In 2009, an archeological dig in the
of a Stone Age village unearthed a mass grave with hundreds of human remains, belonging to at least 500 people and possibly over 1,000. The bones were of men, women, and children as well as infants and fetuses. Tool marks on the bones show that the flesh had been carefully scraped off while larger bones were broken, possibly to get at the marrow. Even the skulls were broken as if to better extract the brains.
The butchering all occurred shortly after the victims’ death and was clearly done by someone who knew what they were doing. Although the butchering was done with the same practiced techniques of slaughtering cattle or sheep, it is not certain what became of the human flesh. Some believe the villagers of Herxheim ate the meat; others say that it would have been buried along with the bones as part of the ritual.
This was not a crime of passion or a temporary lapse of sanity. It was a planned ritual that a whole community had come together to perform.
I’ve been trying to find that post about the Stormtooper kids being plugged in at night and denied a true childhood, which I foolishly didn’t reblog the first time I saw it and then didn’t ever see again. Anyway, that post, drawing the Stormtrooper program as a horrifying thing, was in fact the POV of a Rebellion spy who had not been part of the Stormtrooper program herself and might be expected to be biased.
Here is an eyewitness account of the Stormtrooper children from a man who was part of the program and who had grown up to administer it:
With Brendol gone on a recruiting mission, Cardinal was left to steer the training program. It was a job he loved and one for which he was uniquely qualified. Who else could soothe and inspire new recruits as well as a man who had once stood in their heavy, ill fitting boots?… No one believed in the First Order like Cardinal did, having been lifted from crushing poverty and given a purpose, and he prided himself on helping each young orphan find inner strengths and tap into that resilient core within that would one day live to serve the First Order.
His recruits look so young in the mess, their helmets carefully placed on numbered shelves so they can eat. They wave to him cheerfully and he waves back. Here, dining and drinking in groups of their own choosing, they are simply children. Collected from some of the loneliest of the unclaimed territories of the galaxy, they come together to become great soldiers under Cardinal’s watchful eye. Their hair and skin cover every possible shade from pale to dark; their eyes range from ice blue to pitch black and every hue in between. Their buzzed scalps show sweat from training, and their laughter defies the misery of their origins and histories. They have risen from their own ashes.
Cardinal feels a swell of pride. This, this is what the First Order is all about. Giving everyone equal opportunity to succeed, no matter how lowly their beginning or how far-off their planet. There are no rich kids here, lording it over the orphans. No lobbyists or interest groups or bribes. No one is starving or thirsty or dying of exposure. As far as Cardinal is concerned, anyone who opposes the obvious benefits of the First Order is a fool.
I mean obviously he’s biased too, and maybe even brainwashed, but he’s backed up by a story in which Phasma comes from a planet so destitute that cannibalism (ritual or otherwise) is the norm and pregnant women don’t expect to live to give birth. The point being that these children would never have had what we think of as a ‘normal childhood’ anyway. The Republic is not doing anything for them, so who can blame them if they are actively fleeing toward someone who is?
Context: The party (A halfling rogue, a elven wizard who is a total wildcard, and a chaotic good monk) has just cleared a mansion where a demonic cult has been engaging in cannibalism and ritual suicide to summon various nasty things. When they defeated the boss, it turned into a young priest who had been kidnapped (the party had been sent to find him)
Monk (ooc): “Can i convert him to my order by doing a flip?”
DM: “Um sure… roll a religion check”
Monk: *rolls high*
Monk: “Hey kid, check this out WHOO!” *does a flip*
DM: “The priest is completely astounded by your sick flip, he’s decided to convert”
Monk: “YOUR NAME IS NOW WHEELS!!”
Wheels then proceeded to become the Monk’s personal slave. He took his clothes, gave him a large stick to use as a quaterstaff and usually sent him into battle first. The only advice Wheels ever recived was “do a flip”.
Do the Gefendur have any special opinion/declarations of heresy for Ssaelits on the subject of their disgust for the whole twin 'sacrifice and ritual cannibalism' deal, or is that just folded in with the standard declarations of heresy?
