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Burial rituals in Glorantha


Tymophil

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Purely from memory, it varies.

 

Orlanthi used to be burned on pyres, so their spirit can fly the winds.

Earth cultists are buried within the earth, normally in catacombs.

I'm not sure about Solars, though.

That's where my memory runs out, so not much there really.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Adding to @soltakss' list:

Orlanthi cremations: The ashes are collected in Earthware urns and interred in burial fields, burial mounds or crypts, alongside their earth-worshipping wives. According to Thunder Rebels, this practice is overseen by Torabran, a Lowfire husband of Keva, an Ernaldan handmaiden or the first person to be cremated (or both), indicating Fire Tribe origin for the practice, and possibly shared by some of the Solars. There appear to be other forms of body burials in practise, too - occasional outbreaks of undead don't appear to have much trouble with their raw material. I suppose there will be a significant number of wraith-form undead rising from cremations, similar to the smoke-wraiths of the Orlanthi dead marching along their mummified Ernaldan dead on certain festivals in Nochet.

Ernaldan burials can be in burial fields, catacombs, burial mounds (artificial caves) or caves. The degree of body preservation for the burial may vary - mummification might play a significant role, not necessarily wrapped in linen or cotton bandages, other forms of curing might apply as well (salt, e.g. from the Dead Place in Prax, resins, smoke, or temporary burial in bogs). Ochre might play a role here, too. Interred bodies left for decomposition of the icky soft parts might be unearthed after a given period of rest and transported to a bone house

The Grazers practice some form of mummification looking similar to exposure to carrion birds (source: the burial site of Saraskos Tarkalorsson in King of Sartar, p.31)

Exposure to carrion birds and subsequent interring in bone houses should be practiced somewhere in Peloria. Rinliddi sounds like a good place to look for bird-related burial practices, but Darjiin is another possibility. As are Sun Dome Temples (which are highly unlikely to use cremation).

Feeding other sacred carrion eaters probably features in a number of cults/cultures, too (starting with the uz who skip the middlemen and have a burial feast replacing the actual burial). I wonder if the Telmori do something like this (possibly involuntarily on wilddays)? The predecessor of Ostling Four-Wolf apparently had a bier of sorts (at least according to the nice illustration in the King of Dragon Pass game).

 

On the topic of necrophagy - there appears to be a niche for ghouls in Dragon Pass. This seems to indicate a certain amount of unburied or at least sloppily buried dead in the region - victims of robberies or raids left unattended or only provisionally interred, victims of accidents.

 

The threat of undead attacks would make a certain care for the remains of slain foes a survival strategy. This doesn't necessarily mean treating them with the respect or the rites of their own, but a form of secure disposal that prevents them from rising against their killers. Such as taking their heads, or giving them earth burials with rocks rammed into their mouths, limbs crushed and/or bound in unnatural postures, stakes through their hearts, or boulders rolled onto their torso, or having a mass pyre and crushing any remaining bones to dust.

I wonder how secure the use of the death rune would be in case of crucifications, or how the site of a mass impaling would be secured against undead rising? These forms of execution (along with gallows and exposure in cages etc.) are intended as object lessons to a suppressed population, and the oppressors seek to keep the rotting remains in full view of the potential accomplices as a deterring example. Separated heads on spikes are comparatively safe, although they might be the focus for hauntings by ghosts.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the topic of necrophagy - there appears to be a niche for ghouls in Dragon Pass. This seems to indicate a certain amount of unburied or at least sloppily buried dead in the region - victims of robberies or raids left unattended or only provisionally interred, victims of accidents.

The ghouls are very 'proactive' - their society is a mockery of Orlanthi traditions, based on cattle, and cattle raiding - but their cattle, whom they keep in byres, are human.

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6 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

The ghouls are very 'proactive' - their society is a mockery of Orlanthi traditions, based on cattle, and cattle raiding - but their cattle, whom they keep in byres, are human.

Ok... I was working under the assumption that ghouls are necrophagous undead that feed on corpses that can be fairly ripe. Your comment makes them rather a type of classical cannibals or ogres that herd captive humans for consumption.

So: Are we talking about live human abductees kept and fed in byres, or are we talking about abducted corpses (which may or may not have been alive at the time of abduction) stacked away in byres while they ripen to perfection?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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17 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Ok... I was working under the assumption that ghouls are necrophagous undead that feed on corpses that can be fairly ripe. Your comment makes them rather a type of classical cannibals or ogres that herd captive humans for consumption.

Cannibalism is one way to become a ghoul... cf the King of the Ghouls, Brangbane.

17 minutes ago, Joerg said:

So: Are we talking about live human abductees kept and fed in byres, or are we talking about abducted corpses (which may or may not have been alive at the time of abduction) stacked away in byres while they ripen to perfection?

Live human 'cattle' available for slaughter and consumption are more convenient than waiting for a battlefield or looking for corpses, especially when the predominant culture in Dragon Pass burns a high percentage of its dead, and buries the rest where they can be guarded. As ghouls have to devour a corpse a week or start to decay, meat on the 'hoof' is a necessity.

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6 hours ago, Tymophil said:

I thank you very, very much for this information.

If someone could shed some light on pelorian and/or lunar practices, it would be wonderful !

Many, many thanks

Tymophil

Seven Mothers (per Cults of Prax; probably representative of some common Lunar practice): For persons beyond resurrection, local preference always is given to burial functions. Rune Priests and Lords will have their bodies preserved until the full moon, but others will be taken care of right away. Both will have songs of creation sung during the rites, and have their souls commanded to the “Circles of the Moon, of Time, and of Being.”

