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kavkem ryrhakenema are usually known to carry a so-called story staff (tehaba͡in) with them. These staves are carefully equipped with slots through which paper slips are threaded; each paper slip contains Kendane͡ivash phrases that represent (but do not fully describe) some of the stories the ryrhakenem is aware of. New stories will be swapped in for old ones once space runs out.

This practise is common regardless of individual mythology, though certain ryrhakenema may choose not to keep a story staff for practical or superstitious reasons (such as that they might fall into the hands of Nayabaru, who might divine something important from them and thus become even more dangerous, or from being a target for malevolent forces who might destroy it).

The concerns that drive the decision not to have a story staff, themselves, are not all rare. Where story staves are kept, it is still true that, when in peril, the ryrhakenem is meant to abandon their story staff (ideally somewhere where it will not be discovered by the source of the peril) as that someone else might find it and reconstruct the stories lost with the capture of the ryrhakenem that owned the staff. This rarely works out as intended (either because the staff is found by the Nayabaru and destroyed, the staff is never found by kavkema, or the notes are too opaque as that the stories can be reconstructed into anything but arbitrary interpretations), but the ritual of having a story staff is nonetheless a central part of most kavkem cultures.

WARNING: The following depictions have not yet had a chance to become canonical.

In some mythologies, story staves are considered to have mystical power, often ascribed a life of their own - albeit a largely passive one, much like the trees they're made from. A well-tended story staff is, in many cosmologies, a physical equivalent of what humans might call 'plot armour' - be it through the blessings of the demigod Ateheril or through other metaphysical means, a ryrhakenem carrying many stories is considered much safer from the dangers of the world than the average kavkem. (This is, of course, mostly wishful thinking.)

As is often true for near-pleasant concepts in kavkem mythology, there is a dark counterpart to the mythological tehaba͡ina - the kaaruba͡ina, literally 'cursed staves'. A cursed staff is visually indistinguishable from a blank story staff, although spiritually attuned kavkema might purportedly notice something amiss.

A cursed staff will always remain blank, as that is its curse. It uses its metaphysical life to desperately seek out stories, as any story staff is meant to do. In its desperation, it reaches into the minds of sleeping kavkema and steals their stories; as it is unable to retain them, they're lost, and a kavkem sleeping within the range of influence of a kaaruba͡in may wake in the morning to have no memories of their past at all.

kavkem/mythology/tehaba͡in.txt · Last modified: 2024-03-31 20:14 by pinkgothic