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Burial rites in the Dark Halls

Death inside the Dark Halls is a common occurrence. Encountering dangerous monsters, conflicts with other people over resources, or having something vital consumed by the darkness, all are things that can lead to someone's early demise. And even though no one here can feel hunger or thirst, fatigue and sickness are still present. So it is natural that someone needs to be buried once in a while. This, however, comes with some hardships. In many Halls, the floor is so hard that digging even an inch would be impossible.   While the darkness typically only consumes one thing depending on the Hall, when it comes to corpses, it stops being so fussy. Once it eats what it has to eat, it changes its subject to something close or similar. It cannot, however, jump between consuming something physical and incorporeal.  

What happens to the dead

Corpses in Halls that consume flesh

Depending on the strength of the hunger of the darkness, one might not even have to bury the corpse. Once the darkness consumes what it should, it'll start consuming the rest of the corpse, until nothing is left. That's why the graves here are either symbolic or mostly empty, the only things left inside are the possessions of the dead.  

Corpses in Halls that consume ideas and concepts

It is strongly advised to never leave a corpse inside one of those Halls.
by Revyera
After consuming what it can, the darkness will start to erase everything about the corpse out of existence. Soon, no one will remember them or anything they have done in their life. Their corpse will first turn faceless, then shapeless, until it disappears in the darkness surrounding it.   The only ones left in there are the ones who can't be retrieved or the ones who should be forgotten.  

Summoning the Gravedigger

For the braver ones, there is a way to create a grave safe from both the darkness and the creatures lurking in the Dark Halls.. It requires a ritual that summons The Gravedigger, one of The Inhabitants.  

Summoning Gravedigger by Revyera

To do so, a corpse needs to be wrapped in a shroud and surrounded by lights from each side (at least 4). Those lights cannot be extinguished during the ritual. Next, both the lights and the corpse need to be protected from the creatures that will try to stop the ritual. After some time, between a few hours and a few days, all the sounds in the area will stop. All the lights in the Hall will turn green.
by Revyera
by Revyera
When the guards can hear the sound of a shovel hitting the floor closer and closer, it means The Gravedigger is here.
The participants in the funeral have to close their eyes. Anyone who won't do that and sees The Gravedigger will die. When the shovel can't be heard anymore and other sounds return, it is safe to open one's eyes again.   Where the corpse was, there will be a stone grave with the name of the one who is buried there. If anyone or anything tries to destroy the grave, they will meet the wrath of the one who created it.

Gravedigger came by Revyera

Religious funerals

The people might have been stolen away from our reality, but they still believe. They still follow the rites and traditions of their faiths. A lot of the settlements still have churches and cemeteries, though depending on the Hall,
by Revyera
the graves might be placed in the next Hall for the safety of the memory of the dead.   While finding a priest of one's faith in the Dark Halls isn't easy, getting them to the burial place so they can perform the funeral rites is even more challenging.
by Revyera
And yet, there are some clerics that decide to risk their own lives and more to bring even the slightest hope to their brothers and sisters in faith and help them part with the ones they lost.  

Traditional burial

"As soon as they close the lid, the sounds started coming from within it. The sound of chewing, slurping, and crushing bone.
They opened it back.
The corpse was missing some parts."
by Revyera
Burying the corpse leaves it in the darkness, fully exposed to its hunger. Even if someone puts a light source in a coffin, it would have to be constantly powered and regularly checked so it doesn't burn out.   Most people decide to bury their close ones in the flesh-eating Halls and create a grave or a shrine for them in a different place, just something to remind them of the ones they lost.

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8 Jan, 2023 15:10

The way this article reinforces the themes and tone that you create for this world is truly inspring! Love the concepts this introduces and the way it fits right into the world itself.

Yours truly, Nino.
Check out my world Tai'Sans Hearth if you want to ;)
9 Jan, 2023 22:26

I'm happy to hear you like it and thank you! :D