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Selona Deshret

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 Funerary Rites

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Posts : 9
Join date : 2011-07-18

PostSubject: Funerary Rites   Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:23 pm

Hear me, ghosts of my family, ancestors in the grave,
My father, my mother, ghosts of my family.

It is dark and silent in this crypt beneath Asgalun, the flame of my lamp flickers, casting long shadows against the stained walls. Silent, but not deserted; the stealthy pad of an unseen foot, the shadow that slips from the corner of an eye, tell me otherwise. They say that the crypts are haunted. Ghosts roam here, they say, moaning their envy of the warm living and things worse than ghosts wait in the shadows. It is unwise to come here alone, they say.

Wanderers in the empty places, I make an offering to you.
I pour out water to you; I remember you
I glorify you; I honor you.

They are right, but I fear them not, though I come alone and in silence. I have bargained with the lords of Hell, spoken with nameless beings from the outermost dark, heard the whispers of the creatures that lurk in the earth’s dark corners. Mere darkness holds no terrors for me. The creatures of the crypt know me for what I am and shrink from me.

Whatever evil that is in my body and soul,
Hand over to Namtar, counselor of hell.

The citizens of Asgalun venture into these crypts to bury their dead and to propitiate the ghosts of their ancestors. They come in noisy groups, fathers, mothers, children, aunts, uncles, and cousins by the score. There are but two names upon the walls here and a small sigil under my mother’s to mark the nameless babe she died bearing, A withered spray of flowers that I left last year, a mouldering loaf of bread, a dusty cup. I carefully lay them aside and replace them with fresh ones.

Let Ningizzida, throne-bearer of hell, guard them.
Let Bidu, chief gatekeeper of hell, bolt the seven gates behind them.

I have no living family, no clan, no kin. My father was an exile, my mother disowned for her marriage, and so my rites are short. For me there is no litany of generations, no recitation of honored ancestors. There is only the one before me and there will be no more. I am the last, no children and grandchildren will sing my rites.

Let your servant, live; let me be well.
Let me be clear of sorcery through your names,

My lot was cast at my birth, my fate sealed; as it is with all. I am damned; my soul sold away long ago, the price of bargains made before my father’s father was born. I shall live long, thanks to the black arts of the Pelishtim, and for every year, the black-taloned lords of Hell shall move another counter on the board, reckoning my debt. There is a price for sorcery and it is not always the sorcerer who pays it. No descendants shall curse me, for I shall pay my own debt and those of my fathers.

That I may pour out libations before you
Heal me that I may sing your praises.

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