These are all 'types' of spirits, rather than individual ones, so it is possible to meet many variants of the spirits briefly described here.
Note also the many linked on the bottom, that fit easily into Spirit World.
More spirits will follow yet.
Tribal spirits are well known and were often contacted in the primitive past, since they were a tribe's main connection to the world beyond. The life, often rough and with unfriendly neighbours, made one strongly identified with the group. After death, most deceased joined their ancestors (and the respective spirit group).
Their joined power building a strong foundation to rest on, known individuals could be still called upon for assistance, best by their closest family and friends. But when the memory of an individual fades away, the spirit will be slowly drawn deeper into the spirit group... replaced by the next generations to be called upon for assistance.
As the tribes of old have fallen apart, the contact with tribal spirits has been severed, the names to be called forgotten, and the tribal spirits themselves have changed. Some distinct family clans still have similar spirits near to them, but even their time seems to be over.
The Travellers - often it is the most suprising people, the low farmer, or a city guard; anyone that finds himself with the wish to travel and eternity to spend on it. And so they walk, and see and learn and are happy. Few of them settle down again, most continue on their road forever. They know a lot, but rarely stop for a chat, you need to move with them to learn anything.
The Flyers - a type of a Traveller, those rare few who so strongly wished to fly, that they learned it here on their own, or merged with bird spirits. It is typical for them that they never land, but forever fly the skies of Spirit World, never stopping, always looking for another view, and another wind. Later, some of them actually become or merge with spirits of the winds.
Lovers - men and women of passion, they simply cannot give it up, and so they search for new lovers, whether for a fleeting pleasant touch, or for a night of passionate, feverish dreams. It is true, that they can be taxing on mortals, but actual deaths are rare; for sometimes even the fleeting and shallow ghosts, that quickly fall in love and out of love, find the true emotion, and proceed to visit him or her every night, until they are refused or their unwilling lover comes to the other side...
The stars - true lovers, that have merged into one, and live only their eternal love, become stars on the sky, and are so clearly shining their devotion, that they are visible even in our world. Needing no one else, they are too distant to be contacted, though it is claimed they sometimes confer luck on lovers.
Hunters - treasure the thrill of the hunt above all things. Always in pursuit, they are likely to pick upon any trail they come upon, and pursue it to its owner, who they will then pursue on. Some are content with cornering the prey, and making sure it accepts their dominance; some slay it outright (note that in Spirit World, there is no true death; to be hunted down is still 'unpleasant'). Hunters are likely to find a partner for their hunt, and eventually merge with it, often wolves, but also felines.
The Scary Ones are a sick folk, everyone agrees. Feeling little power during their lives, in a world of strange laws it can be easy to scare the living hell out of anyone, threaten and persuade others to do what they do not wish to do. But eventually, the victims free themselves of the scary presence, and learn to recognize the few tricks they have. This kind of spirits tends to travel in the opposite direction than most - loosing interest in spirits, they turn back to humans where there is limitless fun, and never a lack of 'spooky mansions' and 'cursed places'. They sometimes join genuine ghosts in their efforts, boring as they seem. Not rarely, they are chased off to this existence by other spirits.
The Scary Ones change in shape relatively quickly, shedding their boring appearances to become threatening shadows, monsters with many claws and teeth, and anything you can imagine. Still, somewhere deep is hidden the little clerk, or the quiet housewife...
Lost or Fleeing spirits - unlucky are some, in living or in dieing. Terrible is the process of death sometimes, so much that it changes a spirit permanently (or at least, for a long time).
These spirits did not accept what they have become, sometimes failing to notice their very death. The wondrous world of beauties uncountable is scary and alien to them, place where they cannot find a stable point to cling to. Instead they roam without purpose, or flee without a hope to ever stop. Communicating to them is very hard, bringing them to reason is close to impossible. Their best chance to find peace is to happen across the spirit herd of animals, running in fear of something, too familiar a state to not be joined. Later, when they calm down and stop, the one in their midst could be also drawn into this emotion... the few that have recovered from this state, found a way to normalcy, or have merged such a spirit group.
