Those bound by the Urubaj, or “blood bond” are said to have a relationship just as strong as those who have participated in Sepanja, possibly stronger. Participants are those who have fought side-by-side in battle, and have saved each others’ lives. Battle companions often form a connection that others lack, and the trolls have taken this one step further.
Before participating in the ritual, several conditions must be met. The two trolls must have hunted or fought together more than once, usually as part of a “military campaign” (often raids against an opposing tribe or powerful enemy); the two must have saved each others’ lives at one time; and they must be able to fight together and trust each other in combat.
Urubaj often occurs between members of a military company or raiding party. It is very seldom seen at other times, but this is one of the few times that a troll from outside a tribe may be inducted into a different tribe. The outsider troll must have done something to save one of the tribal trolls, and worked with the tribe long enough to become trusted. After the ceremony, the outsider renounces his ties with his previous tribe and is welcomed into the new one.
The ritual of Urubaj requires the presence of a priest or shaman, in order to ensure the spirits serve as witness over the ceremony. No other trolls need to be in attendance, but troll law dictates that there must be a spiritual representative available who is not being bound by Urubaj. For example, if a troll shaman wanted to be bound with a troll warrior, he could not serve as his own spiritual representative…another shaman or priest must be found to watch over the ceremony.
The two trolls must recount the battles that they have shared to the spiritual representative. Once that is done, the representative calls forth the spirits to witness the ceremony. The two participants use their own knives or daggers to slash their wrists, then grasp each others’ forearms so that the wounds touch. The representative then wraps the arms in leather or linen straps which have been blessed for the Urubaj ceremony. These straps are burned after the ceremony is completed. The trolls keep their arms linked until their natural healing ability causes the wound to heal. The ritual, however, does leave a lasting scar, quite noticeable to anyone who looks at the wrist.
The two trolls are now said to be “blood brethren,” and refer to each other as “bredda” or “sistren,” even if they are not biologically related. They are said to have shared blood, and rarely will be found apart.
If one of the trolls should faint during the ritual, it is deemed a very bad omen. Both trolls receive a tattoo of a white band around their forearms, near the scar. The tattoo indicates that the troll has the blood of a coward in his or her veins, and it is often very difficult, nearly impossible, for trolls marked in such a fashion to participate in Urubaj again. This also typically ends whatever relationship the two trolls may have had before the ritual.
Those who have formed this blood bond fight as a team, and often are capable of coordinating their attacks with deadly ability. It is possible for a troll to participate in Urubaj with more than one troll, and legendary stories are told about companies of four or five trolls who have all been bound by Urubaj and the fantastic feats and successes they obtained.
If a troll who participated in Urubaj is killed, then his or her blood sibling(s) are bound by their oaths and the ceremony to avenge the death, even against insurmountable, suicidal odds. Those bound also cannot leave a wounded companion behind, and will remain to fight as long as he can to let his companion get to safety. Some of those who have made hunting trolls a career have noticed this behavior and try to exploit it. In fact, it served as the origin for the dwarven hunter’s phrase “hit the shoe, you kill two.”
If the slain troll is avenged, the surviving companion often undergoes a brief period of mourning, usually no longer than a week. At the end of the mourning period, he or she receives a tattoo of three black dots, arranged in a triangle, next to the scar which marked the Urubaj ceremony. The troll does not have any additional stigma or restrictions against participating in other rituals.
In very rare cases, two trolls will participate in both ceremonies. These trolls are often elevated to legendary status, and frequently form new tribes, or at least, become highly revered and respected elders in the tribe.
In troll history, a non-troll has never participated in any of these rituals and become a member of a troll tribe. With the Darkspear trolls now part of the Horde and closely allied with the orcs, it is possible that the customs may change.
Related Ceremonies: Sepanja