Maturation Ritual and Bestowal of Nah Nohtek
Martians are not born with Nah Nohtek. Instead, upon their eleventh cycle, martian younglings undergo a maturation ritual known as a Hee-Ros K’west, which determines if they are worthy of Nah Nohtek. The details of this quest are shown when The Red Plains Rider undergoes the trials in Wild, Wild Quest.
The K'west takes place in Forest of Tak’slaw (which translates to "Scary Forest"). Croach the Tracker claims it is the most scary and dangerous place on G'loot Praktaw (Mars). The forest is also highly sacred to martians.
- The youngling must bring a witness, who accompanies them through much of the trials but is not allowed to help.
- In the trials, the youngling must first subdue a monster called the Yarnato, which Sparks Nevada describes as an "ape, made of stone, with a horn". The Yarnato is the guide through the forest, once it is subdued by the youngling.
- Next, the youngling faces attack nanites. These are easily shooed away, as there are many tests both big and small in life, this is a small test.
- The third test is a Motovian DreadBird. The key to defeating this trial is submissive posture, as sometimes in life you must first defeat self to succeed.
- The fourth challenge is to have a moment of reflection.
- The youngling then enters the Apotheosis Springs. They must go in alone, inhale the Karpagian Mists, and combat a projection of that which they fear the most. If they survive that combat, the springs will judge whether or not the youngling succeeded in their trials and grant them their gifts, or if the youngling failed and they will not.
- After the youngling re-emerges, the witness will determine whether they have succeeded in their trials or not.
Any hostile creatures outside of the normal challenges defeated count for extra credit.
Martians also worship the great Nah Nohtek. Although the specifics of the religion are not known, they offer their religion freely to any who choose to worship. The sacred writings of Nah Nohtek are called The Collected Scrolls of G'loot Praktaw.
The Red Plains Rider, who was raised amongst martians but left the tribe as a youngling, chose to return to her martian roots in La Venganza de Los Bandititos, and began to study the scrolls, with help from Croach. She successfully undergoes the maturation ritual in Wild, Wild Quest and is now bestowed with Nah Nohtek.
In Can a Leopard Upgrade Its Spots?, the robot Techs, formerly an outlaw, found the Martian religion in prison. He has since become a minister, now evangelizing about the Martian religion and praising Nah Nohtek.
Followers of the religion will often praise Nah Nohtek when something fortuitous happens, or when their Nah Nohtek has saved them from injury or death. If someone else mentions Nah Nohtek, they might respond "Praise be it!"
Physiology and Application
The main property of Nah Nohtek is that it keeps the host's body in proper repair. With properly functioning Nah Nohtek, the host can recover from nearly any injury, no matter how severe. Croach the Tracker has survived many fatal injuries with the help of his Nah Nohtek. His Nah Nohtek also once eradicated a galactic being which shared his consciousness.
The Nah Nohtek appears to begin working immediately after exiting the Apotheosis Springs, as demonstrated when The Red Plains Rider was shot immediately after her trials in Wild, Wild Quest.
Nah Nohtek, however, cannot be exposed to alcohol. The alcohol bonds with the Nah Nohtek and renders it inert. Although this isn't fatal, the Nah Nohtek ceases to function, making the host as easy to kill as any normal mortal, as shown in Red Alert.
In Dinner and a Groovy, it is learned that Nah Nohtek is also susceptible to the Pleasure Being virus, and thus is probably also susceptible to the MurderMan Virus as well. If caught early enough, the infected Nah Nohtek can be disabled by an EMP pill. The most entrenched nanites take longer to infect, and once the infected nanites are disabled, the uninfected will replicate and restore normal functionality.