Rite of Absorption
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The Rite of Absorption, also known as a Trial of Absorption, is a combination of the Clan Trial of Refusal and Trial of Possession. This Rite allows the Clans to effectively "destroy" a Clan that isn't worthy of continuing but doesn't warrant a Trial of Annihilation. The Grand Council can vote to allow one Clan to absorb another, but only by a unanimous vote (excepting the Clan being Absorbed, which cannot vote). If approved, the accused is done with the pre-trial motions. They cannot Refuse or appeal the decision. The remaining Clans will then begin a bidding process to see which Clan will face the Absorbed Clan. (In the past, the council has determined which Clan will benefit from the Absorption, as in the case of the Absorption of Clan Burrock by Clan Star Adder.) The Clan chosen to absorb the weaker Clan may also be challenged by others in a Trial of Refusal even before battling the Clan to be Absorbed. The resulting trials can last for years. Clan Wolf won the right to Absorb Clan Widowmaker in 2834, for example, but had to defeat three other Clans for that right.
The Absorbing Clan then attacks the Absorption target's touman with the force it bid. If the Absorption target successfully defeats the Absorbing Clan's forces (something that has never happened), the Rite of Absorption ends as if a Trial of Refusal had been successful. If the Absorbing Clan is successful, all the property, personnel and other assets become part of the Absorbing Clan. It isn't unheard of for individual warriors and commanders putting up either no resistance or token resistance when they think their Clan is in the wrong. (This happened several times during the Burrock Absorption.) The Absorbing clan is usually much stronger in assets than it was before, but usually militarily much weaker due to the difficulty in subduing an entire clan, not to mention the losses that may have occurred in Trials of Refusal before the Trial of Absorption.
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 13