The afterlife of the Koushan Mai
Do not be afraid of death, my child, for you will be at peace under a blanket of stars.
The Nightlands are where the Koushan Mai
believe they go after they die. It is a place of endless, sweet-smelling fields and perpetual night. These fields are the realm of the twin child gods of death, Lilika
In tales where the Nightlands are mentioned, they are most often described as infinite fields full of a myriad of grass and flowers. The foliage is a mixture of dark purples and blues, and several varieties of the flowers that bloom there glow with a soft, peaceful light.
The realm is shrouded in an unending night. Far from the sky being a foreboding void, however, it is filled with thousands of stars and colourful smudges of galaxies. It glitters and shifts above the never-ending fields.
Amongst the grass, orange-yellow wisps dance and play. These are the souls of the dead.
Koushan Mai mythology tells that souls remain in the Nightlands for one thousand years. This gives them time to renew and cleanse themselves of the burdens of their previous life. After this period of time is over, the souls are free to move on to a new life.
There have been some stories of souls who remember their previous lives amongst the Koushan Mai, but these tales are rare. Most often, memories from previous lives are mentioned in early childhood, but in the majority of cases these memories fade as the child grows older.
Reward and Punishment
Unlike some other interpretations of the afterlife, the Nightlands are not a place where the dead are segregated by their actions in life. The Koushan Mai believe that people should - and will - be judged and punished for their actions in life. To them, the Nightlands are solely a place for a soul to be renewed before it moves on to its next life.
To this end, the Koushan Mai do not believe in execution as a penalty for crime, no matter how serious. Death is not a punishment to them, merely a rest.