I tried to find something other than a boring topic to discuss so I started looking through AJ’s world building site at what was built and what wasn’t. While AJ already talks about Ad Aetatem I’m going to expand upon it. The link basically talks about the rituals. I’ll talk about mine specifically and what it really means to the Venatori.
I’ve said before every Venatori child comes through the Academy after the age of 13 regardless of where they live. This is a filter of sorts. We are taught what it means to be Venatori, about the hidden world around us, and what the Clandestine Providence is and how to enforce it. Those of us who can wield the elements are taught control, and we are taught to use our mental ability to the best of the Venatori knowledge. Not all abilities are trainable, understandable but not always trainable.
A Magnus must reach an adept level of understanding if they wish to retain their ability. We are a harsh race, if you don’t meet our standards we eliminate it. Having said that, if you make an attempt too many times to become adept you become Tacet. Which basically means they rip your elemental ability from your body leaving you empty and unfulfilled.
The Venatori believe you will be more of a danger to the world because you do not have the required skill so they take it from you. I have only ever met on Tacet in my life, and I wish I never had met him. He was empty – devoid of life and feeling and he just went on with life as if there was nothing in the world that matter. It was a dismal experience.
But that’s not the only filter on the venatori before you become an adult. If you are like me – half human or as we are officially called Minorem (meaning lesser Venatori). We are screened for antibodies. If we take too much after our human ancestry we are sterilized. No biological children for you. The Venatori as a race are still very strict when it comes to procreation. We have breeding programs that ensure the survival of the best in our race. There is a general belief that we can find our own mates, but in some cases you are arranged. Or a pairing is made just to satisfy the requirement to have two children. There are a rare few who do not follow the rule and they pay a monetary fee for the ability to not have children. At present Dorian is the only one I know of who has opted out of it for many years.
Our Ad Aetatem, which I regularly refer to as graduation, is a series of three rituals. The severing of parental ties. That was when I first met my father, and when he found out about me. It was also the first time since I had seen my mother since she left me with Dorian at the age of 5. I will retell that tale later. I have in other places I’ll link them up for you after I find it.
The second is a drug induced hallucination. It is said to be a vision from the universe about your future. My biggest recollection of my dream sequence was bright blue eyes, and a lot of monsters. It was a blur of images my mind could barely make out. But I remember waking up from the dream and wanting to puke my guts out. The drug and I didn’t get along and I still had to go get a stupid tattoo.
The last and final trial is the tattoo that marks a Venatori out to any supernatural sensitive person. It’s a pair of crossed swords at our right temple. We are to remain quiet and still and if we don’t we are sent back to the Academy for another year to try again. The idea is if you don’t have the discipline and bravery to do this quietly you aren’t fit to be a Venatori yet. Few fail it. I almost did – as I’m terrified of needles.
But I didn’t. I managed to remain quiet and still even through I was on the edge of puking from the drug and in addition the fear coursing through my body. After I was free and clear and an adult officially I did puke. Highly undignified but I was free of the Academy.
There is an fourth phase of the Ad Aetatem but it’s really more your first assignment under the guidance of a seasoned hunter. Seriously annoying, but that’s another story.