Arrogance, ingratitude, and cowardice are the major accusations. The Twins are owed the sacrifice as a token of their glory and as gratitude for the mercy that spared humanity Tirna’s attempt at genocide (the comic will tell the exact tale of how the sacrifice came about later on). The Ssaelit are shirking their responsibility in this. All the ills of the world may well be because such a large number of people deny the Gods their twins.
The Crescian Gefendur have good cause not only to hate the Ssaelit but to hate the Aldish Gefendur for tolerating the Ssaelit. The very nature of Alderode - of their “Great Compromise” - could be damning all of Kasslyne.
Mictlantecuhtli, Lord of Mictlan, in Aztec religion, was a god of the dead and the king of Mictlan, the lowest and northernmost section of the Underworld. He was one of the principal gods of the Aztecs and was the most prominent of several gods and goddesses of Death and the Underworld. The worship of Mictlantecuhtli sometimes involved ritual cannibalism, with human flesh being consumed in and around the temple.
The Performance of a Male Coastal Peacock Spider hoping to appeal to a Female mate.
Although other species of spider are known to perform mating rituals similar to this one, the legwork used as well as symmetry and colours of the clown faced abdomen is very unique.
A cannibalistic nature of the female; which is common in certain spider species, is also observed in this type.
A female may witness the dance, but could already be carrying eggs or is uninterested. The perturbed female usually attacks the male; and although the male has superior jumping ability helping its escape, if it is not quick enough it is killed and devoured.
It is also common that even if the female is interested, she can still devour the male after mating.
The Mystery of Herxheim: Was an Entire Village Cannibalized?
in 5300 BC, a Linearbandkeramik or Linear Pottery culture (LBK) developed in
the region of Herxheim in southwest Germany, one that could be described as an
idyllic Stone Age settlement. The houses were the same, the rudimentary farm
plots were the same, the small village seemed to be relatively safe from
invaders and predators. Yet sometime around 4950 BC, the community abruptly
disappeared. The town was abandoned, leaving behind shattered pottery, hundreds
of butchered bodies, and a huge pile of bones. Today, researchers are not
certain what happened but signs suggest that a rise in ritual sacrifice, and
possibly cannibalism, had something to do with it.
callousness and lack of empathy –> No! He is very empathic.
parasitic lifestyle –> No! He is self-sufficient
poor behavioral controls –> No! He can control himself very well.
sexual promiscuity –> check (No long term relationship but several partners)
early behavior problems –> check
lack of realistic long-term goals –> No! He knows very well what he wants and works hard to achieve it.
impulsivity –> (very hesitant) check
irresponsibility –> check
failure to accept responsibility for own actions –> check
many short-term marital relationships –> check
juvenile delinquency –> check
criminal versatility –> check
–> Hannibal has psychopathic traits but does not qualify as a classical psychopath as some very important traits are missing. Especially because he was born ‘normal’.
So, he’s a sociopath then? Let’s see…
sociopathy is the result of environmental factors (childhood abuse / trauma) –> check
impulsive and erratic –> No!
don’t hold down long term jobs –> No!
unable to present as “normal” –> No!
criminal behaviour mostly unplanned –> No!
angered easily, violent outbursts –> No!
–> Hannibal is not a sociopath at all. The only thing that links him to sociopathy is the fact that he was traumatized and abused as a child.
Okay, okay but we can agree that he is a cannibal, right? Well, yes of course we can. But what kind of cannibal is he?
Cannibalism out of necessity –> no!
Cannibalism because of rituals and traditions –> no!
Cannibalism for sexual gratification –> no!
Cannibalism out of fear of losing someone –> no! (Although the fact that he thinks that he has to eat Will might hint at that.)
Cannibalism out of sadistic reasons –> no! (He usually kills quickly and effectively)
–> Hannibal is not a common cannibal. He cannibalizes people for none of the reasons above but simply because he likes the taste and the thrill. No one else ever had (only) those reasons.
