Author Topic: Burial customs  (Read 1991 times)

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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Burial customs
« on: June 24, 2005, 05:13:23 PM »
Even as each culture lives its life in a different way, so too do they send their dead off to the next world in a unique way. This way will often be tied to a religion, and will usually serve the purpose of disposing of the body, as well as handling the emotional 'departure' needs of the survivors. How do people make their grand exit in -your- games?

In the Kallisphere, the children of the All-Mother are given over to her priests upon their deaths. In the first day, the corpse is placed on display upon the preserving biers of the temple, so that those who wish to view them and pray for their return to the All-Mother may do so. On the evening of the third day, the corpse is taken from the bier to the Chamber of the Blossom. In the chamber, their flesh is opened up and seeded with a hundred seeds of flowering plants, and upon the morning of the fourth day, the corpse is removed from the Chamber of the Blossom, and taken to the Field of Eternity. There, the corpse is deposited, coffinless and naked, into the ground, so that their body might re-enter the cycle of life even as their soul does.

For the followers of Enroth the Lord of Battle, when the struggle that is life is ended, the body is ritually mutilated as if in combat, if it is not already so from the manner of death, and a cairn is erected over the fallen warrior, his insignia of worship embedded into the topmost rock, which is always carven into the shape of a clenched fist.

Elsewhere -

For the rare followers of Zevarith, the lord of Flame and Phoenix, all death is accompanied by rebirth. The ritual of death begins with an enormous bonfire, to give the soul of the departed unto the god of Fire and Rebirth. Should the man have been a foe of Zevarith, this shall be the end of the ritual, however, should the man have been a friend of Zevarith and his men in life, it is not uncommon for the ritual to devolve into a sexual orgy, in order that their Lord might have a new-concieved body to place the soul of the departed into.  

For the rare followers of the Triumvarte of Water, the body is packed in a cask of snow or water, and placed upon a burial-boat, in order to be sent out into the waters of the world.

Offline Cheka Man

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Acquan Burial Customs
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 07:15:43 PM »
For the followers of the Acquan God Jove, they are laid in state for a day with a picture of them at their feet, whilst the people who knew and liked them saw nice things about them. Then the body is laid on a pyre and the Jovian Priest says "Those who were born from Jove will return to Him" and calls the name of the deceased three timess and then sets light to the pyre. The burnt bones are put into an urn and kept in the local ziigurat.

For the greatest nobles and heros however, a different fate awaits.They are buried in tombs of jade with golden coins upon their eyes, the greatest honour that can be given to a worshipper of Jove.

The worshippers of Ulmainia are also laid in state for a day for their family and friends to say goodbye to, before they are placed on a boat manned by the Priests of the Lightless Depths and taken to the Isle of the Dead.

After further blessings they are left in their niches.

For traitors and the worst criminals of both religions, they are bound and weighted and dropped into the sea to drown,and for their souls to feed the G'Thrann.

Offline Kinslayer

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Care and Feeding of the Domestic Corpse
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2005, 02:46:22 AM »
From the Death: The Pale Horse supplement for the Midian Dark Fantasy Role-playing Game

While burial in the ground—with some kind of memorial marker—is the most common method of disposal of a corpse, other methods are employed:

Burial must be above the water level for sanitation and to prevent the body from rising. Burials are generally not performed near bedrock or when the water level is less than ten feet from the surface.

Composting is the best method of disposal for catastrophic losses, such as from a devastating plague or the loss of an entire herd of animals. The resulting heat kills many pathogens & insect larvae. A properly done compost heap will also have a minimised odour.

    * Dwarves: Mummification, as detailed below
    * Elves: Air "burial;" bodies are cut up and fed to birds, with even the bones ground up & mixed with feed; no marker is left; other Fae often utilise interment or cremation
    * Firps: Sacred space in the swamp—no marker is left; mutants are not allowed interment there
    * Ghouls: None; all parts are eaten of used
    * Hobgoblins: Cremation in a pyre; the Juran tribe in the Hobgoblin Enclave bury their dead
    * Human: Primarily interment in the ground, but other methods are occasionally employed
    * Killian: Burial at sea; a body is sent out on a special basket designed to carry it out to sea, but sink before the tide caries it back onto shore
    * Ogres: Burial in the ground; usually unmarked
    * Orck: Bodies are dumped into the nearest river, generally without ceremony, or burning upon a pyre for important decedents
    * Trolls: Varies; mostly burial or cremation, and usually follows local customs


Death in the Halls of the Mountain Kings

Dwarves revere older family members almost to the point of ancestor worship. Dwarven names are always derived from a previous generation. They take "son of" or "'s son" (or daughter) for their last names, or they use "blood of" or "'s blood" if there is an influential grandparent or earlier generation. Even Dwarves who are members of the Great Clans follow this pattern, for example, "Durin Tordinsblood of Clan Thalin." Important or influential Dwarves are mummified and buried in a crypt with weapons, jewelry, and personal items. The greatest Dwarven Kings are sent off with small complexes of rooms for their burial chambers. Relatives—and hangers-on with enough pull—are often buried in secondary rooms of these expansive crypts. Wealthy families will typically have a large tomb where they inter their mummified dead. Some of the older and larger berserker societies have catacombs where they lay their fallen members to rest. Poorer Dwarves are not interred in a vault within their mountain homes, instead being buried alone in mounds atop the mountains and hills. Some of these mounds are in rather inaccessible locations, but most are buried in places where they can still be visited by their surviving relatives. The poorer Dwarf is, of course, buried without the signs of wealth of their better-off kin. Perhaps a single tool of their profession & some small personal effects are all that they keep in their mound. Many of these lower-class Dwarves cannot afford the expense of mummification. When their bodies decay, the mound eventually settles. On occasion, an old gravesite is disturbed when that location is inadvertently chosen to house a new occupant.

Dwarven mummies are not fashioned in a restful prone position, but are instead made to be seated, proudly looking at the works of his or her life. Dwarves of legend are seated upon a grand throne, while Dwarves of lesser stature may only have a stone to rest upon.

A more recent tradition is emerging among the Dwarves, that of double-burial or secondary burial. A Dwarf who lives outside of the Mountain Kingdoms may receive a local funeral with friends, neighbours, and nearby family, and is then transported to his or her final resting place within a family crypt. Secondary burial is also used by necessity when a tomb has been irrecoverably disturbed, or due to space needs within the Mountain Kingdoms. This new tradition has met with controversy recently with the discovery of mass-graves left from atrocities committed by the Old Empire. When the first of these was discovered, the bodies were given proper treatment & reburial once their clan had been identified. However, more recently a mass-grave containing the bodies of both Dwarves and Trolls was unearthed. The Dwarves wanted to give their deceased kinsfolk a proper interment, but the Trolls viewed that as a horrendous desecration of the graves. Regardless of the awful circumstances of death, the Trolls argued, the bodies should not be disturbed. The issue currently remains unresolved, with the bodies again covered (temporarily at least) and guarded by a group of concerned Trolls.
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