Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Death, Resurrection, and the Spirit World
The Maker’s Plan
The Maker’s plan (the Maker being The Nameless One, or the Creator) is perhaps the single most important aspect of life. The Makers’ Plan refers to the fact that all Mortal beings borne of the Fruits of the Tree of Life (Including the elves, those div of the Shee who gave up their immortality), are given 5 chances at life by the Unnamed One at their birth. This opposes the goal of the Unmaker, Kador, now Asmodeus, who seeks to corrupt and destroy everything. The maker thus needs to create only once, while the Unmaker must destroy five times.
The Five Gifts
When a person is killed, it is commonly referred to as the “loss of a Gift.” This is a sad occasion, but by no means the end of that person’s life. The spirit is not lost, rather it can be easily raised and placed in a newly created body. This common event is known as the Ceremony of Life, and is performed in a shrine, temple or cathedral by an initiate of the god to whom the the site is sanctified, or by a druid in a druid circle. The initiation of the person being raised has no effect on this Ceremony, although spirits will usually go to Shrines of their own god or a closely aligned god, if the person was aware of their existence nearby.
On the other hand, the loss of the fifth and final Gift is a matter of great consequence, as at this point the spirit is claimed by Mormekar and led down the dark river to Maal’s Kingdom, where they stand judgement. Once the fifth and final Gift is lost, there is absolutely no known spell or power that can return a person to life. Any such attempt to do so is an attempt to defy the Maker’s Plan, and is considered blasphemous and looked upon as an evil act.
Dying and Raising
When a person is killed, their spirit leaves the body after 3 minutes. At that point, they have lost a gift, and there is no power that can change that fact. The only way to prevent this is to have a spirit tether spell cast on the spirit before the three minutes have elapsed. The body of a person that has lost a Gift will become a lifeless, soulless shell after the 3 minutes. A person who passes away due to old age/natural causes likewise loses his spirit after 3 minutes. Note that the body and all possessions of the person remain behind. After these 3 minutes, the person’s spirit leaves the body and begins to wander, generally seeking sanctified ground where they may be raised. Spirits have full conscious choice of where they travel, although they will not remember anything of their travels after raising. If, on the other hand, this was the last Gift or the person dies of old age, the spirit is taken by Mormekar.
A spirit that has Gifts remaining will wish to find a place where it can be raised. In the spirit world any shrines, temples, cathedrals or druid circles (collectively referred to as sanctified ground) stand out as beacons of varying brightness and color that can be seen for many miles. However, the distances in the spirit world are similar to those of the mortal world. Thus, if a spirit is far from any sanctified ground – such as on the open sea – he may simply have to decide which direction to walk in, in the hopes of finding one.
The time to find a place to be raised is very limited. The spirit must find sanctified ground and be raised there within 1 day per character level, otherwise their spirit will become trapped in the spirit world. After this time, the spirit forgets the desire to be raised and will simply wander, lost in the spirit world. A spirit may linger in this state indefinitely, interacting with other spirits and other beings that reside there. However, it will not carry any memories back from this world to the mortal world once raised.
A spirit that is tethered to its body cannot move by itself, nor does it get lost. If a tethered body and spirit are brought to sanctified ground and a Ceremony of Life is performed, then the person is brought back to life with no Gift lost.
Resurrection and true resurrection functions similarly, in that they allow a cleric or priest to perform the Ceremony of Life whenever they cast the spell, and summon back a spirit even if it has been lost for a long time. For resurrection, the caster must either be at the location where the person died, or be in possession of some item that belonged to the person at the time of their death (the body is considered such a possession). In the case of true resurrection, the spirit must only be identified uniquely.
The reincarnate spell can be cast only upon a spirit, not upon a tethered body. As per the description of this spell, a new body is formed, not the original body of the person. Even a lost spirit can be summoned back through use of reincarnate, up to the 1 week limit given by the spell. In order to summon a lost spirit with a reincarnate spell, a druid must either be at the location where the person died, or have an item of great emotional value to the person.
It must be emphasized again, however, that no spell will return a person after the loss of the the fifth Gift or one who died from old age/natural causes. A person whose spirit has been taken by Mormekar is irrevocably gone.