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Trapped Souls of the Collapse

Those who have witnessed the onset of the Great Collapse first hand found no reprieve in death.
— Wallis, Wizard of the Occulus Sea


  The damage inflicted by the The Great Collapse was not constrained to the material world. During the onset of the collapse, the spirits of the deceased never passed on- or at the least did not expire. A bridge was broken during the unleashing of catastrophic wild magics, and so the spirits of the final generation of the The Ancient Order became the specters and ghosts that still haunt the living today. These ghosts and specters can be readily found within and around Ancient Ruins, particularly those of large settlements, throughout Awldor.  

A Broken Bridge

  It is commonly believed that a broken bridge to the afterlife- though not always referred to as a bridge- is responsible for trapping the spirits of the dead within our plane of existence. Whether this bridge remains broken or not is commonly a point of disagreement. Predictably, this disagreement has fueled two lines of thought:  
  • The first theory is that the bridge has remained broken to this day. However, one would have expected to encounter more ghosts in present day settlements from the recently deceased. Instead, a present day relative becoming a ghost upon death is a rare occurrence.
  • The second theory is that the bridge to the afterlife was restored sometime during or after the collapse either through its own means or from divine intervention. However, the recently deceased can become ghosts in the present day.
Perhaps what transpired during the collapse is more complicated than what has been assumed. Perhaps the mechanics behind the creation of ghosts then compared to the mechanics of what happens today. Continued research into the exact nature of the collapse is warranted before further conclusions are drawn.    

Relieving the Lingering Spirits

  There is no single reliable way to allow a trapped spirit to escape our realm. At least there is no single method until the exact nature of what traps spirits is better understood. Some spells and other incantations can do the job when performed correctly. Simply defeating a ghost in combat does not necessarily mean that it has been destroyed or that the engagement somehow opened the door for it to pass on- though such cases are not unheard of. Most of the time, a defeated ghost will simply manifest itself again after some number of weeks, months, even years.

Spirit Aggression

  These lingering spirits tend to attack or are otherwise antagonistic towards the living. This behavior is largely attributed to the faded and largely mindless nature of a ghost.   It is possible that all the memories and attributes of the former living being remain but are not present.

All of the Ancients?

  It is certainly dramatic to believe that every one of the ancients who died became a faded and antagonistic ghosts. Those more learned in the lore of the collapse argue otherwise.   They say that only some percentage of the population became ghosts. Exactly how many is a point of debate.   This begs the question: what happened to the others?

Note(s) from the Archivists:

  Well, this is horrifying to think about. - Archivist Bob Ironrock

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Cover image: by starfarertheta


Please Login in order to comment!
4 Jun, 2021 16:58

I agree with Bob. This article made me shiver. D: Those poor souls.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
7 Jun, 2021 19:24

Very cool concept to explain the presence of ghosts in the setting. I like the tinge of mystery presented by the fact that it doesn't still seem to be happening in the same way, as well.

Sometimes you get the bear.