STUB - Ritual Dismemberment in Tsuban Funerals
In the Free City of Tsuba the primary religion focuses on the fight of Azmoth's angels against ghouls: the dead risen again to feast on their families. The undead remain a great fear among Tsubans, but they are acutely aware that angels will not appear for every crisis. Therefore, the religious and legal systems both require extensive dismemberment of all corpses within the city's geographic control. The theory is that if there are no working joints, any ghoul will be unable to cause any harm. To this end, every joint is severed, with a prayer for each. First the head is removed. This is the longest prayer the Tsuban priest recites. It is accompanies by sprinkling consecrated water on the head and the neck. The jaw is then also removed from the head. Then, the smallest finger on the left hand is severed at each of the three knuckles, an accompanying one-sentence prayer recited for each cut. Every finger follows suit, and then cuts at the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The right fingers, hand, and arm follow. A similar pattern is followed for the left and then right legs. The torso is then split in half above the hips. This is the second longest prayer of the ritual. When at last, all the cuts are made, each part is sealed in a separate clay jar filled with consecrated water. Finally, all the jars are interred on holy ground. Considering the expense involved in such a procedure, in practice this ritual is only observed among the rich. Those wishing to save money will instead cremate the corpse, preferably right away, so that legal or religious authorities cannot enforce the law. This workaround is largely tolerated, if only to preserve space in the cemeteries. Lack of enforcement is more or less "there's no body, so we can't prove someone died."