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Smoke

How the Dead Reach the Stars


Traum ran to the screams, darting past her fleeing tribekin. At some point she had grabbed a broken spear, and she gripped it in her hand. She had been trained for this- there wasn't a moment to hesitate. She caught sight of the creature, a deformed squelshing mass of flesh and claws, and threw herself at it. Spear met flesh, teeth met bone, and as death came for Traum she pushed the spear deeper, taking the beast with her. Sadness filled her heart, as she thought of those who would cry for her- but she knew her death was not in vain, and she would meet them once more in Borah.

When an Uluswa dies, be it in battle or of old age, their body will be burned on of the first clear night. Songs and dances will be shared to express grief and celebration, as the Uluswa believe the smoke will carry the soul of the deceased on their journey to the sky, where the deceased will be judged by the Three Suns to see if they may join the glorious among the stars.

Rising of the Soul

First, the body of the deceased will be prepared for the burning. They will be cleane, rubbed in ointments and changed into white linen clothes. Others start building up the pyre on which they will be burned, gathering dry wood and special plants. Once ready, the body is wrapped in the pelt of the first animal killed by the deceased, which has been kept preciously over the course of their life, and it is then placed upon the pile of wood.

We cry, we sing, we are in celebration, we are in grief. We were you, you were us, we will be one once more.
— Words to a Song of Burning

A Käban, accompanied by the deceased's closest kin, will light the first flame. As the fire catches, the tribe members of age will begin to dance in circle around the fire, alternating between laments as they beat their chest in grief, and shouts of celebration for what they hope to be the dead's last journey.
Affiliated Religion: Cult of the Three Suns

Materials: Dry wood and plants, animal pelt.

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Animals and Criminals

Because the Uluswa reject all forms of hierarchy between living beings, they believe every living creatures should be granted funerary rights. When killing one of their goats, they follow the same procedures they would for any other member of their tribe. Only those who are guilty of the worst crimes will be barren from a funeral- their bodies will be burried in the earth, so that their soul may return to Inu at once.


Comments

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5 Jul, 2022 20:24

Smoke as a vehicle for the dead... beautiful idea!

5 Jul, 2022 21:06

Thank you! I’m really glad to hear <3

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
7 Jul, 2022 20:12

A unique take on vehicle. This was lovely. I appreciate how they extend it to all living beings. I'm curious, if two or more have died since the last clear night, do they share the pyre, or are they given a separate funeral?

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— On the Shoulders of Giants entry: Refugees of Mercury
8 Jul, 2022 07:24

Thank you for your kind words :'0 and thats a good question actually! I think it depends on the tribe, some would make them share a pyre to save up on materials when they are rare, while others would only do that if the two people were related or particularly close to one another.

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
9 Aug, 2022 01:16

Beautiful imagery and amazing use of the prompt.

11 Sep, 2022 17:51

Thank you for the kind words!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
9 Aug, 2022 12:40

I love that animals and the like see the same treatment as tribe members when they die. A clear display of how they value life beyond their own! Overall a wonderful read :)


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
11 Sep, 2022 17:51

Thank you for the praise and kind words <3 !

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!