Ubulun - Justice Rightly Served
Death is no excuse.In Tshoggan, justice does not end because of such a trifling matter as death. Ubulun is the city-state's tradition of imprisoning the dead until their sentence has been rightly served, no matter if it takes years - or decades. Such corpse-sentencing is called Ubulun, and only once it has been executed fully can the spirits of the dead know peace.
Whatever punishment you face on the other side will have to wait.In the Tshoggan legal system, Ubulun is a sentence that continues after the sentenced has died. Most are criminals who perish during their imprisonment and are damned to be trapped within their rotting flesh until they have served their time. Corpses are shackled and chained, then condemned to rot in a cell.
Depending on their crime, some corpses are left until they've rotted away into skeletons. Others, with less serious offenses, serve only a perfunctory time within a cell or a gibbet before they are released. The worst - traitors, butchers, kinslayers, and more - are never spared. Such dead are mummified and imprisoned within Tshoggan forever, their spirits trapped within their bodies for eternity.
Court of Corpses
A crime does not cease to be just because the criminal has died.Even the dead aren't safe from retribution. Should a crime be discovered after the criminal has already died, or should they die before sentenced, Tshoggan has special courts that handle the persecution of corpses. They consist mainly of spiritual and religious figures such as Wu and shamans mixed with lawyers. The corpse is dressed as a prisoner and hauled into court, usually with a young child or apprentice bureaucrat sitting right behind it and serving as it's "voice". Most such cases end in a verdict of guilty and a sentence of imprisonment or hard labor. The latter is reserved for those dead with someone to carry it out for them, usually family or even hired hands.
Such helpers fill a small, specialized niche in the Tshoggan legal system. Usually paid by either a Magistrate or the family of the dead, they perform whatever labors the corpse is sentenced to, so it may find rest afterward. Many do their tasks with the corpse strapped to their backs, so they may witness the work.The dead can be accused and sentenced years, even decades, after their deaths, so long as there is a body to imprison. Such courts are often open to the public and become almost a performance with a clear message - even the dead must answer for their crimes.
What's the life of one in the great span of eternity?It isn't clear exactly when the Tshoggan culture began to practice Ubulun, but like many traditions in the city-state, it is likely borrowed from the Xuat, the first humans of the region. The natives of the Khasanganay region have a rich and vibrant culture that has meshed with the trickle of outside influences since the founding of Tshoggan. As old and new mingled, some traditions were kept almost wholly intact - such as the Cull - while others emerged as something unique.
The Xuat do not practice anything like the Ubulun, placing much less emphasis on what happens to the flesh once the spirit has left it. Whatever revenge they can take on the dead is nothing compared to what already awaits them, according to Xuat legend. Instead, death becomes a time of forgiving or celebration, depending on the life of the deceased. The death of criminals skews towards the latter, with the intensity of the celebration echoing the severity of their crimes.
Tshoggan Ubulun is a practice unique to Tshoggan, the city-state among the fetid pools of the Khasanganay region. A city built on old atrocities exchanged between warring people, many of its traditions and rites are amalgamations between conquered and conquerers. Ubulun is no exception, once practiced by the natives of Khasanganay. Read More About Tshoggan
ShikeiWhen the founders of Tshoggan came to Khasanganay, they took the tradition of Shikei with them - the preservation of the skull of the dead to honor or condemn them. Shikei artisan-priests still practice within Tshoggan, maintaining shrines of many skulls and performing their craft on the deceased. Much of their traditional influence has been lost to the Wu, and a quiet struggle continued within Tshoggan that may see the Shikei completely consumed by their political opponents.
Tradition / Ritual | Nov 4, 2019
The tradition of treating the dead in Araea, both friend and foe.
Imprisonment & IndustryWhen not even death is an obstacle to what is reasonable, sentences grow longer and longer. Criminals are often press-ganged to serve as labor for whatever project the city-state or Magistrate requires them for. In theory, such work should reduce their sentence according to a complex formula shrouded in legalese. In practice, such leniency depends greatly on what Magistrate the prisoners belong to.
The FirstAlso known as the arch-traitor, the First was a Warlord who tried to conquer Tshoggan to rule as a king. After a brutal civil war that only ended when an unexpected migration of nomadic monsters invaded the city, the arch-traitor was dead and needed to be punished. Though there's some dispute about the title of the first to suffer the Ubulun, the mummified corpse of the arch-traitor is still kept in a cell within the city.
On occasion, the mummified body is dragged out of its cell and paraded around the city in a gibbet-cage. It is customary to invent new insulting songs about the arch-traitor to sing as the gibbet passes.