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Basic Information

Mellification is to Honey as Mummification is to Bandages and dry desert air. Honey has anti-bacterial and preservative properties, and can be used to preserve a corpse.

There's a long history of mellification stretching back to the Ancient World. Mellification was used in the Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th Century BC. It was used in Babylon in the 11th Century BC. When Cleomenes I became King of Sparta and 519 BC and murdered his best friend to make the Honeyed Head of Archonides, decapitation-then-mellification was the order of the day. When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC his body was "steeped in the nectar of Hybla"1 and this preserved his corpse long enough for his remains to be sent on a tour of the length of his entire Empire. Even Ancient Egypt used mellification for special occasions. There's a great old story about some Adventurer Archaeologist-types in the early 20th Century cracking open a clay jar full of millennia-old honey they'd just found in a Pyramid and devouring a good bit of it before noticing the mellified corpse of a child at the bottom of the jar.

And it didn't stop there. According to at least one 16th Century doctor/author in China, the human mummy confection was a known cure for broken limbs and similar severe physical trauma. This was apparently made in India and imported into China.

Since mellification was performed infrequently, but across such a large section of the world and so many centuries, there's bound to be a great variety of mellification techniques. For best results, remove the more perishable internal organs just as you would when making a traditional mummy, then submerge in honey for a month or longer. (Or better yet, don't try this at home, kids.)

Presumably sugar could be used in a similar manner, exchanging powdered or granulated sugar for the salt used in traditional mummification and/or "candy coating" the corpse with a shell of melted sugar.


1. Non-Fiction Book: The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting by Eva Crane
2. Non-Fiction Book: How To Mellify A Corpse by Vicki León

Game and Story Use

  • There are some truly memorable options here for treasure. Just about anything2 could be stored or preserved in honey, provided you don't mind a little stickiness.
    • That "the treasure is delicious honey, and it's still good!" … wait for it … "OMG is that a baby at the bottom!?!" anecdote would make for a horribly memorable moment at the gaming table.
  • A mellification mummy variant would make an intriguing (or hilarious) new form of undead.
    • Would it have healing powers instead of mummy rot?
    • Would it summon, control, or be infested by bees or other insects?
      • "You'll catch more flies with honey-mummies than with vinegar-mummies"
      • "sweets for the sweet"?
    • Would it have a sticky grab attack that's difficult to escape?
    • What happens if you use mad honey instead?
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