Mordena Funerary Rites
The Mordena have grown accustomed to a common use of Necromancy in their lives, and as such death is no longer an ending but simply one more life event which may even be repeated multiple times. Coupled with the traditions of their predecessors on Janikk and a practice of reusing whatever materials they can, the Mordena Funerary Rites involve a casual acceptance of death which appears heartless and uncaring to outsiders, only furthering the fearsome reputation of the Mordena as bloodthirsty credit hungry mercenaries. Their tendency to leave their dead behind on the battlefield if not easily retrievable only furthers this appearance, despite their fearless efforts to retrieve their injured and dying, or any useful items left upon their corpse.
The Mordena's Funeral Rites are a modification of the Rites performed by the prior inhabitants of Janikk, when mourners would adorn the most honored of their deceased with fruit before placing the body for scavengers to consume, a gift back to the Ecknaab, the Balance between life and death. With the prevalence of Necromancy within the Mordena, death and dying have taken on a new meaning as simply a change of state which can be just as easily undone. As such it is the soul, not the body, which holds significance. The Mordena therefore have taken to submitting the discarded bodies of all their deceased to the scavengers of Janikk – provided the consumption of the body would not harm them – and later returning to pick over their bones for any usable materials which may remain.
The bodies of the deceased are first investigated to ensure their safety for the local wildlife. Clothing and salvageable materials are removed, as are any contaminants which may harm the animals of Janikk if consumed. They are then carried to specially designated sites and left for the scavengers and wildlife of Janikk for consumption. Once sufficient time has passed the remains are picked through for possible reuse. Ground bone in particular forms a key component in many adhesives and even pottery. Bodies which cannot be safely prepared due to disease or other contaminants are instead cremated with Pyromancy, their ashes used in fertilizer once they have been dissolved and filtered to remove their salt content. Any materials surviving the immolation process are reviewed for possible recycling purposes.
Participants depend upon the recently deceased individuals, the decisions they made with their Afterlife Planner, beliefs they may have held in their early lives if they were not born Mordena, and the availability and inclinations of their friends, coworkers, and relatives. Transportation to the site is provided by someone familiar with the Portal Travel or Hyperjump spells, with assorted members of the Grand Armada available to provide defense or muscle as needed. If the deceased was also a member of the Grand Armada or had close friends or family who were these will often be the individuals closest to them. The recently deceased themselves may choose to participate as well, or may decide to instead focus solely on the next phase of their existence. There are no expectations either way, as this is a deeply personal decision.
Typically the Rites are performed shortly after it is confirmed the deceased will not be returning to their discarded body, either due to damage or their Afterlife choices as decided with the guidance of their Afterlife Planner. The time of day selected depends upon the availability of the participants and the number of discarded bodies identified for the Rite.
Janikk was last, gripping the woman's hand and bowing to press their foreheads together before carefully removing the large wood and metal necklace from the woman's chest. She placed her fruit and retreated to her former position, delivering the colorful piece of jewelry to the attendant to her left. All eyes turned to Janikk as she nodded to the mage at the woman's feet, the woman's body rising into the air at her signal. The funeral attendees turned to watch as the Telekinetic Mage reverently set her upon the ledge, an assortment of scavengers already gathering in the fading light to pick over her bones. "Janikk esaukkaa Ecknaab," Janikk announced solemnly. "Janikk esaukkee Ecknaab," the mourners replied, bowing briefly at Janikk before parting to allow her entrance to the cave within the cliff face. The door slid shut behind her, and Shane's vision darkened.