Orcish Funeral Traditions
In the event of a death among the orcish tribes, a somber ceremony is held to start the fallens spirit pass on. The body is perfumed with rare oils and wrapped in linens, weavings an tapestries detailing some of their most prominent achievements, and placed on a wood pyre alongside their favored weapon. A modest feast of intentionally bitter food is held around the pyre as members of the tribe tell stories of their time with the deceased. When all are full and silent, the pyre is lit. Traditions differ here from tribe to tribe, but range across chanting, war cries, singing, or just silent vigil.
After the funeral, the ashes are collected in a ceremonial urn and held onto by the family or close friends. Over the next few years, the ashes will, bit by bit, be spread upon the bonfires of each Vas in the circle as the tribe makes their journey. This allows the grieving to slowly let go of the loved ones.
In the event of the death of a prominent member of the tribe, a portion of the ashes are mixed with a small portion of blood from those closest to them, an act signifying their pledge to help them again, should they meet in the next world. The resulting mixture is used to mark a white banner with the tribes crest, and the name of the deceased, and is placed in a place of importance to the fallen, usually a location along the route of the circle.
Should an orc die while not in good standing, their corpse is often left to the wild beasts, or worse, buried, with their soul forever trapped under the earth.
The true roots of this tradition are shrouded in the mists of time, having been observed for the majority of all recorded history, though it most likely began early in the first age, shortly after the first orcish war.
While it is common for the entire tribe to take part in the pyre cerimony, the spreading of the ashes is a rite held only by close friends and family. A common tragedy in orcish stories is for a great warrior to die alone, having noone to pass him on.