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Centaur Burial Rites

Execution

Centaurs historically have a very healthy relationship with life and death. As such, Centaur funerals are not necessarily sad, but simply a transition period. When a centaur dies, it generally isn't feasible to bring them to a burial ground right away due to their size and nomadic lifestyle. The deceased is generally buried several feet underground and the grave carefully marked with a cairn. The deceased is left here for a decade, after which the deceased's tribe will exhume the bones (or in some cases, just the skull) and transport them to the tribal burial grounds. Burial grounds can be highly diverse from tribe to tribe. Burial mounds, cemeteries, and even specific burial rivers or lakes are common.  

Centaur Burial Rites cover

Centaur by Joel Kramer

  The journey of a Centaur's soul is said to take up to the entire decade. The deceased is said to partake in hunts with gods, mythical beasts, and endure trials to prove their worth. Once they complete all these trials, which differ from tribe to tribe, the Centaur's soul is allowed to enter the afterlife, which is said to be a hunting ground that never runs empty.   After the second burial, there is generally a great feast, as usually several bodies are buried there at once. Families tell stories and remember good times with their loved one, and celebrate their arrival in the afterlife.

Reception

While this practice seemed ghoulish to the Humans and Elves, Centaurs have been performing this style of burial for centuries. However, due to this method of handling the tribe's deceased, the settling peoples believed Centaurs to be heretical necromancers and used this as justification for their mistreatment of the species.  
Cairn
Large Cairn on Monadhliath by Andrew Spenceley
  This fear seeped into the death mythos of the conquering peoples, further demonizing Centaurs and increasing fear among the populace.

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Cover image: Skull Illustration

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