Ash is a fairly useful resource in Graveyard Keeper. Not only is it used to create an ingredient which is essential in making Fertilizer, it also has a few other uses such as making Black Paint and the Flavor Enhancer. It is also only gained by cremating Corpses.
But while you learn that cremating Corpses is more beneficial than just throwing them in the river fairly early on, like a lot of things, the game doesn’t exactly tell you how to do it.
In order to Cremate a corpse, you first need to unlock the Cremation skill from the Theology tab in your skill tree, which will allow you to create the appropriately named ‘Place for burning corpses’. Once you have this, walk south from your Morgue to arrive at a Blueprint Table surrounded by trees.
It is only by using this Blueprint Table that you can build the ‘Place for burning corpses’ in one of four different slots. Keep in mind however that you first need to have eight Wooden Billets, which can be crafted at either a Sawhorse or a Circular Saw, in your inventory to build it.
After that you can just place a body on the structure, and set it alight.
Come back after a while to collect a small amount of Ash and some Salt.
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