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Rhagepe (ra-GEH-pei) - God-eyed

In every tribe of Gogepe, three women are chosen to represent one of the three goddesses: life, death, and rebirth. Only women who have silver eyes and have received visions from the gods can become Rhagepe. Rhagepe serve for life, and only when they die is their successor chosen. Sometimes a Rhagepe will dream of their successor before they die, but this is not always found to be the case and not thought of as an accurate method to choose the next Speaker of the Goddesses. When a woman becomes a Rhagepe she refers to the previous Rhagepe as her mother.

Ceremonies

The Blood Ceremony

Perhaps the most notorious of Rhagepe ceremonies. This name is the most well known in any land, but remains the least well understood. The Rhagepe are intensely guarded about this ceremony because it is believed to have the power to unleash the most horrific curse. The only detail known is that to perform the ceremony, the Rhagepe will sacrifice their own life.

The Calendar Ceremony

Held on the night of the first new moon after Zera enters Orope. During the Calendar Ceremony every Rhagepe writes down (using a complicated system of symbols representing omens or disasters) visions they have had over the past twelve years (since the last Calendar Ceremony). The visions are carved into camels' bones with amethyst stones by the 'Speaker for Rebirth'. Once the bones are collected into copper pots the Rhagepe enter the ancient ruins of the temple at the base of the Kerlra Hal'Gepe mountains.

The Cloak Ceremony

Only performed by those who have no heirs or simply no desire to pass on their Ancestral Cloak. The Ancestral Cloak is ground and boiled and used as part of a potion. When the potion is drunk the performer will receive secrets from the gods (like instructions to make a new potion, curse, etc).

Rhagepe of Note

In the Novels

Orope

The novels opens with the Rhagepe performing the Calendar Ceremony at the temple. We see how the three different Rhagepe are responsible for different aspects of the ceremony, before they enter the temple and sort through all the visions.

Physical Description

Rhagepe generally have more tattoos than other Gogepe, but otherwise dress the same. "All women with silver eyes, trained since birth to one day become a Rhagepe. There were only three Rhagepe to every tribe, and most women lived their entire lives without ever being chosen to speak for the gods."[1]

References

  1. Chapter: "The Whisperers of the Gods, The ocean shall rise up and swallow the land" p.2