The Rite of the Brilliant Beacon is a Tiomeran tradition that is performed as a final way of praising the life of a great individual. It is a posthumous honor that is rarely given to anyone and can only be given by the community of the city of Tiomera itself.
The rite of the brilliant beacon is only performed when a great leader, hero or individual of importance passes away in Tiomera
. Throughout history the honor has been bestowed to a few Wheelmasters
for their services to the city. But it is more common to gain this honor through exceptional selfless deeds for Tiomera and its citizens. Those who fought off enemies of the city, worked tirelessly for the community they were in, or were instrumental in developing the city in one way or another can gather the amount of respect and prestige within the city worthy for the rite of the brilliant beacon. After such an individual passes, people usually gather in great numbers at the Windcatcher Temple
to request the temple to perform the rite. Although the clerics of Zevira
perform the rite, it is not seen as a religious passing and is also performed to individuals that do not worship the air deity.
After the individual has passed, the body of the deceased is first cleansed in salt water from the Shimmering Depths
to symbolize its connection to the ocean and for some their connection to the deity Ebaqu
. The body will then lie in state for two days at the base of one of the lighthouses within the city. Usually, the lighthouse that was closest to their birthplace within the city or had some other significance to the individual. After the two days have passed, the body is brought to a pyre that has been built at the top of the lighthouse. All lanterns and other lighthouses in the city are doused as the body is cremated at midnight. A coral powder is mixed with Oil of Brilliance
and poured onto the fire which turns the flames of the pyre a pale navy blue. After the body has been fully cremated, the ashes are scattered in the wind. In contrast to a regular sea burial where the body is claimed by the ocean and sinks to the bottom, the scattering of the ashes makes the remains of the deceased remain on top the ocean, which is symbolic for the victory the individual had in life over the ocean.