[Excerpt from a guide to the various burial and funerary practices of the Islander Cultures, Day 3 of the Month of Seeds, 1845]
As many people may know, the concept of death in such a hostile and strange world is all to familiar, especially with tragedies and events such as the Morley Famine, or the infamous Rat Plague, the latter of which thankfully ended due to the collaboration of the esteemed Natural Philosophers Anton Sokolov and Piero Joplin. However, even as time progresses, the specter of death still lies heavy upon mankind, from the weary travellers of the far North beset by packs of ravenous beasts, to the ageing of the human corpus over time. In this anthropological dissertation, we explore the various rituals and aspects of mourning practiced throughout the known world.
Tyvia--The Far North is no stranger to the concept of death, with stories of both nobles and common folk succumbing to the horrifying blizzards and snow storms all too familar in Tyvian folklore, or falling prey to the packs of wolves and the horrid bears that prowl the interior of this wilderness. As such, with the very idea of death surrounding this people, they have developed intricate and complex rituals surrounding the rites of mourning. A Tyvian funeral, in a way almost reflective of the culture, is highly ornate, with many esoteric practices surrounding the preparation of the corpse (as such, upon death and the removal of all internal organs, the body is moved from place to place during the service, with mourning often taking place in different households). The body, during this time, is regularly bathed and scented with flowers and aromatics (the Tyvian Goldhammer, found only in the mountains of Yaro, is a popular option for the wealthy.) According to popular belief, this cleanses the body of whatever sins it may have, to ensure that the spirit is least discordant upon the final ritual. The body is usually cremated following the ceremonial rites, which are managed by the Overseer-on-duty, after which it is customary to feast for nine days after the cremation, as it is believed that the spirit often returns to the house in which it died, to join in the drinking and eating that most Tyvians are fond of.
While this burial practice is common to the core culture of Tyvia, it is not the singular one--the seal-hunting tribes of the Far North often set the bodies of the dead on boats, where they believe the spirits depart to the depths of the ocean (and apparently, to the Void), while the nomads of Wei-Ghon often bury them out on the steppes and tundras of Tyvia, in graves marked by stones and colored pennants.