This idea came to me the other night and is burning a hole in my brain. I see all sorts of interesting adventure ideas in the future…
There are a few priests, scattered throughout the world, who swear to uphold the “Burden of the Bones” when they are called upon. It is a sacred duty to only a few, dedicated to ensuring that the remains of those lost on the journey can find their way home.
For a few with little in the way of faith, these priests will obey their final wishes. It might be as simple as burying the body in sanctified ground or a special place. Perhaps they will burn the body and scatter the ashes to the four winds. With a final ritual, the priest is released from the burden and the soul moves on to the next life.
For others, the journey is more complicated.
- Perhaps it requires carrying the physical remains a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand miles to a chosen plot on the edge of the world.
- Perhaps it’s the body of a person of state or position who must go through the proper rituals and delivered to multiple locations to honor the passing and ensure that those remains are safely on display for others to revere forever.
- Perhaps the individual belongs to a different religion whose needs and beliefs differ widely from the priest with the burden.
In these cases, the burden may be passed from one priest to the next until the journey is over.
Any cleric could accept this burden, but it’s a decision with consequences. Should the priest not follow through on their duty, they are told that they would be cursed until that burden was laid to rest.
If you encounter a priest with a burden, you are encouraged to help them if possible. After all, it might be a former companion, a family member, or a person you respect. Help them along in their journey.
What do you think? Is this something you could use in your fantasy worlds?