“But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of Ragathiel, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.”
- The Book of Ragathiel, 2:2
Aerich was in his finest robes. The white cotton cassock, rough and plain, was accented by gold silk cincture, finely embroidered with an ornate sword with the phrase in celestial that read: ‘Fiat justitia ruat caelum’. Across his shoulders, a small crimson cape rested, the seams embroidered in gold as well.
Around him, the family of Thousand Arrows had gathered. They were preparing his body for ascension into heaven. His limbs had been reconnected with silk thread, his skin cleaned and anointed with oil and paints, his finest leathers placed around him.
The tribe had already erected a stone platform for the body, a simple stone dais that had been arrayed with flowers, blankets, jars of preserved foods and water.
“You shouldn’t be here,” Aiori said, she was similarly dressed in the finery of a priest in service to Sarenrae. “These are not your ways, not your people. You didn’t know him.”
1000 Bones nodded at Aerich.
“Thank you,” 1000 Bones said, pulling Aerich back to the burial preparations. “Now, 1000 Swords spirit can be at rest with his forefathers in heaven and not doomed to haunt the earth.”
“1000 Swords has been given the Justice that the City of Korvosa denied him,” Aerich bowed his head reverently. “His tormentor sent to Pharasma for judgement.”
“How will he be judged?” 1000 Bones asked.
“Justice has been done on this world,” Aerich said, raising his eyes to 1000 Bones. “Pharasma cares not for how a soul reaches judgement, but her eyes stretch toward the beginning and end of time. If a soul reaches her that has performed great evil, she casts them into the Abyss.”
“And the monster who took 1000 Swords? He has been cast to the Abyss?”
“One cannot question the will of the Gods,” Aerich cautioned. “But, Ragathiel did send us to you in your time of need. Trust that Pharasma will see that the monster will be judged accordingly, and that she welcomes 1000 Swords into Heaven where he will live again with your tribe.”
1000 Bones nodded once, satisfied, before returning to the ceremony.
The family had placed 1000 Swords onto his dais and wrapped a red blanket around him tightly. His spirit, now whole, was free to ascend into heaven, taking the food and water with him for the long journey. Some began singing a haunting hymn, using a simple drum to keep time. 1000 Bones knelt down by the sitting 1000 Swords and swiped two batches of river clay across his eyes, the song reaching its crescendo.
Aerich and Aiori stood silent, waiting for the tribe to leave. All, save for 1000 Bones, left.
Aerich approached the dais and produced two coins, gold obals, and placed them on the stone. Normally placed over the eyes of the dead, Aerich had blessed the coins to be used by 1000 Swords as payment for crossing the River Styx.
And woe be to any thief who claimed them, as they were emblazoned with the holy symbol of Ragathiel.