From the Death: The Pale Horse supplement for the Midian Dark Fantasy Role-playing Game
While burial in the groundÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âwith some kind of memorial markerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âis 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 swampÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âno 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. RelativesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âand hangers-on with enough pullÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âare 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.