That was too much strain for your sick heart today. You could hear it beat like a drum, then something has broken up the fast rhythm… intense pain. Just for a second you thought, that you would die… and passed out.
Something wet wakes you up. Smiling you chase the dog away that was licking your face, and then, slowly, loose the smile somewhere. This is not the place where you have been before… this is not the world where you have been before! And that dog looks a bit… human, if that is possible. It calmly seats itself a few steps away, observes you for a while, then says with a frown:
“I guess you are a bit confused.”
Most welcoming spirits have changed into the form of a dog, with vaguely humanoid features. They are able to speak clearly, though.
“But I don’t want to be dead!”
“Nobody wants. You’ll learn to live with it. Got it? You’ll learn to live with it! Hahaha! Man, that gets me every time.”
Generally dog-like. They will scratch themselves with their paws, lick their new friend’s face, and sometimes fool around like only dogs do. They will also explain to the newly deceased that they are dead, what it means, where they are, all the wonderful things they can try and what should be avoided. They are the tourist guides of the Other Side.
After the few things are explained, they will excuse themselves, and leave in search of other newly dead. Of life they only ask how it was, of the feelings, not the details.
Welcoming spirits are generally not evil. Some may be a little wicked, and try practical jokes, but their information is mostly correct. Not even hostile behavior can anger them, they have seen it all and can easily avoid amateurish attacks.
As spirits, they are old, and know much, but still miss life desperately. It is for this reason they stay close to the world of the living, to be reminded of life, how it felt, how it… tasted.
Upon finding the spirits of freshly deceased, they can drain the small remains of life force that are still with them, remembering life and greatly enjoying it. To digest it completely takes time. They need to Contact him or her (hence the licking on the face), and stay close for a while, the target should stay open for this (running away or becoming hostile ruins the drain).
This has no negative effect on the spirit, in fact, it helps in accepting the inevitable, and pass on peacefully without becoming a restless ghost. On the other hand, resurrecting the dead will be harder.
Besides the many dog-like welcoming spirits (and quite a few wolf-like), there is at least one beautiful girl, that does the same with a kiss. There is also a raven with black humour, that offers ironic advice while picking pieces of the dead body (only for show of course).
- a Living is occasionally visited by welcoming spirits in his dreams. Should he not act upon it, he could slowly waste away and die (by no ill intent of the spirits - they find him sleeping in the Other Side). The truth is that he has the gift of being sensitive to the spirit world.
- If searching for a certain spirit, a Welcoming One (a term used by shamans) can be a big help, or at least a good start. Unlike many, they like to deal with the Living to some degree.
- A hurt welcoming spirit finds a shaman/gifted character. Somebody unusual and/or powerful has died (or became a vengeful spirit), and threatens to upset the local supernatural balance.