Death And Resurrection
Death and Resurrection
Life is commonly difficult, especially for those who choose a life of hardship and adventurous excitement. The cycle of life is never ending and continues its birth, life, death cycle for everyone. With divine aid and assistance, however, at times it can extend this cycle greatly, even halting it for a time. Death is different among nearly all game settings. Please read this with the understanding that it may not fit your particular game setting and style, but is an alternative.
When someone dies in the game of Hewdamia their spirit is sent to a void of space, the realm of the spirits for lack of a better term. This is where they await their return to the living via intervention, or where they travel to their next life if they are spiritually content.
Their soul drifts among the nothingness and awaits their destination. Now there are ‘things’ in this void. Spirit like beings who feed on these waiting souls. What happens next is purely another form of the circle of life.
While death for mortals usually ends their existence rather quickly and indefinitely, with divine aid the dead can be returned to the living. However, even with the aid of the gods, the transition from Kasal’s (Enter Appropriate God for your Campaign here) spirit world and the land of the living can be traumatic and is evident on the face of those who survive with their whit intact.
All who have been pulled from deaths door speak of horrible masses, and slick tendrils that caress covetously and hungrily in the void, blacker than the darkest night. More of a physical embodiment of a lack of space than something corporeal, yet all feel its embrace as it lustfully entwines those whom are traveling the void with a soul. Those who return to the living feel chilled to their deepest insides. Sometimes they hear voices in the void, and return with these voices still whispering in their mind for days or even weeks later.
Most of all resurrections are done in a temple, church, or holy place of the gods. This could be a grand cathedral in the Crystal City or a small parish off the beaten track in the wilderness. It could even be a blessed and sanctified place priests choose during battles to take the wounded and deceased. Regardless the important factor is that the area is blessed by the gods, and for good reason. To do so in a place not blessed by at least two high priests, sometimes things can go wrong.
In the dark void that is known as, the place one goes when you die, the world of the spirits is a place none wish to travel. Angry spirits, raged entities, and other powerful beings sift through the nothing and feed on the souls that are trapped in between. The spirit world is primeval and chaotic at best, feeding the powerful and torturing the weak. Few doorways are opened to the spirit world and most like to keep it that way. When someone dies it is so brief and so quick, the opening of a gateway between both worlds, it seldom allows anything to sneak through. However, when someone is brought back from the dead, that doorway is open much longer and that extra time is all that is needed for something to find that opening and sneak back.
A Priest will only resurrect someone away from the safety of their churches if the need is great. While being resurrected in a holy place can still leave emotional scaring, it is far safer. Everyone who has died and returned to the living must make a Sanity Check (Enter Appropriate Mental Role or Check here.) to see if they lost some of their sensibilities while transferring across. Only a small chance of anything going wrong with the revived is possible, and then wards setup to protect usually stops the possessing entity from escaping out into the world. Once trapped, the overseeing priest can usually contain it and force it back in the spirit world with minimal effort.
If the deceased is returned from the dark void and is not in a place of holy or sanctified grounds then there is a much larger chance that something could go wrong, and come through with them. This Traveler of Spirit worlds can be as difficult as a trickster who is malicious but not out to permanently harm anyone, to the most malevolent spirit possible. Wanting nothing more to wreak as much chaos and havoc as they possibly can. They do not physically chance, except maybe an altering of the eye color, which has seemed to be random and not fixed per different spirit types.
Journal entry of an extreme failed attempt to bring back multiple souls at once was detailed in the journal of Father Meltal.
I spoke my discomfort as harshly as I could to the Arch Bishop but he insisted on not listening. To this day I respect my fellow men of the cloth but as the events tell out, the Arch Bishop was a fool. He thought, in his ignorance, that he could perform a mass resurrection of a group of elite soldiers that had perished during the Battle of Bone Hill. Regardless of me insisting on taking the time to sanctify the grounds he refused and stated in his haughty tone that he was powerful enough in his Faith to succeed. I prepared the bodies of those fallen men, praying to our God to let the Arch Bishop succeed, and grant me the strength to survive if not. He chanted, deep and hard, the words of power echoing from somewhere not of his voice. I had faith he might prevail. Perhaps it was my lack of faith in the Arch Bishop, or perhaps he was as foolish as I had imagined. Regardless, the mass that came through from the void was not the spirits of the five men who lay in their death row before us.
