunts. Her group's appeal to the Divine was answered by the birth of Kahulona, who, after destroying all members of the Okika, drifted to the bottom of the ocean.

Unfortunately, the end of the Keiki Hunts did not mean the end of discrimination against the Keiki people. Ka Pua was forced to go into hiding shortly after she completed her Pilgrimage. The members of her Pilgrimage delivered instructions on how to activate a Compass Stone to each country's royal family before they, too, disappeared from the public's eye. It is assumed that they left to join Ka Pua.

The First Pilgrimage took roughly 3 years to complete.

The Royal Pilgrimage

The Royal Pilgrimage was performed on Day 238 of Year 659. It was initiated by Prince Ali'ikai of [country]. He performed it to prove that he would make a better ruler than his older brother, Prince Hiapo. While travelling, Prince Ali'ikai made certain to disguise himself and tell no one of his royalty, so that he would be judged purely on his virtues and not on his status. His request to the Divine was to give him something that would convince the King and Queen that he was a more suitable leader than his lazy brother. He was given the Floral Crown, a headdress made from beautiful, fragrant flowers, to show that the Divine favoured him. This was the first time that a Pilgrimage had been used as a rite of passage for a ruler. The Floral Crown is now a very important artifact for [country]. It can only be worn by rulers who have completed their Pilgrimages.

Pilgrimages are now accepted as a part of a country's ruler's inaugeration. A ruler is not considered "official" until they return from their Pilgrimage with some sort of token from the Divine. These Pilgrimages have no agreed-upon rules, but are often done in such a way as to emulate King Ali'kai's journey. Disguises are encouraged, as well as keeping one's status a secret while travelling.

The only ruler who has never completed their Pilgrimage, yet continued to reign, is Queen [name] of [country].

Notes

[1] A portmanteau of ra and kihi, which mean sun and kiss in Maori, respectively.

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