Another ploy to reduce mobility and danger of possible undead is for the corpse to be mutilated. From as simple as cutting all major tendons, decapitation, and full dismemberment.
32. Crossroad Burial
To confuse the arisen dead and preventing it from finding its home, corpses of beings likely to arise are buried at crossroads.
The Kayeed people have a special area south of their captial, called the Ithinia or Hashworks, which consists of a massive array of criss-crossing roads with many scores of crossings. At each crossing may be found many graves, with the corpses interred vertically and head-first to further impede possible rising.
Appeasment of the Dead
From as simple as closing the eyes of the dead, to long, elaborate ceremonies, the following customs are intended to appease the dead to not bother the living.
As far as I understood it, the captured ones are in effect slaves - imprisoned in their drying heads (decomposing would be too unpleasant ;) ), suffering in torment until they are thrown at something and break... becoming incorporeal, at which point I would assume they would be quite angry, and attack anything at hand (except for the Headsman, who they greatly fear). What happens to the ghosts, when they serve their immediate purpose? Will they descend into the underworld, or just be left behind, roaming and being a danger to the Living? Or will they be allowed into normal afterlife, after this torment?
While I am not sure I would use The Headsman as an NPC, it has that distinct boogeyman quality, that makes for a thrilling dark tale at the fire, and a moral as well - the worst of the worst will be met by the Headsman.
On improving him, perhaps he remembers his former service with sadness, and may stop for a moment at an altar of his religion (just find out which it is!), or may be partial to exchange a word or two with people carrying a certain symbol. Of course this does not prevent him from judging, he will never give up, and continue until his terrible work is done.
A question, though, on the nature of his judging, while he is on the way to the guilty: does he simply cut down anyone he meets, or does he choose, and leaves some alive (or only the truly innocent... which would be very few)? Go to Comment
I like him as the supernatural manifestation of Justice/ Vengence. He is cliche, but he is a well written cliche. A couple more details might of improved things, either in description or as additional aspects of the legend. Go to Comment
This guy reads like a minor villian out of a high powered Hell comic, one dimensional, but very visually appealing. The wailing heads on his belt and the cadre of shambling undead who arise when he comes and dispences his own form of judgement is neat. I would personally use him as a demon that sorcerers could summon and use as an attack dog, or one that is drawn to great evils that have been done when loose on the mortal plane. Go to Comment