Abridged History of the 10th Age
Rite of Endings
The Papyrus of Anki, Third Book of the Dead
The Rite of Endings is, in actuality, a temple divided. It has a threefold division based upon geographical location; the Rite of the North follows the temple strictures kept in the Free Cities. The Rite of the South follows the strictures kept in Ishtria and the Rite of the Delta follows the ancient scripts housed in Khewedi.
The Rite of the North
In the North, the deceased must wait for a cleric of the Rite to come and attend to them if they wish to journey to the Land of the Dead. Those who are not tended to by a cleric of Akem are believed to dissipate into the upper airs, becoming either restless spirits or being destroyed by the currents of the winds and scattered into oblivion. However, not every small town or even major village has a temple of the Rite.
This means that non-centrally located regions are frequently attended by hermit-monks of Akem who dwell in the wilderness or in small hermitages. When a death occurs, the body is wrapped in linen and placed in the nearest temple (of any faith) while someone fetches the holy hermits to do their duty and tend the body.
The Rite has political power, but only in regions where physical temple sites are located. Hermitages are frequently out of the loop on current canon regulations and political trials; they tend to avoid getting engaged in the maneuverings of the large temple centers.
The locus of Akemite worship in the north is the Necropolitan Temple at Gadrada on the Plain of Sorrow. This huge city of the dead is the most renowned location for the interment of ashes in all of the north, housing an ever-growing number of tenants in cold stone mausolea. In the center of the necropolis is the temple itself from which the Preserver of the Rite runs the temple throughout the north.
The second most prestigious spot of burial is located just outside of Miles and is known as the Imperial Cemetery. This vast garden is semi-forested and contains the remains of every Emperor of Miles and their closest families and servants dating back to the Third Age. Many of the monuments are so worn as to be indistinguishable, and the earliest are made of the red bloodstone that Third Age Milean monuments tend to be constructed of. The cemetery also contains the mortal remains of every King who ever held sway over Miles. To be buried there is considered one of the greatest honors-of-state in the kingdoms of the Avars.