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Background

Hoketh is the god of death. Hoketh's followers are typically not fond of undead and necromancers as they disturb the dead's rest.

Hoketh decides when people die. the idea being Hoketh removes people from unbearable pain that is beyond the capacity for mortals. By creating a cycle of life and death, people are born and people die at the appropriate times. To a Hoketh Cleric, death is an essential state that must exist so that life can follow in its wake. Because of this, Hoketh is considered an "Inevitable" god, one that is impossible to ignore and impossible to deny, and even places that do not officially recognize other religions have Hoketh clergies and temples, due to the vital service their faithful provide.

Hoketh's goals do not include needless death, or an unhealthy abundance of life (overpopulation). But followers believe that for a new mortal to be born an old mortal must pass on so that the cycle can be perpetuated.
Hoketh Symbol Fan Art by @RoSohryu

Hoketh symbol fan art by @RoSohryu. The motto is Latin for "Rest in Peace Before Hoketh"

Hoketh itself is a cycle. Necrecta, undead, and ghosts interfere with this cycle, and when that happens there are repercussions for mortals.

One of Hoketh's celestials, the Harvest Man, is the celestial parent of Aila Balton. The Harvest Man is a tall figure with spindly legs and is shrouded with a robe that obscures his face.

Clergy and Practices

Hoketh's clergy tend to wear darker plate mail with robes, long tabards, and/or capes. Most, if not all standard Hoketh clerics wear a veil over their face draping from their helmet to hide their visage from the living and dead.
Hoketh and Aila fan art by @Animalien25

Hoketh and Aila fan art by @Animalien25

Hoketh Clerics tend to fall into two main groups, though not all fit this mold. There are clerics who deals with the end of the cycle of life, and one to who deals in the beginning. Hoketh Clerics range from doctors that deliver babies, prevent disease, cure wounds, and revive those who died before it was their time, to Undertakers, such as Salvador, who put bodies to rest, perform burial rites, and keep souls at rest.

They believe their cleric healing abilities are the cycle of Hoketh giving them the power to maintain the balance of life and death

Clerics of Hoketh are not against bringing back the dead with Revivify spells or Resurrection spells. It is believed that if these spells work, it means that it was not the revived person's time to pass on. If the spell is used and the person is not revived due to being fully passed on, or unable to possess a form because it is hindered with unfathomable pain (such as charred to a crisp, or flayed to pieces), it means that it was the person's time and Hoketh has made them pass on.

Core Principles of a Hoketh Undertaker

  • Ensure spirits do not linger. That any wrong doing to a spirit is done right, and those who cannot be done right are put to peace.
  • Snuff out the undead of Necrecta.
  • Memorize your burial rites and tend to graves and graveyards in your travel.
  • Always carry a shovel.

The practices of Hoketh clergy varies between regions, cultures and races. Hoketh clerics from Paraton, Tracadia and some other human occupied countries worship the dead, help spirits pass on, and treat corpses with the utmost respect by giving them a burial. In stark contrast clerics of "The Sands" will worship the dead and help spirits pass on, but unlike other cultures won't bury the body. Instead, they release the spirit from the corpse. Once the soul is completely contented and passed on, Hoketh clerics of The Sands then dine on the body rather than let it go to waste. Hoketh Clerics from Ruba are more free agents, as opposed to what Aila leads. They're the chaotic neutral of Hoketh Clerics and go where the wind takes them and where the corpses stink the most, they really don't follow leaders unless its by their own volition. Both, however, dislike necromancy since it desecrates both the body and the spirit. But the importance on the body can vary.

In some cultures, members of the Hoketh clergy who marry are considered to be wed to their spouse's spirit, and are thus considered still married even if their partner dies. Due to this, they are never considered widows or widowers and this concept is foreign to them.

Members of the Hoketh clergy can learn literacy through the translation of tombs and study of the burial rights of different cultures.

Holidays

Hoketh's Harrowing

Hoketh's Harrowing is one of the most important days on any Hoketh Clergyperson's calendar, when the veil between the living world and the afterlife is at it's absolute weakest. In Alivast, the Harrowing begins in the morning, with a slow funerary procession bringing the recently departed's coffins to their final resting places, passing throughout the town, allowing onlookers to donate gems or gold to certain bodies, gathered by the clergy to place in the graves. This is followed by mothers with the very youngest of newborns, which symbolizes that death brings new life. The procession ends at the graveyard, where a ceremony is performed, and the graves are dug and the bodies interred. The living are allowed to then pay their respects to the dead and leave offerings, and many often experience a feeling, a scent, or some other phenomenon that is inextricably linked to that person. The procession ends at noon, and the rest of the day is a massive celebration of life, with food, fun games and prizes, and fireworks, and almost always usually ends with a test of skill and strength atop a pair of pumpkins.

Monty has described Hoketh's Harrowing as a mixture of Halloween and Día de Muertos, which it very much is.

Trivia

  • Digsby has met the Harvest Man twice.
  • In game terms, priests of Hoketh can be either death or life doman clerics due to Hoketh's broad role over life and death.
  • Typically Hoketh Paladins do not duel.
  • Hoketh Clergies revere those who are left handed, they believe they have a better chance of seeing past the veil and into the ethereal plane
  • MontyGlu originally statted out Hoketh clerics with the trickery domain until the grave domain was released. She suggests using Grave or Life as domain options for them.

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