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The Tunnel

Deep below the Malchin mountains live a race of people who have lived near total darkness for thousands of years. When one of their number dies, their remains are taken to a very specific tunnel to the far south. A priest sends them down on a modified sledge nearly 7 miles down a steep incline. Seven hours later the body will be gone, and the sledge clean and hoisted to the top, the body fed to a giant creature who has lived even further below for far longer than known memory.

History

When people first settled below the mountains it was not meant to be permanent. A large tribe split into two group, one choosing to take the mountains to the coast, and the second taking a tunnel, convinced it was a short cut. Neither group made it to the coast. The creature began to attack three generations into the journey, ravenous and desperate. The survivors fortified their surroundings and hope the creature would not breach. Eventually the descendants of the survivors constructed a trap for the creature in the western most tunnel they could find, acting themselves as bait. It did not work. Five hundred years into the conflict, the creature had calmed from it's desperate hunger and grew tried of being attacked. A deal was made with the weary survivors. In return for their dead as sustenance, the creature would reside in the trap their ancestors as a home, for it grew tired and deemed the tunnel surprisingly comfortable. Thousands of years later the creature still received sustenance from the survivors.

Execution

The loved ones and a priest stand at the mouth of the tunnel for the ceremony and the priest gives a prayer which also serves as an alert that the creature shall soon receive a meal. They bless the body and give thanks to the creature who has morphed into a god of sorts in their minds over the years. The creature is thanked for giving them life and with the words "and thus that life is returned unto you," the sledge is slowly lowered. The rites are not flashy but are meaningful to the practitioners.

Components and tools

A rectangular coffin like structure made of polished stone with religious symbols etched into the sides, is adorned with items of the deceased and the body itself in the center. The coffin structure is carved out of a long sledge with thick woven vines protruding from the thickest end are used to lower the sledged into the tunnel. The vines take months for priests to prepare as miles of vine are needed to reach the creature.

Participants

A single priest of mid to high status gives the rites, and two or more priests of mid to low status lower the sledge. Body preparers prepare and keep the body in a cold area until it id time for rites. The loved ones line the mouth of the cave for final farewells.

Observance

Rites take place every twelve hours as a complete ceremony takes 7 or more to finish. Once in the morning and once in the evening, every day no matter holidays or any other type of break.

Related Location
Malchin

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