But then what the hell is wrong with that man?? Well, I think he can certain be diagnosed in one way or another. Here is my attempt:
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) triggered by childhood abuse and the death (and cannibalisation) of his sister –> this diagnosis works as long as he was going after the men who killed Mischa but once they are dead but he doesn’t stop killing, things change
psychopathic traits (as mentioned above) –> They could be a survival strategy from childhood and youth perfected over the years and taken with him into adulthood, a clever mask. –> Psychopathical traits are often labelled antisocial personality disorder
narcissistic personality disorder –> grandiose sense of self-importance, –> fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love –> believes that he is “special” and unique
–> has a very strong sense of entitlement
–> is exploitative of others
multiple-personality disorder (this is super speculative but let me explain you why) –> severe childhood trauma leads to a split personality so that the core personality, the abused child, is protected. –> one of the personalities that evolves is usually an offender personality, meaning a personality shaped like one of the people who caused the initial trauma (in Hannibal’s case, the men who cannibalized Mischa, or more specifically, Grutas who certainly was a very antisocial person)
–> Hannibal suffered from PTSD or possible Multiple Personality Disorder as a child. His core personality remained intact (sometimes you see the little boy coming through, don’t deny it), while he presented / presents an offender personality (Grutas!!) to the outside world. That new personality (let’s call it OP) is a narcissist who killed the men who murdered Misha. The OP who was originally a cannibal out of necessity (hunger), in his grandiose sense of self-importance becomes a cannibal out of sheer taste and enjoyment. It are the psychopathical and narcissistic traits of the OP that we usually call the person suit. It is the rest of the OP, the antisocial and cannibalistic “Hannibal-version” of Grutas that is the monster. It is the original personality, the little boy, who says: “I always want you to know where you can find and love me.”
un-hijacking that other post because it’s world building wednesday and I want to think about it.
Plague: Death as a sacrifice for the continuation of stronger life. Funerals possibly incorporate ritual cannibalism?
Wind: The act of dying as a passage between two states, a journey. Funerals are lighthearted, lots of music and storytelling.
Ice: The physical monuments of death are very important. catacombs and caverns preserve the skulls and physical remains of the departed. gravestones, statuary very prominent.
Earth: The remembrance of those dead. Ancestors are revered, and places to connect with the spirits of those past are plentiful. cairns are very important.
Nature: Death as a cycle to new life. the dead are buried or left open air, on ritual platforms near the canopy or in the undergrowth. a tree is often planted on the burial site.
Light: Death possibly unclean, considering emperors. funerals probably very elaborate and ritualistic otherwise, lots of pomp and ceremony and listing of accomplishments. the dead are entombed in whatever the dragon size equivalent of New Orleans-style above ground tombs could be
Arcane: Death as a mystery of the universe. I’d love to say the dead are flung into space but we’ll go with cremation. the ashes are cast into the sea; the important part rose into the sky already to join the stars.
Water: Very similar to Nature, probably really interesting culturally actually because of the futuresight. burial sites resemble whale falls, with tons of sealife flourishing and the bones becoming coated with coral and barnacles.
Shadow: Funerals are raucous, again like New Orleans. death to shadow is the other side of the coin, always present and not to be feared. the spirits are always present. The Malagasy “turning of the bones” is practiced, where the corpse of an ancestor is removed from a crypt, rewrapped in a new shroud, and danced and celebrated with.
Fire: Cremation is prevalent, of course, seen as the ultimate joining of a dragon to their element. ashes are also sometimes repurposed into diamonds.
Lightning: Away from the Lightning farm, sky burial is a common practice in the dry desert where otherwise corpses would become naturally mummified. Death is inevitable and while not celebrated or mystified, it is an event for celebrating the achievements of the departed.
The concept of the New Years Kiss evolved from an ancient ritual which involved cannibalism of the corpse of a recently deceased significant other. As cannibalism became considered taboo, civilizations shifted from eating the flesh of their loved ones to eating the faces of their loved ones.
