Dawn of Xanthus
The Stritians (Humans) believe strongly in reincarnation. When a person dies, there is one of two outcomes; either the soul goes down to Rathunde to serve in his eternal army, or they arereincarnated. Several different beliefs about how a soul is directed have arisen.
Because Rathunde is constantly in battle, it is very rare that he is seen in the myths. His servants, the Solars, instead are said to act as his emissaries. When compiling the various prayers and practices of Stritian people, there are anywhere from 3 to 5 Solars, each involved with a specific aspect of Rathunde’s powers. It is believed by some that each Solar was a gift from a different god; the Solars each possess traits of other gods. Although generic Solars are often depicted in Stritian art, the beings are almost solely attributed to Rathunde.
Most rituals for the dead are fairly simple, the family and friends of the deceased gather around a pit and share stories about the lost. Following that, the body is dropped into a deep pit that is said to reach the farthest depths of the world. It is considered one of the most grievous insults to Rathunde to burn a body or otherwise intentionally destroy remains as this prevents him from gaining soldiers. There is some disagreement as to how souls are brought to Jeuneth once they have been disposed of prpoerly. Some believe that the souls simply travel there on their own, others believe that Korrek gathers the souls and ferries them to Jeuneth.
The emissaries of Rathunde possess a unique power that allows them to confer souls to the gatherer. The ritual of death vespers require that the servant remove the individuals head and charge it with divine energy, effectively disintegrating it with holy fire. When the souls reach Jeuneth, they are judged. Those who are truly wicked remain headless, their minds entirely destroyed, and are brought to the front lines of Rathunde’s army. Those of questionable allegiance met a similar fate, though some are allowed to atone for their transgressions. Individuals who have lead relatively good lives are simply reincarnated on the surface. The righteous are given a choice, to serve as a champion of Rathunde for eternity, or to be reborn in the realms above. Those who choose to return to the world above are often given a semblance of their former lives, usually observable through skills or combat prowess.
It is widely agreed upon that only those who have served several cycles of rebirth choose to serve as champions, for although they are subject to the horrors of eternal war, they are relatively well-off compared to actual soldiers. The champions are often prayed to by living warriors and are treated as powerful spirits. Finally, those who have truly proven themselves as great men are allowed to live in the most fertile of Rathunde’s groves in eternal paradise. Very few actually make it to the grove of paradise. In fact, no mythological figures have been placed there, even the greatest heroes known have only been made champions.
The Wisdoms of Rathunde
-All Things Must Die