The darkness crept in first, chilling to the bone, na the soul. I say soul only because as my bones burned with fear, my soul froze with an unknown terror of what I knew I was about to witness but did not wish to see. The tentacles came first, all slime and dripping grease or was it blood? I can not tell as my vision began to black out when I look on it to long. The smell was sweet and death, as if rolls freshly baked in the market were throw in a crematory to sit and ruin. Pieces of offal fell from them as if forgotten candies that fell with sickening slaps to the ground. As they writhed, whispered eloquent words caressed my inner ear as if a lover taking me to bed. It told me things, horrible things that I can not put to pen. I knew my soul was lost just listening to these voices, they spoke the truth of the damned and the ever lasting life beyond the world of the living yet aroused me deep inside that made me feel corrupted within. Where they touched the living it burned and scared, the ground withered mere inches from their snake-like movements.
I think then that the Arch Bishop knew of his hubris and his failure. I think knowing that, he made the ultimate sacrifice and pulled the tentacles to him, embracing them as a lover might. Welcoming them in and drawing them out of the opening portal that he had opened hoping to destroy them by sacrificing himself in the process. A noble deep yet futile. It was over in an instant, once there then not. The darkness and all that it held was gone. The Arch Bishop sat chuckling to himself on the ground in his soiled robes. The blood, offal, and slime of the tentacles and his own soil made a miasma of smell and sickness. He looked to me and grinned, an evil grin if I knew one. Stood and walked away, whistling a nameless tune and chuckling to the wind.
The men were never brought back to life as I did not have the nerve to attempt it after what had just happened, to this day I have not done so either. Nor will I. I have never spoken of the Arch Bishop's name either in paper or in passing speech for he is no longer the man I knew. He traveled away and began doing horrible things, nameless things. I travel now with a group of priests and warriors to stop him in his evil. I pray the world is not lost.
Exorcism is one of the two ways to remove an unwanted traveler spirit from its host body. Whether it will work 100% is up to the determination of the priests (GM involvement) involved and that of the particular Traveler Spirit as some do not want to return to their voided realm. The second way is to kill the host body so that the traveler spirit returns through the now open gateway to their realm. They are forced into this doorway as they are now the spirit and soul of the physical body and they follow the same rules in the realm of the living as normal mortals do with death. Attempting to bring the newly deceased back to life again with their original soul is now somewhat more difficult but possible. The chance of the now removed traveler spirit to return is slightly greater as they are now familiar with that current link. A determined lost soul and a strong willed priest doesn't make it so it isn’t impossible for the deceased to return to life with little ministrations of the protecting priests. Although at a bit of a loss of some of their sanity.
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? Responses (10)-10
After reading a bit of the original sub I decided to break it up into two distinct subs. While they fit together reading the original was rather confusing and disjointed as the remarks made out. Hope this helps.
A nice setting to use.How often is bringing the dead back done? Can it only be done if the deceased did violently,and how long is the window of oppuntinty open to do it? 4/5
Death by non-normal means of course. Someone dying of old age obviously would be unable to come back as it was simply there time. I'm referring to persons who die abnormally and before their time. As for the frequency thing... never thought about it.
Maybe the time limit is reeached when the body starts to rot?
Very nice. It is refreshing to read a solid and detailed view on death and resurrection in a game setting. Sadly, the most often case I see is that the magic is too detailed in core materials. Speaking from a D&D player's point of view, I think too many people take core material for granted and don't ask 'What if?' often enough. Thank you for giving a thorough account of this phenomenon in Hewdamia.
Anytime. The first time my players (playtesters) witnessed an event one actually went crazy and afterwards had a phobia of the dead. Fearful something might just stand up and get him.
Boomsauce :"Few doorways are opened to the spirit world and most like to keep it that way. When someone dies it is so brief and so quick, the opening of a gateway between both worlds, it seldom allows anything to sneak through. However, when someone is brought back from the dead, that doorway is open much longer and that extra time is all that is needed for something to find that opening and sneak back."
You had me right there, not a novel concept but as Pieh said "solid and detailed". In fact I just echo Pieh's sentiments.
Glad you liked it. I described one event where the greasy tendrils came from under the body and began reaching out to everyone. A single roll to bring someone back from the dead turned into a three minute description that ended with a smoke break from two of the gamers. Needless to say they were very careful not to die for the next few weeks.
This is how it should be. Scary and dangerous, not using up a spell slot and maybe some bedrest.
Glad you approve.