Journey to the World Above Tradition / Ritual in Laeonesse | World Anvil

Journey to the World Above

For the Laeonessai, death is less of an end and more of a beginning, at least when treated properly. In their understanding, death starts a journey from the mortal world, through the Fey, and up into the Heavens (the World Above), where they will dwell with Ytoniel until the end of the Great Song, in which Lynur and Ytoniel are reunited. When that happens, so too will the dead and the living be rejoined to dwell forever with Lynur and Ytoniel.


Since the first mortal was taught the Great Song by the Fae, the old burial customs were replaced with these. In this way, these rituals are uniquely Laeonessai, and have been passed down ever since from the first inhabitants to each wave of newcomers.


To prepare for this journey, after a death, the closest relatives fast for three days as they cook and prepare travel rations for the deceased so that their spirit might be supplied for their final journey. During this time, the body is cleaned with herbs, dressed in their finest traveling clothes, and wrapped in fine wool. At the same time, a local singer, bard or druid if they are available, composes an elegy that recounts the deceased's deeds and legacy. Others prepare a grave, which might range from a simple grave to a great barrow for a wealthy king. These are seen as passages to the World Below which leads eventually to the World Above. After the three days are complete, the deceased is laid to rest in the grave, along with their travel supplies, and then the grave is sealed.   Upon the sealing, the song is sung so that the deceased might live forever within the memories of those around them. The next night, the closest relatives stand guard around the grave for the next night, watching to ensure that the deceased's spirit might safely begin its journey to the Other Worlds, under the guard of Lynur and Ytoniel.   After the funeral is complete, the family is expected to mourn and grieve for several months. It is seen as odd for them to not mourn for that period of time.


The ritual is always observed within three days of the person's death. However, when it is necessary to perform the ceremony during a new moon, away from the protection of Ytoniel, whose light keeps evil things away, the family and community stand guard until the moon reappears, to ensure that nothing could devour the spirit or steal the body.
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