With the release of the imperial lore, now I have all these headcanons about how imperials in different flights might handle their dead and their burial rites to try to avoid emperors. Long post ahead, talking about bodies so if that sort of thing makes you squeamish, go ahead and sit this one out.
Plague imperials engage in ritual cannibalism. Depending on the clan’s individual customs, sometimes it’s just a ritual disemboweling and eating certain organs, like the heart, the brain, or the liver, sometimes they’re expected to gorge themselves on the flesh, sometimes they just dismember the corpse and drink some of the blood.
Fire flight burns their dead. The ashes are solemnly placed in a deep pit, and a channel is dug to the nearest stream of flowing molten lava. When the pit is filled, the channel is blocked off again, and the magma allowed to cool and harden into a solid obsidian gravestone.
Wind flight burns their dead as well, but scatters their ashes on the wind, from the highest, most remote point they can find. Mountains and cliffs are favored, ancient trees will do in a pinch, and if there’s no other recourse, they fly as high as they can manage. The direction of the wind the ashes are scattered on depends on the clan’s individual tradition. However, they are never scattered on a wind that blows in the direction of the Sunbeam Ruins
A lightning flight imperial who knows they’re dying asks for the ritual words to be spoken over them, and then makes their way into the desert, deliberately avoiding oases, until they expire, where the hot winds, driving sand, and carrion birds quickly pick their bones clean, and the shifting dunes cover them.
Nature flight buries them, and plants a sapling tree above the grave, letting the roots wrap around the body and absorb its life force. The type of tree depends on the clan’s individual traditions, with different ones having different meanings. These trees are specially marked with the most forbidding runes, not only because it’s considered incredibly bad luck to cut a burial tree down, but because it would kill the tree and loosen the roots’ grasp on the imperial below.
Earth flight carves out deep tombs into cliff and rock, and seals the corpse inside, trusting to the weight of thousands of tons of stone to keep it that way. The outside is left bare and unadorned, indistinguishable from the untouched rock, but the inside is elaborately carved and inset with gems. An imperial will begin digging and embellishing their own tomb from the moment they are considered old enough to be told why it’s necessary.
Water flight weighs the body down with stones, and leaves it to be devoured by undersea creatures. Most drop them into the depths of the Leviathan Trench. It’s considered incredibly vulgar to leave them where the fish that eat them might be caught and eaten by other dragons, and the discovery of a barnacle covered imperial skeleton is more than enough to make the horrified imperials pull up stakes and head for a new lair.
Ice Flight imperials fear emperors greatly, since their region’s cold can preserve a body for centuries, to rise again as a monstrosity. A single dragon will take the body to the Fortress of Ends, to be encased in a tower of ice, and hope that their region’s most dangerous and inhospitable area will hold them as permanently as it does the rest of its possessions. This is considered an especially dangerous trip however, as the Fortress may not relinquish either of the dragons who come into its domain, so it’s considered ideal if an imperial who is either dying or graced with the Icewarden’s special favor undertakes to bring the corpse there.
Arcane imperials corpses often end up dissected and studied, since the ever curious arcane dragons are anxious to pry into the mystery of how and why emperors are formed, with little regard to the potential risk. Arcane imperials will usually try to get the corpse to another flight’s region to deal with before the other arcane dragons can get their claws on it.
Shadow imperials bury their dead in the most tangled, impenetrable part of the woods they can find, and will often transplant fungi to help the body rot faster, and thorny brambles to grow over it and discourage anything getting in, or out. However, some in shadow flight think it’s a marvelous trick to smuggle the body into another flight’s region, and leave it to be found and dealt with by panicking imperials, or possible even to become an emperor itself. Their habit of playing this trick on their light flight neighbors has not improved interflight relations.
It’s strictly forbidden to allow any part of an imperial’s corpse to remain in the Sunbeam Ruins. They must be taken to another region as soon as possible, and the dragons there will often drive any imperial who fails to do so out of their region entirely, and unceremoniously fling the corpse across their borders after them.