No Books of Men: World Building – Supernaturals, part IV

Myths and Legends, whether one deems them truth or fiction, are undeniably an attempt for humanity to understand the world around itself. Gods, demons, monsters, and heroes rise from myths and legends to explain why the sun rises when it does and why the moon waxes or wanes. Thus its no surprise that the greatest mystery of them all, death, would inspire similar “ghost stories” in every corner of the globe. No Books, being firmly rooted in the legendry and folktales from all over the globe, is no exception. 

Ghosts are real in this word, no doubt about it. Certain shapeshifters, such as the Bubastis of Egypt, speak with the dead. Necromancers summon spirits to do their bidding (for good or ill). Vampires are often haunted by the souls of their victims. The only real question I felt needed answering is: what are the defining characteristics of a Ghost in No Books? What commonalities are there amongst them world wide? This is what I came up with…

Ghosts

  • In essence, a Ghost is nothing but the Soul of a human being whose body has passed away.
  • Every Ghost has a “Fetter” which binds them to the physical world and prevent their passage to whatever afterlife awaits them. In many cases, the Ghost is unaware of their Fetters. These Fetters can be anything, physical or conceptual, that draws the Ghost closer to the land of the living than the afterlife. Examples include: a treasured family home, protecting a still-living spouse, avenging their murder, etc.
  • Ghosts can very tremendously in their level of self-awareness. Some are wholly aware of their dead state, their fetters, and what they need to accomplish to pass on. Others are wholly unaware, either not realizing they are dead or mindlessly echoing their final moments in perpetuity. Most fall somewhere in between, either aware they are dead but unaware of their fetters or unaware of their death but cognizant enough to comprehend if they are informed later.
  • Connections to other supernaturals:
    • Mages: Mages are as likely to become a Ghost as any other human, indeed some intentionally become a Ghost through the use of their magic. Additionally, there are theories among the Magi connecting the Scourge (a force punishing Mages for abusing their power or endangering mortals) and ancient/powerful Ghosts. This theory remains unproven, but researchers continue exploring the potential link.
    • Vampires: Vampires cannot leave Ghosts. However, the ritual where a Vampire is created (whatever the details of the Lineage) does include a literal (in addition to a symbolic) death. Thus the Soul departs the body. The body becomes a Vampire. The Soul typically departs, but in rare cases a Ghost is formed instead. Often, said Ghost haunts the Vampire, but not always. Regardless, the Ghost and the Vampire share an identity but generally do not share motivations/goals.
    • Werewolves: Werewolves cannot leave Ghosts. The effect of the Lycanthrope Curse changes the soul too much for a Ghost to form. In becoming something between a human and a wolf, the Soul is changed too much. Rumours persist of Werewolf Souls lingering after death, but if that is the case these spirits aren’t Ghosts in the way Mages understand them.
    • Wyrdlings: Wyrdlings cannot leave Ghosts, but they can leave “other things” behind. Most Mage scholars don’t refer to Wyrdling spirits as “Ghosts” as they are too strange and warped by the same emanations that created them. In most cases, one can refer the the original “species” of the Wyrdling to ascertain what may be left behind spiritually. Vampiric Wyrdlings cannot leave Ghosts. Lycanthropic Wyrdlings rarely leave anything recognizable as Ghosts. Magi and human Wyrdlings can leave Ghosts behind, but they more closely resemble their Wyrdling nature than other Ghosts in both form and essence.
    • Heralds/Remnants/Others: If these other, stranger beings leave behind Ghosts, none have identified them as such.
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