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Author Topic: Perspectives on Undeath  (Read 2093 times)
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Azhira Styralias
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« on: 01 October 2010, 02:37:51 »

As I continue to work on the Netherworlds entry update, it brought to my attention the icky, dredful subject of undead. How would the various tribes view undead creatures? For example, Ximaxian magi can animate the dead using magic so they would have a nominal view point. What about elves? Do elves see undead as an abomination, something unnatural to the Dream?

What about dwarves? Brownies? I know some rat brownies worship dark spirits. One would think that some undead gain their "power" of sorts from the Netherworld. The orcs have yet to develop a view, which is something I want to do. I know the Kaaer view the spirits of dead ancestors as a source of wisdom that dark yarna blessed can summon.

So any thoughts will help my research!
« Last Edit: 01 October 2010, 08:44:50 by Azhira Styralias » Logged

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #1 on: 01 October 2010, 04:43:46 »

From the elven perspective I guess undead very much are an abomination, no doubt, something against nature. Elves accept their own death as the inherent will of the Dream, as a part of nature, and this applies to everything that dies, because it becomes part of nature again and returns to life in its regular course.

So if someone raises the dead voluntarily or dead things become alive through some sort of foul magic (note that magic is only a tool for the elves to help them in their lives), then this is very wrong and disturbs the natural balance of existence. Probably a good reason for usually peaceful elves to fight these forces that are at work here...
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #2 on: 01 October 2010, 08:10:39 »

Hmmmmm...   since dwarves literally turn to stone when they die (and are then incinerated in molten lava), you can't have 'undead dwarves', really... it'd be easier to create a rock elemental!   But how do they feel about the undead of other races?  I expect they have a similar reaction - ugh, unnatural, against the will of TrumBarol, etc.  And when confronted with an undead, a typica dwarven reaction would be to reach for the axe or warhammer and 'put it out of its misery'.  Now, the Ximaxian dwarves tend towards ecumenicalism and tolerance, so you might get the odd magi with the attitude 'Oh, those poor short-lived humans, no wonder they want to stay animated as long as possible....' but he still wouldn't be involved in necromancy or assist with zombie spells...

If you'd like a more sophisticated clarification, Az, do just ask and I'll write you a few paragraphs!  :)
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« Reply #3 on: 01 October 2010, 08:39:09 »

My limited knowledge of both Erpheronian and halfling mindsets lead me to believe the following!

Erpheronian mages might dabble in necromancy. The average erpheronian? It's an abomination, a monstrosity that needs to be destroyed and the villain responsible put to sword.

Halflings: "Dead is dead is ought to be dead and stay dead; there's no call for folk to be running around digging up other folk after they've died, leave the bones in the ground, there's certainly no need for them to be up and walking around once they've quit"
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« Reply #4 on: 01 October 2010, 11:45:28 »

Valan, I just gave you an aura for making me laugh riotously in the middle of my lunch break.  That halfling quote  is so perfectly phrased I hope we can steal it and put it in the entry!
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« Reply #5 on: 01 October 2010, 15:11:50 »

I'm a bit confused, Azhira. Do you want a discussion about those animated bones with rests of flesh on them or talk about any other forms as well. I would not call the  spirit form of your Kaaer ancestors 'undead'.

The humans I know a bit better (Shendar, the more southern people) would generally despise any thought of raising dead people, but wicked as humans are, some would it do out of 'scientific' interest or for money.

Valan, I agree with Judy, your halfling quote is great!
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #6 on: 01 October 2010, 21:38:12 »

I am looking to have perspectives of all races and tribes to any kind of undead - whether it be animated bones, ghosts, zombies etc. Even legendary apparitions such as the Wailwoman, Watchers, and White Lady. The Netherworlds mean different things to different races and I would assume that some believe that the power to raise the dead originates in the Netherworld where some consider it a "dark mirror" of our own. Living in this world, unliving in the Nether.

I don't find it surprising that most races would consider undead as an abomination of sorts, unnatural. The Kaaer don't consider their spirit ancestors as "undead" in a negative sense, though more ignorant outsiders might do so. To them, dead spirits are a manifestation of the life now thriving with Durgho.

Obviously, raising the dead would be considered just a segment of the magic arts (ie using fire magic to animate) so as a topic of study and curiosity, Ximaxians would practice it (in secret of course - not to alienate the common folk if they knew).

I am curious as to the orcen point of view - Alysse?

I also am looking to have the Thalam wizards view - Fox?

What about the trolls - Jonael?

