Aphechar is a tradition among the aboriginal people who live in the most barren parts of central Bfolyorn. Beginning from their passage into basic-maturity, they cut or scrape off a small patch of skin using a ritual blade soaked in Pudjaret sap on the first day of every week. This sap mixes in with their tissue as it heals, eventually solidifying into an amber, obsidian-like carapace.
Aphechar originated around the 31st century D.C. by groups of radical Monks from a Lightian sect called the Phek. They would travel out into the wastes in small groups, wandering around until they located a rare Pudjaret tree. Thrusting their walking sticks into the earth at this location, they would set up a makeshift camp, tap the tree, and begin the ritual, not returning to their hometown until their body is completely encrusted.
The Phek religion was centered around the hero Pheross, the mightiest warrior on Dakai. He was so strong that swords could not put a mark on him, nor could the finest archer pierce his skin. However, The Light soon heard about him and became jealous. When Pheross heard about this, he fled around the world, seeking a hiding place from the horrible wrath of the light. The legend says that he eventually became so tired that he curled up by a lake and turned into a stone. The Light, passing by the same lake, did not recognize him in his altered form and proceeded onward. It is from this myth that the Phek gained most of their values, including their worshiping of boulders, fear of the sky, and of course, Aphechar.
Over time, more and more people went on these 'pilgrimages', and the tradition took root. This progressed until modern day, where it is an integral part of some Bfolyorn-nomadic tribes.
The Aphechar CarapaceEdit
The most curious part of this whole tradition is the gem-like scabs that form on the skins of participants. With the appearance of dark-yellow to brown glass,they form a sparkling, bumpy hide across the body. These scales give the body a natural armor, protecting the Dwellers of the Waste from wild animals or other wanderers. Additionally, the carapace helps withstand the intense conditions found out in central Bfolyorn, as the scales work as radiation 'sponges', absorbing it and then emanating heat. This way, Aphechar are protected from both the hazardous phenomena of the wastes and the biting cold of the day.
Aphechar nearly always begin with their hands as they tend to be work-calloused to begin with. Also, the scales are quickly a big help to them in their everyday tasks, as they suddenly have tougher palms and a stronger grip. After this, most proceed along their arms, usually doing the top first, so as to protect from the sun sooner. This traditional Phek urge to protect oneself from the light first also makes Aphechar cover their shoulders, feet, and part of their face before they proceed to cover places more combat or work oriented.
Naturally, there is a lot of ethnocentricity focused on Aphechar, due to their bizarre appearance. Due to the growth of Globalism, it is not too unusual to see one of these in modern cities, as many Aphechar abandoned their ancestral home in the wastes and started sub-communities within more urban environments. Aphechar are usually viewed as frightening masochists and violent brutes, and associated with crime and dilapidation. This is most likely due to the poverty Aphechar may find themselves after entering a city and being unable to find unbiased employers.
However, this stereotype, like most, is not true. There are pockets of Aphechar in most institutions of high education. The largest concentration is in two or three of the departments at the Great University of Cyrim, including the Cyral Tower Studies Department, which have committees that consist entirely of carapaced scholars.
The Pudjaret TreeEdit
The Pudjaret tree is a bizarre plant that can only grow in the harsh environment of central Bfolyorn, due to a strange cellular structure that cannot form without certain amounts of radiation hitting it. This tree is most famous for its sap, which is used in the Aphechar tradition. When it comes into contact with blood, it solidifies into the ritual's trademark amber.
While the tree used to be extremely rare back when the ritual was first invented, entrepreneurs have made the cultivation of the plants into an industry, and they now dot the central Bfolyorn landscape, the only vegetation present besides some sparse grasses with similar resistance to the environment.
CuriousMetacurious 23:23, September 4, 2010 (UTC)