Yelmalio (covering at least the Sun Dome practices, based on Cults of Prax): The dead of this cult are burned at dusk with smokeless fires if they have not risen after seven days. Services begin with a great mourning and the burning, then wine or beer follow, as do victory paeans and the call for the soul to join with the Sun. At dawn the sunrise is read for omens, and the ceremony concludes.

Yelm (version included in Cults Compendium and representative of Dara Happan and Pentan practices): Worshipers of Yelm are cremated on great funeral pyres, along with appropriate death goods. The barbarians of Pent sometimes show grief for a great chieftain by sacrificing servants or concubines with him.

As with Yelmalio, I'd expect Yelm's pyres to be purifyingly hot and smokeless.

There will be many other varied practices in Peloria based on ancient Rinliddi, Naveria, Darjiini, Kostadi, and other areas.

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5 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yelmalio (covering at least the Sun Dome practices, based on Cults of Prax): The dead of this cult are burned at dusk with smokeless fires if they have not risen after seven days. Services begin with a great mourning and the burning, then wine or beer follow, as do victory paeans and the call for the soul to join with the Sun. At dawn the sunrise is read for omens, and the ceremony concludes.

Mythological emulation of their god means it can take a lot to definitively and irrevocably kill off a Yelmalian; hence the seven day pause before firing up any funeral pyre. Templars stand guard round the clock at the place of repose, and a sharp watch is kept for any sign of recovery by comrades and family members. Healers are expected to do all that is practicable to nurse the person back to health. The person is brought food and drink, is bathed and tended to, and spoken of and treated for all intents and purposes as if alive for the seven day period. Only after that does mourning begin.

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13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yelm (version included in Cults Compendium and representative of Dara Happan and Pentan practices): Worshipers of Yelm are cremated on great funeral pyres, along with appropriate death goods. The barbarians of Pent sometimes show grief for a great chieftain by sacrificing servants or concubines with him.

As with Yelmalio, I'd expect Yelm's pyres to be purifyingly hot and smokeless.

There will be many other varied practices in Peloria based on ancient Rinliddi, Naveria, Darjiini, Kostadi, and other areas.

Wasn't there an emperor of Yelm who was so pure that a ray of sunlight consumed him rather than burning on the pyre?

 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

Wasn't there an emperor of Yelm who was so pure that a ray of sunlight consumed him rather than burning on the pyre?

 

A few of the deaths are described in Fortunate Succession.  I think you are remembering Yelmgatha.

When Yelmgatha was cremated no torch was put to the wood, but his body burst into flame when the priests sang the mortuary refrain. No smoke rose from the fire. As he burned the statues within the fire burst into song, praising his honor and Justice. A bright beam of light rose from the fire and a pure white phoenix ascended to the Sun.

Another good example is this one:

Radaidavu died in bed after a fall from his horse. He made his appointments and died without pain, under the tender ministrations of his wife and doctors. He was burnt upon a bier of aromatic wood, and even after the wood was burnt to grey ash the flames continued for a week, and there was not a wisp of smoke or cloud in the sky for the whole time.

These are clearly Yelmic ideals, what all good Dara Happans aspire to.  The less pure the person, the more likely to get smoky fires, or leave charcoal soot upon something nearby, or Yelm forbid, the fire stinks or the wood doesn't even burn.

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On 2/24/2016 at 11:11 AM, Tymophil said:

If someone could shed some light on pelorian and/or lunar practices, it would be wonderful !

Just to add a note to everyone else's tune: I suspect that Shargash was once very important in classical Dara Happan cremation rites but has since been suppressed for one reason or another. The question that follows is who in their society handles the bodies nowadays. In "new pelorian" or lunar households the rites are probably as culture-dependent as 7M indicates. The disposition of the body for them is almost an afterthought when you're concerned with the disposition of the soul.

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10 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Just to add a note to everyone else's tune: I suspect that Shargash was once very important in classical Dara Happan cremation rites but has since been suppressed for one reason or another. The question that follows is who in their society handles the bodies nowadays. In "new pelorian" or lunar households the rites are probably as culture-dependent as 7M indicates. The disposition of the body for them is almost an afterthought when you're concerned with the disposition of the soul.

One likely candidate to handle the bodies, at least south of Alkoth and particularly in Saird, are the Jajalaring, the dog-servants of Jajagappa given Jajagappa's role as a psychopomp amidst the DH.

Here's my culture writeup of these folk: 

The Jajalarings are the dog servants, an underclass of Saird and surrounding lands who follow Jajagappa, Catcher of Souls.  The Jajalaring folk live amongst the other clans and are born to serve as cottars or thralls and guard the earth and tend to the dead.  They are known for loyalty and piety and a dark fatalism about the world, though some of them go wild and become bandits.  They are always ready when called upon by Jajagappa to join his Hunt. 

Jajagappa and the earth mothers provide the whole of life to the Jajalarings:  purpose, kinship, provision, justice, a place in the ‘pack’, and proof of life after death.  They know that Jajagappa will bring vengeance to all who are evil and those who harm the dog servants.  They fight with simple weapons such as daggers, javelins, or spears as well as fists and may serve with or aid the fyrd or militia.  The Jajalarings help farm, herd, hunt, and scout; raise dogs; gather herbs, timber, and thatch; prepare and tend the dead; and know rituals to drive off or capture hostile demons and spirits.  They are known to scour battlefields, collecting Jajagappa’s Due and the shades of the dead.

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37 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

One likely candidate to handle the bodies, at least south of Alkoth and particularly in Saird, are the Jajalaring, the dog-servants of Jajagappa given Jajagappa's role as a psychopomp amidst the DH.

Love that. Their cousins might still be extant within northern temples as well, only completely unspeakable.

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