Bāng Dà Ren

Bāng Dà Ren was a secular ritual that marked the Muvian passage into adulthood. Unlike civilisations that have followed Mu no physical prowess or body modification was included in the ritual. Instead, and in line with the forte of their people, the Muvian coming-of-age was a test of intellectual ability and engineering skill.

Ritual Conduct

The testing was usually held around a boy's 23rd birthday from new moon to full moon, with the boy being semi isolated from his family to prevent influence and cheating. Often an examination workshop was prepared with a prescribed set of tools and materials, plus additional as requested by the boy. No books were to be taken into the workshop, though additional materials were able to be requested if found wanting. Meals were taken with family as normal though sleeping during this time was usually completed within the workshop, generally enforced by the time constraints of the task rather than the community surrounding the boy.

On the last day the boy would emerge from his workshop and give a demonstration of his item, the patriarch of the family, and a notable local academic would give a rudimentary examination and all being equal the boy would walk forth a man.

While even poorly made items still qualified for adulthood the judgement of the item was crucial to wealth and social status and it was in the interest of all young men to plan an item that was well within their ability to create; rather than attempting to create an overly complex item and fail.

Ritual Items

The boy would be required to create an item of his choosing that would best demonstrate his skills. Often these items would have required years of preparation and schooling to complete and generally included at the very least knowledge of Physics, Metallurgy and Astronomy.

The best items were of original design or complex manufacture and would aid research or business conducted by the family. Alchemical instruments, astronomical devices and measuring devices were amongst the most common. Mechanical and automated instruments constituted the most prized Bāng Dà Ren creations however architectural models of accuracy and craftsmanship were highly prized particularly when created of famous landmarks such as Aznila's Folly or the University of Aeronautics and Alchemy

Where a boy's craft skills far outweighed his intellectual strength the creation of a heavily decorated but simple item was acceptable and an abundance of seemingly unused and intricately engraved Muvian astrolabs have been found in the remnants of their colonies. These kinds of items were usually limited to the merchant and labourer classes for whom scientific equipment was something hired not owned.

Gender Disparity

Only males were expected to undergo Bāng Dà Ren, though a curious expansion of the tradition extended into the female line. Whether the cause or the outcome of the popularity of cartography and mathematics among female society it became de rigeur for women to complete paper dissertations as an equivalent to the male ritual.

Amongst certain circles a well composed thesis or fine diagrammatic artistry became a mark of a well brought up young lady ensuring better placement in marriage and society. Consequently many of the greatest scientific teams in Muvian history have been characterised with a husband completing operations and experiments with the results carefully documented by their loyal spouses.

Bāng Dà Ren Dowries and Social Standing

Owing to the singular nature of items made at Bāng Dà Ren they became an extremely valuable and sentimental symbol of engagement or dowry, paid to a fiancee's family in exchange for their daughter. Rarity of the item was not the only consideration in this practice however as a future son-in-law incapable of creating an item of significance was considered of limited use to the family and likely to be a fiscal liability.

Failure to create an intricate or skilled item then became tantamount to life long bachelorhood and a limitation of the family line, particularly in the upper classes where unskilled or lazy youths often had their family name struck from their title effectively exiling them to the working classes.

Some scandal was uncovered by Dekibin, the renowned physicist, after he sought out an infamous socialite credited with creating a particularly fine automated heliocentric orrery only to discover the boy had negligable astronomical skills. The resultant publicity regarding the trade in hand made scientific tools for the purpose of marriage shook Muvian society for some time as previous unknowns were rapidly elevated to some of the most prestigious scholarly positions in Mu while many arranged marriages between eminent families were disbanded or scandalised.

Lady Illdrinn

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