Black Hat Lodge

A group of inter-related medicine societies that exist among the nomadic Baseliner tribes called the Dustwalkers. The Black Hat Lodges govern a youth’s acceptance into the tribe as an adult. In solemn ceremonies, the lodge-masters infect each aspirant with a change plague to test the strength of their genes. If the youth mutates as a result of the ordeal, they’re proved unworthy and cast out of the tribe. (Or killed outright if the plague didn't already accomplish this.) Passage of the ordeal is required before a youth can marry or breed. The Lodges also exercise great power over other matters of policy within the tribes, and frequently act as a sort of "court of final appeal" in inter-tribal disputes.

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