Gullion is a world of a thousand cultures. It is a rich world of diversity, and each city-state values the differences between them.
As children come of age on Gullion, they are sent on a journey to explore the many city-states. They wear generic clothing, off-white tunics and pants, and remove all identifiers from their person that would indicate their birth-state. Each is named Xeni for the duration of their travels.
As individual strangers travelling the world, they have no past, no future, no connections. They are cared for by the people in the city-states, given food, shelter, taught the ways of the culture.
Their purpose is to learn as much as possible and upon returning home after one year, they take up their name again. In their Culture Ceremony, each young person selects the city-state in which they will live for the rest of their life, abandoning their family and friends, to start life anew as a stranger.
For the people of Gullion, this way of life keeps their bloodlines diverse and the cultures fresh. Family ties, past histories – none of that is important. Only the individual, knowledge, and the growth of the culture matters.
But Pelligren does not want to give up his family and certainly not his love, Lylea. He returned from his Xeni year determined to remain in his birth-state with Lylea. His family is horrified that he would profane their traditions and refuse his Culture Ceremony. Even Lylea is opposed to his plans, having already chosen her new home in her Culture Ceremony.
Can Pelligren withstand the weight of tradition and win over Lylea or will she convince him that leaving behind the past is the best way for both of them?
What do you think about the concept of xenization?