These Bastet temples are the mortuary and divintation temples in Bastelia'hu
There are three types of temples in , each specialized on different aspects of life and the worship of Bastet: water temple, knowledge temple, and bones temple. Bones temples are named after the bones that decorate the structure, but also, by what they hold underground.
Purpose and ceremoniesThese temples serve three main functions:
- To perform funerary rituals
- To serve as resting sites for the dead
- To perform divination rituals
Lion funeralWhile these temples serve three main functions, the most impressive by far to both locals and foreigners is lion funerals, also called the last awakening ritual.
When either a citizen of Bastelia'hu dies having done great services to the country or a cleric of Bastet dies, a lion funeral is performed.
The first time I witnessed a lion funeral as a cleric of Bastet was a day full of contradictions, for the funeral that I was to witness was that of my great master Gunken'za, but it also ended up being my first day as an apprentice at a Bones' temple. I was chosen from my village to accompany Gunken'za's remains, to ensure their safety and well-being until we could reach Kingsdar'ho. My master had been the teacher of the king, back when he was a pup, and the king would not have accepted anything but a funeral at the capital's temple.
It is one thing to see someone's reanimated body run away from the lions, trying to spark in them their hunting instincts, but it is something very different when the person that is being torn to pieces is someone you love and admire. Even though you know what's coming, the first instinct is of fear, but their body is merely holding the soul prisoner. As the lions started tearing Gunken'za into pieces, I couldn't help but remember what he told me many years ago.
Don't underestimate the power of a lion funeral, Triana'za. It is an honour for those who depart this world, but it is also a great reminder to everyone that we channel Bastet's power.
A couple of days later, when we went back for Gunken'za's bones, I began to be nervous. What if the bones held a bad prophecy? What if his bones held no prophecy and were not considered worthy? But of course, I had no reason to worry. The bones spoke loud and clear; their prophecy was written into the future stone. His smaller bones were collected to carve into divination bones, the rest, to be displayed on the temple.
Resting siteUnlike the heroes and devoted servants of Bastet, everybody else is buried in the catacombs beneath the bones temples. It is thought that while the souls of those enjoying a lion funeral go to Bastet immediately, the souls of those buried remain bound to this plane. Their spirits remain in this plane, bound to their bodies, helping their descendants in any way they can. Their souls are thought to serve Bastet as intermediaries. Once Bastet deems them to have served her well and for long enough, she allows their body to decompose and for their souls to ascend to her.
Divination ritualsThanks to all of the helpful souls around the bones temple, it is the perfect site for performing divination rituals. While these can be performed anywhere, most clerics will try to perform these rituals in a bones temple, particularly if the question is important. All Bastet clerics are versed in divination magics, but only those serving at a bones temple know and understand the full power of bone magic. They are also the only ones able to obtain divination foretellings from the bones of those who experienced a lion's funeral.
Temple / Church
Architectural designThe temples are circular shaped, and consist mostly of a circular arcade, with archways every few meters. At the cardinal points, there are no archways, and instead one can find trapdoors going into each of the basement areas.
The East basement is dedicated to the reception of bodies. The South basement is dedicated to the preparation of bodies. The West basement is used as catacombs. The North basement is where the last awakening ritual is prepared.