Concerning dwarves - I was not aware of that, Judy. How fascinating that creating undead dwarves wouldn't be possible. What if an earth mage animated the petrified remains of a dwarf - an "undead rock golem" so to speak? Would that be considered evil?

Any Nybelmar viewpoints?
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #7 on: 02 October 2010, 02:27:27 »

My guess would be that orcs (except for the Ximax ones) would feel very strongly against it.  Once you've killed someone, he shouldn't be able to get up and come after you.  They'd probably feel that it was very dishonourable not to stay dead once you were made so.  Orcs have a very rigid code of honour (though it is different from the human one) and I think they would be appalled at the idea that the dead could be raised.  I suspect that most of the Northern Sarvonian orcs, no matter what the tribe, would feel this way.
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« Reply #8 on: 02 October 2010, 05:24:50 »

I think the Krean would not look kindly on it. They believe in three way conception: that is, they see conception as a co-creative act not just between the parents, but between the father, the mother, and the spirit that is going to birth/incarnate into the new baby body. Through coupling the parents create an energetic node, a point of union, to which the incoming spirit can anchor. The spirit of the child flows from the First Wave into the womb as it were, to fill the new body with life. As more and more of the incoming consciousness anchors, the energy of the spirit fills the node, growing it. Santharian humans tend to think that the body houses the soul, like a bucket holding water. The way the Krean see it, it's more like a bucket submerged in the ocean.

So body = energy brought in by the incoming spirit + the original quantum donated by the parents. Incidentally, this is why the Krean do not bury dead bodies but cremate them. To return to Source, a spirit needs to pull out/recollect all of its energy that entered into manifestation. Therefore:  When the body dies, the consciousness needs to transmute that part of itself which solidified into manifest form back into enegy/consciousness. The donated quantum also has to be released, to set the parents free (preferably before death! :P )

So if somebody reanimates a dead body (or summons a dead soul), he traps not only that individual, but his parents as well. And so long as a part of a person's quantum is stuck (whether as their deceased body or as the birthing quantum they donated to their offspring), none of their subsequent incarnations can complete the Return either.

In short, necromancy is frowned upon because it not only condemns one person (which would be bad enough: anything that directly takes away an individual's free-will is taboo to the Krean), but three immediately, and possibly many many more. Like a stone thrown into a still pond, it disturbs the waters, and ripples outward. Everything is connected.

Hmmm -- that came out more convoluted than I imagined. Does it make any sense?
« Last Edit: 02 October 2010, 07:46:43 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #9 on: 02 October 2010, 07:50:08 »

Yes, I understand! Thank you Coren for that explanation. I can see why the Krean would view undeath as not only unnatural (ie against the belief of life and afterlife) but also as a curse/torment for the person being animated, but also the parents. Since the physical corpse still contains the "quantum", it cannot be cremated to pass on.

An intriguing concept! Unlike conventional beliefs where the soul is separate from the body after death, Krean believe that the "soul" remains in the physical manifestation after death only to be released when the body is cremated.

Excellent! Do the Krean believe in a "netherworld" concept as well?
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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« Reply #10 on: 02 October 2010, 09:01:57 »

Ice Tribes:  Kill them.  If they get up, kill them again.  Repeat as necessary.  Try and find the source and kill it as well.

Antislar:  As the spirit wants to find a unborn vessel to inhabit so the spirit can once again be alive, undead would be a perversion of this natural cycle and the soul trapped within the undead body would not be able to find peace until the body is killed for good.
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« Reply #11 on: 02 October 2010, 09:13:23 »

The Kuglimz people would view it very like the Ice Tribes.  When something is killed it ought to STAY dead! They'd see it as against nature and therefore suspect, because they are very close to nature and understand natural processes and cycles.
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #12 on: 02 October 2010, 17:53:30 »

My opinion of the undead, well not many would see the undead as cursed and helpless creatures which lost their soul's peace and now they must cross the world of the living, without goals and dreams, forever feeling the cold of the death and the pain of their mistakes in their life. If the races would see it from this perspective, I think that they would know that the undead have no choise as being how they are. The spell rise dead or something in that was is more a curse for the summoned creature than for the opponent...

So this is my opinion grin

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« Reply #13 on: 03 October 2010, 08:17:38 »

The "Vikh don't naturally encouter undead beings, but they would percieve the animating forced in a foreign corporeal undead as an object animated by malevolent spirits, and most certainly try to banish them were it trying to enter the Drifting Woods.

Incorporeal undead would simply fall into the 'spirit' category (my, isn't it getting crowded in there!) and be either welcomed as valuable advisors (in the case of their own ancestors and such) or vehemently avoided (just about anything else).
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