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Book of the After

A collection of prayers addressed to the dead.

As life was gifted to us mortal creatures, so it must be returned. Our Dijism will return to the soil that birthed us, our Taqa will reunite with the Toqarin, but our Ruwah will live on in the After.
— Sermon by a priest of Kirïal.

Book of the After

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by Annie Spratt
As life goes on for the living, it is important they do not forget the dead. Books of the After contain a wide variety of prayers and rites those who still walk the Material Realm can address to those who have passed into the afterlife.

The prayers within the books are most often recited either in the temple of the necropolis, or at the grave itself. Offerings, typically consisting of bread, wine, fresh fruits and incense, are brought for both the Gods and the deceased and burned in a fire while reciting the prayer.

Wealthier people tend to have their own Books of the After, but poorer people may often borrow one from the necropolis temple. Illiterate people can also ask for volunteer priests to read the prayers for them, so that they may still send their blessings.

Prayers to the Dead

Prayers typically begin with the invocation of one or several deities, either major or minor, that are relevant to the deceased or the content of the prayer. The one praying makes a lists of several flattering epithets of each invoked God, then proceeds to ask for their favours, usually the protection of the Ruwah of the deceased.

Following the invocation of the Gods, the prayer will then announce who the deceased was, listing their names, the names of their families and friends, and who they were in life. They then address the rest of the prayer directly to the deceased, often times making some offerings for them as they speak. It is common to speak aloud what one brings as an offering.

The prayer ends with expressing gratitude to the deceased, and to the Gods who protect their Ruwah. Final offerings are made to the invoked deities, once more stating aloud what is being gifted.

Death

The passing of a loved one is never an easy affair. The sudden absence leaves a void that cannot be filled, a ache that cannot be soothed. Yet, for the Saohri death is not the end, for they shall be united once more in Ayshabiu, by the grace of the gods. So while mourning is at the heart of funerals, they are also celebrations of the one who left, wishing them luck on their next journey.

Gods of the Dead

The Saohri Temple counts two major Gods associated with death, Kirïal the Silent and Aher the Throneless King. They are known as the Divine Lovers, the only among the major Saohri gods to be wedded to one another.

Aher is the Wild One, the Whisperer, the Decay. He is the very embodiment of death and the passage of time as an inevitable reality. All that rises will fall, all that lives will die, and all that dies will live again. The Decay personifies that never-ending cycle, he holds both death and life within his very essence. When Saohri speak of death, it is of him they think of.
Kirïal is the Poet, the Horizon-Walker, the Shepherd. He is the one who welcomes the Ruwah of the dead, and records their lives for his archive, who promises them he shall remember their lives forever. The god then either guides the Ruwah of the dead to Ayshabiu, or lets them go and be swallowed by the Great Beast Almayot.

Funeral Rites

Following death, the body is washed and clothed in their finest garb. They are brought to the nearest temple, where priests will recite prayers of protection as the dead is prepared for the burial.

Traditionally, people will have their own death garbs readied in preparation for their passing. However, temples will provide deceased with simple clothes if they could not afford to save any, or have no one to care for them.

Once the body is prepared and has gone through the blessings for their travel in the After, close friends and family will gather to mourn their loss, pray for the deceased safe travel, and tell stories of the life of the departed to commemorate them.
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by Ke
The dead is then buried in a necropolis. The size of their tomb varies greatly on their wealth and prestige, and can range from a simple pit to a wide and ornate funerary complex. They are laid to rest with with a selection of meaningful earthly possessions.

Funerals tend to happen within two to three days following the death of an individual, so that they may rest as soon as possible. As such, any constructions for their tomb must be finalised or close to finalisations before their passing.
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Kirïal the Silent by Edmund Dulac

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Cover image: by Mohammad Ali Berenji

Comments

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26 Dec, 2020 17:54

I really enjoyed this. I like the idea of the Horizon-Walker. It's nice that there's a being who wants to archive and remember everyone.

26 Dec, 2020 22:25

Thank you! Yeah, Kirïal is also among my favourite gods I've written about, he sees beauty and worth in what most other gods and mortals will ignore.

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
26 Dec, 2020 22:13

This is a beautifully written article. I love idea of the prayer to the dead ending with expressing gratitude to the deceased. It's a lovely touch. Kirïal is also an incredible character. I love the idea that he promises to remember the deads' lives forever. I think that would be incredibly comforting to hear.

Cait x
26 Dec, 2020 22:26

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like the prayer, and Kirïal too. I have to say he's probably the god I'd end up worshipping if I lived in the Danatelian Lands.

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
27 Dec, 2020 21:03

Ugh that prayer left me all teary-eyed. This is such a beautiful funeary ritual. I love that the gods are so involved in it as well as the deceased.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
27 Dec, 2020 22:45

I'm so glad you liked the prayer, and the funerary ritual! I figured involving the gods would make for a nice touch, and it seems to be quite common in most religions involving large pantheons ^^

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse