She was a good fighter ..good sister ..not exceptional …not flashy
Most Panther tribes believed that the souls of the dead passed into a spirit world and became part of the spiritual forces that influenced every aspect of their lives. Many tribes believed in two souls: one that died when the body died and one that might wander on and eventually die. Burial customs varied widely from tribe to tribe. Panthers disposed of their dead in a variety of ways. Some tribes cleansed the bones, and then reburied them in a mound that included furs and ornaments for the dead spirits’ use in the afterlife. Rites among Panther tribes tended to focus on aiding the deceased in their afterlife. Some tribes left food and possessions of the dead person in or near the mound. Other tribes, sacrificed slaves. Among some tribes, mourners, cut their hair. Some Panthers discarded personal ornaments or blacked their faces to honor the dead. Others gashed their arms and legs to express their grief.
To the tribe of the Ja Lina:
My friends we have lost a wonderful person and a dear friend.Its not often you meet someone who can touch you in so many ways. Inna always had a smile and a kind word.I got to thinking of some of the good times i had with Inna and the one thing that makes me chuckle to my self when i seen her. it was a time for her of being a filtthy dirty huntress and my joking about standing up wind or push her into the water tellng her she needed a bath. we would laugh together. that was a fun time with her and showed how a friendship works.Inna was always a friend to the Forest Moon tribe and we will miss her as greatly as the Ja Lina will.She was a true sister, mentor, friend, and leader.She will be missed by the Forest Moon tribe.Our hearts are heavy with pain along with yours.We love you sis stand tall and strong, you are a huntress.Sav En Forest Moon.
The role play:
Em gives the crowd a meaningful look, her gaze travelling from one face to another. Clearly it was time to start, and utter silence was demanded.
Ręna had spent all afternoon preparing the body for the ceremony. Finally now, as the attendants of other tribes would start to arrive in their camp she would let the rep cloth sink into the water bowl, her orbs lifting to scan the faces before pulling the white blanket back over her beloved sister’s face to shield her from their glances.
Rosebud carefully straightened the blanket over the body, tugging it neatly in underneath. When the body was prepared, she gave her sisters a meaningful nod, letting them know that it was time, then stepped forward to take the first handle into her grip before lifting it upwards and onto her shoulder.
Zephyr could feel an intense weight growing on her shoulders by the Ihn, and the nod made a shiver run down her spine. She knew well what it meant, and without hesitation she moved forward to pick up the wooden handle of the spear.
Ręna rose to her feet and cleaned her hands of the oils and salves that they had used for the preparation of a cloth before she too, with heavy steps, walked around the altar to get a good grip on the fourth and final handle of the stretcher, her gaze fixed in their destination.
Heather Ulich had hovered behind Rena, watching the preparations unfold closely, until being swallowed by a dreadful silence, only to be captured by the thoughts and memories of her dear sister who had consulted her for more summers than she could ever count, becoming an important member of the leadership. Everything seemed vain after the sudden passing which they had not expected in the least, and thus tore them apart even more. But there was no time to dwell now, and her orbs focused from the abstract space back into reality, starting to move forward and lead the sisters towards the pond.
Rosebud began to move forward, taking slow, calculated steps. She lifted her chin proudly, displaying the relentless sorrow on her flattened face, as they walked towards their departed sister’s favorite pond—the one that she had saved so many times from us trying to dry it for more land.
Peeps was guided by her sisters who carried the three other sides of the stretcher, distributing the weight of the body and the sadness equally. They would step over the edge, finding themselves covered to the ankles in pond water before finally reaching the carefully prepared stone altar.
Em had followed the carriers to the pond like the rest of her younger sisters. In her grasp, she held two little clay bowls filled with thick, translucent liquids, followed by that of a perfumed scent; the clear liquid inside being scented oils. While the body was steadied onto the altar, she circled around the stone’s form before abruptly coming to a halt in front of it.
Varisya held a flaming torch high, the heat of an incessant flame radiating against her flesh as she guided more of her torch-holding sisters to the altar. When they arrived to the pond, they also circled around the stone fixture, only to come to a complete halt. Waiting in silence, all of their bodies tensed-up considerably.
Heather Ulich espied the contours of her missed sister’s face, the features hinted underneath the fabric was something her eyes would dare not waver from. She waited in silence, as all of her sisters rounded the circle to join her, and for the red-wood bow and dirt which would be placed upon In-na’s body. The presence of traveled guests’ behind her could be felt, but she kept her orbs fixated on the pyre as she swallowed thickly, before nodding to both her cubs and young sisters.
Casey Larwyck joined in, each of the young sisters would cover the body on the altar with droplets of the scented oil, leaving circular stains on the white fabric. Their gazes met, and they put the twig-bundle back into the bowls, and carefully withdrew, lining up with the other sisters in the circle once again.
Heather Ulich Walks up to the pyre and looks at it a moment, then turns to look at the faces of those that have gathered* ..”As you all know, it is Gorean tradition that not a word is spoken ..not a voice ..nor musical sound is to be heard ..and for a proper ceremony there is only silence ..memory ..and fire” Heather Ulich shouts: That is tradition ..the proper way Heather Ulich shouts: * Takes a deep breath and exhales* …”But a s all of you know ..Inna was not proper ..nor was she normal …Inna danced to the beat of her own drum Heather Ulich Wipes away a tear from her cheek as a soft grin curls her lips* …”And as for words, not spoken …when have any of you known Inna to hold her tongue?” Heather Ulich shouts: *Turns and looks at the pyre* Heather Ulich shouts: She was my Sister Heather Ulich shouts: She was my Se …My Shaman Heather Ulich shouts: She was my Rock. Heather Ulich Turns back once again facing the gathering* … “I first met Inna about 6 years ago when she first joined Zima Ak’am” Heather Ulich shouts: “She was kind of awkward at first, kinda quiet …strange” *nods* “aye ..always very strange … sarcastic and dirty” Heather Ulich shouts: She was a good fighter ..good sister ..not exceptional …not flashy ..wasn’t seeking fame or title Heather Ulich shouts: She quickly proved to be very loyal ..she never left my side ..I don’t think she ever even considered it Heather Ulich shouts: As our friendship grew, I realized how strong of a person she was, it was that strength that guided our tribe through so many hard times Heather Ulich shouts: Sisters leaving, camp moves, tribe splitting ….people causing drama cause they had nothing better to do. She shielded me through a lot of this, she knew how hard being a leader was so she took the hits for me ..she dealt with the drama for me, without her ..I wouldn’t be here.
Heather Ulich shouts: As we struggled to find a home, and were run off various lands ..our numbers dwindled ..our future was bleak …but she never gave up ..she continued to push us ..inspire us to never quit …never stop fighting
Heather Ulich shouts: When we split from Zima, I had the usual anxieties …even though I knew in my heart it was the right choice ..I was nervous ..worried ..but it was Inna that pointed me forward ..told me not to look back and she was right *looks around at all her sister …and can’t help but smile ..proud of each and every one of them* Heather Ulich shouts: She kept me going, she encouraged me and it was her strength that I used to get through … she was always there. Takara Kilborn : dont forget the freinds too
Heather Ulich shouts: She was logical ..she did not automatically take sides ..friendship was very important to her ..but getting to the truth ..getting to the core of the issue and being fair ..that showed her true character. It didn’t matter if you were a long time friend or a stranger …she believed everyone deserved to be treated fairly.
Heather Ulich shouts: Her wisdom was alway something I could turn to …..leading a panther tribe for over 8 years is not an easy task. It cannot be done alone, it requires strong people ..support ..and especially good advice …Inna never wanted leadership ..she never wanted credit ..that was not her ..she wanted others to shine ..she wanted other to enjoy ..and succeed
Heather Ulich shouts: It was this selfless attitude ..the ability to see the big picture …to work for a common goal …to inspire people to work together …..all while asking nothing in return …that is what made her so special.
Heather Ulich shouts: She was not perfect ..she’d get mad …she’d yell …she could be rude …but in the end ..if she was wrong ..she was a big enough person to admit it …to apologize and own up to her mistakes. Felicity Coronet: Oh! Aii, she was
Heather Ulich shouts: There was just something about her …she didn’t try to make friends …she was not fake ..not overly nice to get people to like her ..she was honest ..in an almost brutal and somewhat insulting way …she would tell you exactly what she was thinking …and through all of that you just couldn’t help but love and admire her. Heather Ulich shouts: So …Inna is no longer with us ..her words and deeds will live in our hearts forever
Heather Ulich shouts: So REMEMBER her words …REMEMBER her deeds ..*looks around to all those gathered* …and may her wisdom live and shine through you one day
Heather Ulich shouts: *takes a deep breath as her eyes drift back to the pyre …her heart sinks as she knows this is her final farewell …. exhales “So frankly, I don’t know how I can go on without you …I don’t know if I’m strong enough, or smart enough ….or brave enough”
Heather Ulich shouts: All I know ..is you knew this day was coming and you asked me to be strong …and for you I will. Heather Ulich shouts: *turns and looks at her sisters ..her spine stiffens and her shoulders straighten*.. “…and for you I will” Heather Ulich shouts: This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do here …this is supposed to be a game ..this is supposed to be fun …I never knew you ..or talked to you ..or saw you Heather Ulich shouts: But I honestly can say I loved you Heather Ulich shouts: Your last words to the tribe were “Be nice to each other and love what you have. Inna x” Heather Ulich shouts: You were My Rock Heather Ulich shouts: My Shield Heather Ulich shouts: My Sister Heather Ulich shouts: Dance in Peace my Anni, for one day we will fight by each others side again. Heather Ulich shouts: * takes an arrow and wraps a rep cloth around it …looks down and dips the tip in a pot of oil …notches the arrow and holds the tip to a flame of the torch ….mouths a silent ‘farewell my friend’ aims at the pyre and looses the arrow
Heather Ulich shouts: * takes an arrow and wraps a rep cloth around it …looks down and dips the tip in a pot of oil …notches the arrow and holds the tip to a flame of the torch ….mouths a silent ‘farewell my friend’ aims at the pyre and looses the arrow
Varisya ’s posture had changed dramatically, her shoulders rounded downward and her face flattened. The words spoken in the eulogy caused ripples of goosebumps to appear all over her flesh and her eyes to fill with salty tears that blurred her vision significantly. However, when it was her turn, she would step forward, attempting to jut her chin upright, while tenaciously holding on the handle supporting the torches’ flame. She could barely watch as the flame, caused by the fire-arrow, began to quickly lick across the body’s frame.
Cherry Toast followed the call without hesitation, as if it was expected from her. Strangely enough, she was completely torn inside between fits of sadness and the thrill of wanting to pay In-na the one last tribute that she deserved—she earned it. With one simple glance to her En and sisters, she then lowered the torch toward the wood surrounding the pyre and watched as the fire ignited the dry branches and logs into an inferno of flames.
bambi too joined in, lighting the wood surrounding the pyre with a burning torch flame. Her sisters now giving her the strength necessary to execute this endeavor, bambi shouts: she proudly moved forward and brought the burning embers to the sizzling branch and twigs without further ceremony. bambi shouts: All of the burning wood would soon intermingle, transforming into nothing other than a wild path of fire. Nzuri shouts: completed the circle of light with her torch, inhaling sharply, as the fire violently reflected off of the shallow waters of the pond with a continuous vehemence.
Heather Ulich could barely watch as the barbarous flames swallowed the shell that once encased In-na’s soul and spirit. Tears fell from her eyes, tumbling down her cheeks, but her expression remained even. Her chin dipped low and she closed her eyes for a moment, in an ihn of utter silence, to reminisce upon the memories and moments shared with her sister, and Shaman, who she would never allow to be forgotten.
Heather Ulich finds the strength to lift her head, one corner of her mouth twitching into a faintly mild smile as she gifts each of her sisters with a deep, loving stare. Then, she turns, walking over toward the edge of the pond, nearest to where to soil lie. She then crouches down, digging her deft digits into the damp soil, enclosing her palms around the gritty, cool earth, to retrieve it. With the dirt in her hands, she would return to face the pyre surrounded by intense hazy flames. She would move her arm swiftly, then, tossing the earth particles into the roaring fire, she would whisper, “For you, In-na.” And succumb to silence once again. (…)
© Heather Ulich/various