A journey of uncertain, but really rather short, length. How short is up to you. Mwuahahah!
Um yes. Anyway. The Shortest Journey is a … short … rite of passage which all burgeoning adults must undergo in the village of Fing Freezing.
The harsh climes of Fing Freezing require the citizenry to cooperate at a level uncommon in the known lands. To ensure that the town’s fresh-faced youths come through puberty as responsible, helpful adults, the village elders long ago created the Shortest Journey.
A group of 5 (sometimes 4, sometimes 6) youths between the ages of 18 and 23 is taken out into the wild snows, deposited, and told to return to the village as quickly as possible.
The journey back, on foot, is expected to take two weeks. Many of the elders, regardless of how long it took them, generally think that a week is sufficient to return. In any case, it’s a bit of a journey, and it’s quite short. Can’t trust these fledgling adults to a full blown quest, you know. Besides, they’re needed back home to shovel out the paths.