'The Nothing' - spirits that so much believe being of no consequence, that they get very close to be nothing. They make up the background of Spirit World, perhaps that is why it seems to be covered in a strange haze. If there is a more diffilcut thing that communicating with them, it is noticing them in the first place. It is said they know much but do not tell anyone.
Matron Spirits are rare, but well-known friendly spirits, devoted mothers and caretakers that continue in their mission in afterlife. They are invaluable in calming restless immature spirits like The Crying Ones, but they freely take any children spirits into custody - even animal ones. Often, there is a large flock of various spirits around a matron, so she is not very mobile. Some of the spirits never choose to leave her side, even those that grow up; many stay in some form of touch, and it would be a very bad idea to harm her. However, the spirit possesses the strange powers of embarassment all mothers call their own, so it would be hard to attack her anyway.
The Broken are also well-known, and not for friendliness.
Some people are never content, nothing is good enough, or they never have enough, being too greedy, too wanting. Upon Death, all that was important before turns out to be nonsense, the new existence offering nothing comparable after this shock. Lacking a reason to exist, lacking a motive to do anything useful, or communicate with anyone, they withdraw into the deepest pits, and places where no one else wants to go, to wallow in pity, and suffer in self-loathing, hating everyone and themselves. There they would reside, lashing out at any visitor of chance, then fleeing; not of cowardice, but of the disgusting notion of sharing space with somebody else.
It is not unheard for mental diseases during life being ended by the spirit splitting into two or more. The Broken, in moments of greatest unrest, tear away parts of themselves so they do not have to cope with them. Inevitably, they produce many unstable, irrational, deformed beings that cannot be called sane, the originator hardly being different. It is said that when a necromancer creates an undead, they call upon these parts of souls - and they gladly oblige, feeling the pull of a similar soul and finally some purpose... but they turn soon to hate again, even against their new master, who they cannot hurt.
The Broken are probably the most loathed creatures in the Spirit World.
The Shuffling Man
It is a frequent spirit to meet in the desolate places - an old, shuffling man (or woman), slowly making his way to an unknown destination, without a true purpose or hope. They have lost much of their original personality while still alive, due to the afflictions of age. Now they shuffle on, all the way to eternity. A few manage to recover, to regain a glimpse of former selves, or awake to a new existence... but that is too rare to be seen.
When encountered, they tend to have an air of disoriented friendliness, or unfocused hostility, but they don't respond to their surroundings, or attempts at communication. They can easily pass over to the other side, and back again, over and over... one day, they will shuffle through railway stations, and empty parks, ignored by everyone.
Death awaits the young and old. Sometimes children die, old enough to fend for themselves, not truly understanding what happened. If they avoid the more mature spirits, they will probably stay behind in their development, retaining their childish nature. They grow up with time, but there are always new ones, victims of accidents, violence, or even their curiosity.
Simple minded as they are, they tend to play pranks on others, show their tongues, or just be a general nuisance. A louder voice or a little scare will easily chase them away.
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? Responses (11)
This goes very well into completing the linked sub of the spirit world. I think it is better to have a broad stroke of spirit types instead of individual spirits as it seems, to me, that in this world these groups are in fact the races.
It could, in effect, be used as a possible campaign setting set in an entirely different world and realm. With these groups here, we now have the potential to create the players in the world. The more i think of this the more I like it. I just boosted this vote +.5
As every spirit is unique, I tried to show some of the more frequent ones. So yes, this could be races, if you keep in mind there are many uncategorised (and uncategorisable) spirits out there. :)
As for a campaign setting, feel free to go for it!
See comments from Spirit World Codex, plus I was particularly moved by the Stars entry.
This is pretty nifty, nice list of suggested submissions as well.
Thanks! (Don't forget to check the main article.)
Forgot to vote:D
I like this list of ghosts a lot.
Hmm. Interesting. I see potential.
Thank you. As before, note the master submission, there may be even more potential. :)
Some great ideas here. Could find lots of uses.