Separation of the Elements
A funeral rite performed in the Formar Concordancy, the Separation of the Elements is a process by which the elemental components of the body are separated out and returned to their place in nature.
The first element to leave the body is that of Fire, and is the only stage that is allowed to occur at a natural pace. This stage begins upon the moment of death, and is comprised of the cooling of the body to natural levels. Any interference with this stage is frowned upon, and in most circumstances, the body is left in place and in the position it was found in. The second stage is the extraction of Water, which involves the removal of bodily fluids. Mortitians drain blood, bile, and other such major sources of fluid by cutting into arteries and using syringes to extract the other fluids. These fluids are sealed in a cask for the time being. The third stage is the extraction of Air, during which body cavities are packed with aromatic herbs and salt. As with Fire, there is no attempt made to capture the Air of the body for the ritual. Both elements cannot be seen, so they are not required for the public final stage. The fourth and final stage is the only stage open to the family, and anyone else they may have invited. (In the case of a Cleric of the Primes, their family is considered to be their fellow Clerics, and it is rare for anyone else to attend their interment.) The body, now considered to be a thing entirely of Earth, is laid out on a bier, and those in attendance who wish to speak of the dead have their time to do so. The body is then buried, and the cask of the fluid elements - the Water - is released into the cemetery stream (the presence of which is the most critical feature in picking a site for a cemetery in the Concordancy).
Components and tools
The separation of water requires several embalming tools, including several specialized knife designs, syringes, and a catchment area that drains fluids into an area where it can be stored. It also requires the addition of an anti-coagulant to prevent the blood from clotting. The separation of air calls for salt and a variety of aromatic herbs (the type and quality of which largely depend on the wealth of the mourning family), as well as tools for delivering these herbs to body cavities.