Bogoslov basement from the graveyard of Neamt Monastery in northeastern Romania contains numerous deceased bones gathered from Roman Orthodox monastic tradition. This tradition claims that after 7 years the bones of the deceased monk were to be taken out of the earth and placed, in this basement.
On the monks skull fellow monks write his name and his duties in the monastery. The more revered bones belonged to beloved bishops of the Neamt Monastery.
The kapalas were usually made from skulls collected at sky burial sites, an ancient Tibetan burial custom, still practiced today, in which the bodies of the dead are dismembered and scattered over open ground to ‘give alms to the birds’. It is a ritual that has a great religious meaning of the ascent of the soul to be reincarnated into another circle of life.
Once collected, the skulls would be specially prepared and elaborately anointed and consecrated before use. It would then be decorated with carvings, jewels of silver-work before being used as a ritual implement.
Markien the Monk
Taking this history into consideration, Markien is a deceased monk, whom served an unknown monastery. Corrupted by greed and power, he attempts to dispel his grievances unto the character in his after life. His ultimate goal is to empty himself and achieve compassion, courage, and clarity not gained in his living life.