Kender Adolescence

by Kipper Snifferdoo

Courting Rituals and Marriage During Wanderlust

by Vallenie Honeythorn

It’s not easy finding the right kender-mate during wanderlust. Romance during wanderlust is a rare thing for two reasons, the frenzied lifestyle during wanderlust and the rarity of kender meeting each other during this period in life. But it’s not impossible to run into that perfect kender while wandering. And there are courting rituals that can take place during this time. The kender pick-up line is one example.

Most humans find the idea of a pickup line crude and in ill humor, but kender take it for what it is, an icebreaker between two strangers. Kender males consider it a high compliment for a female kender to laugh out loud after a pickup line has been uttered. If a female kender is not interested she may smirk or smile politely, thus letting the male kender know if she is not interested. But if the kendermaid giggles, blushes, or laughs out loud, the kender knows that she is truly interested. It’s not unusual for a city guard to hear exclamations of “What’s a nice kender like you doing in a dirty jail like this?” or “Looking at you, I finally understand why they call it wanderLUST.”

When the small talk has ended one of two things happen. Either the kender decide to spend time traveling together or they part ways. There are a few customary phrases for a kender to ask a kendermaid (or vice versa) to travel with him (or her) if the kender feels so inclined, such as “Going my way?” or “Care to play Tag-a-long?”

From there, kender courting can take anywhere from a few days to years. It all depends on the kender couple, how much time they have to form a lasting relationship, and if life on the road allows them to adequately bond. But in many cases the kender couple end up going their separate ways. Most times they just wander apart from each other on good terms, just enjoying the relationship as another encounter during wanderlust. When a romance does bloom in the midst of traveling and the kender decide to get married it is usually a very small affair, involving only the kender themselves or their traveling companions if there happen to be any.

The wedding ritual is usually very brief consisting of a spoken promise made between the kender and kendermaid. Both also take of their shoes off to symbolize the many roads that would be traveled together and the shoes that would be worn out. It is also customary for them to trade pouches to symbolize that what they have belongs to the other. If rings are available they will also be exchanged at this time.

There is no formal engagement period between kender or a promise to be married. When they decide it’s time they usually have it then and there or soon there after.

Kender do believe in the concept of a honeymoon, although this is not necessarily thought of as a time to consummate the marriage, but as their first adventure together in a long string of adventures. During wanderlust this is also considered as the beginning of a brand new adventure.

Courting Rituals and Marriage After Wanderlust

For those kender that did not find their significant other during the years of wanderlust there is still hope. Many kender find themselves single after traveling the world for many years. They settle down in a kender village or city and begin a trade. In the confines of a kender society (such as they are) the kender courting ritual takes on a new aspect.

A kender that gets involved with another will sometimes take a braid of their potential mates topknot and wear it as a sign to other kender that they are spoken for. During this time before the kender get married there are usually many opportunities for the kender to show others how they feel about their particular love interest.

Many kender moots (a moot is one of the unscheduled parties / festivals that many villages partake in) will have a ceremony or game dedicated to kender finding their true love. One particular game called “Dwarf Tag” involves blinding the kendermaid (or kender) and having other kender of the opposite gender run around the blindfolded one echoing whatever the blindfolded kender says. The goal is for the blind kender to find her love interest in the confusion surrounding her. Each kender she touches must sit out. If the last kender to be tagged is the one she was interested in it proves he was quick enough and smart enough to outlast until the end and deserving of her love.

Once a kender couple has decided to get married, there is a preparation time of anywhere from one day to a month. Kender weddings when held in villages or cities are usually a more elaborate affair than those held during wanderlust. The bride and groom will dress up in their finest clothing. The bride traditionally will have flowers woven into her topknot and both kender do not wear shoes to symbolize the many roads that would be traveled together and the shoes that would be worn out.

The father of the bride or an official usually resides over the ceremony. Every kender knows that there is a very long and complicated unwritten marriage ceremony. The reason for this is that they understand that marriage is a very important thing in a kender’s life and feel that the ceremony part of the wedding should be long and meaningful. That being said, most kender marriage ceremonies are ad-lib and usually end when the audience (or bride and groom) start to get tired of standing or sitting still and are ready to get to the reception. Rings are also exchanged in this ceremony as well.

During the reception it is customary for the bride and groom to be given a handful of empty pouches. Then during the reception other kender offer items and coins from their own pouches to help the kender couple start their life together.

Once the reception is over the new husband and wife take their honeymoon. Kender do believe in the concept of a honeymoon, although this is not necessarily thought of as a time to consummate the marriage, but as their first adventure together in a long string of adventures.

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