- It is a Vargr social device, a cultural feature, and part of the greater Vargr Extents.
Due to the political division in the Society of Equals (...an interstellar polity in Gvurrdon sector), the term equal are coined for those who have passed a special rite to get into the higher ranks of the society. However this rite is not mandatory and may be taken at any time during the lifetime. Most attempt to pass the rites by the time they are 18 years old. As the rites are potentially dangerous, it is usually better to take the rites at an young age rather than old. Deaths are rare, but wounds are more common, but rarely serious.
Being an Equal
When a sophont becomes an Equal (which is not limited to Vargr, but also open to all races who are citizens of Society of Equals), it opens a lot of doors to the upper reaches of the society. Only Equals may become officers, politicians and diplomats. There is no connection from being rated "equal" to the charismatic standing of an individual, however equal persons tend to be of high charismatic standing due to the availability of better job options, connections and income.
The unrated are the ones that have not made an attempt to pass the rites. These make up a majority of the population of SoE. By being unrated, a sophont may not move into certain social circles or apply for certain jobs. However, it does not hamper them from becoming rich and famous through their own devices. However, they rarely have much influence in their society.
The toothless are those to have attempted to pass the rites and failed. They are branded by getting their canines pulled. Other markings are also common. The toothless are by this limited to the lower ranks of the society, and rarely get a chance to climb in the society. This has lead to most toothless leaving SoE to try their luck elsewhere. The consequences of failure is one of the main reasons that very few actually try to become an Equal in the SoE.
Origins of the Rites: The origins of the rites to become an Equal have been lost in history. As the rites are very un-vargr, it has been speculated that these rites actually have origins from one of the other alien races in Gvurrdon or were imported from some place else. However, none of the other races in Gvurrdon have this rite or anything that resembles it, so the whole thing is a puzzle for vargr anthropologists and historians.