Tuesday, May 7, 2024

TROIKA! Background: Corpse-Cutter

Sky Burial by Ronan Boyle

You are a constant companion to death. Not the process of it; that usually runs its course on a battlefield or in a bed miles away. But the state of death, the decaying evidence of it, is your life and livelihood.

It is your duty to bear mortal remains up to those high, lonely places where they may be returned to the elements from which they came, in as efficient a manner as possible. The body is just an empty vessel now, after all- best not to let something else fill it. In this arduous task, you have companions of your own: your tools, and the vultures.

Your tools are many and varied. Knives to remove the flesh, cleavers to disarticulate the limbs, a mallet to pound the bones into pulp. According to best practices, each should be used no more than once, then destroyed and purified. Bereaved families and monasteries rarely pay you enough to buy frequent replacements though, so you use each for as long as you can. The grizzled, rusty accoutrement doesn't do your public image any favors, but it marks you as a seasoned officiator.

Most people find the vultures to be foul, noisome creatures. In your experience they are quite decent, resourceful, and polite. They occupy an important role that no one else is willing to take; just like you. The worst you can say about them is that sometimes, a few members of the wake get impatient and try to make off with the flesh before you're finished processing it. You just shoo them away until they wait their turn.

Some people afford you great respect and reverence for your service. Others, mostly outsiders, consider you unclean—even untouchable—by association with your work. Others still don't say anything; they just come to gawk and stare. You don't pay any of them much mind anymore.

You know when to crack jokes and laugh as you work, so that the spirit is reassured and convinced not to return to their empty shell. You know when to stay solemn and silent for grieving family members of the deceased who may be in poor humor. And above all, you know that your actions help this great, groaning wheel turn a little more smoothly.


  • A set of pitted and worn Knives.
  • A cracking wooden Mallet.
  • Bloodstained Apron & Gloves.
  • 1D6 uses of Incense (more for the burial attendees than yourself).
  • 1D3 Sin Cakes from a curious funeral you recently attended (count as Rations but makes you feel vaguely uneasy while eating).

Advanced Skills

3 Funerary Rites
2 Etiquette
2 Strength
1 Knife Fighting
1 Maul Fighting
1 Mortuary Science


You have an unusual rapport with scavengers everywhere. Vultures behave, hyenas act playful, even flies avoid buzzing around you. This friendship effect extends to nearby allies of your choice, and breaks for 1 day if any of you harm a scavenger.

Additionally, you are thoroughly inured to the sights and smells of death and decay.

1 comment:

  1. I would also give them a better luck with corpse-seeded/originated diseases.