Grief Walker are Necromantic Therapists tasked with counseling the dead and dying in accepting and embracing life beyond the Veil, assisting their loved ones in coping with their grief, and helping everyone involved to find the closure they need to let go and allow their loved ones to move on with the next phase of their lives. In most cases the deceased or dying individual is their primary client, and so Grief Walkers advocate for the needs of the dead first before turning their attention to the living. This is an important distinction, as the well adjusted dead are much more likely to move to the next phase of life beyond the Veil, while the unhappy dead are prone to causing hauntings or worse. Any further needs of the living beyond that covered while assisting the dead are addressed after the deceased have moved on.
Grief Walkers must be skilled in Necromancy. While most of their efforts focus on Necromantic Communication the ability to Plane Phase also allows the Grief Walker to facilitate more direct communications between the deceased and their families, while a touch of Soul Magic can help sooth the worst edges of grief and therefore lead to more productive sessions. Some Grief Walkers also utilize Divination in their therapies, specifically Dream Walking, if the living left behind become so distraught that normal therapy methods cannot succeed. In these cases holding the sessions during sleep via Dream Walking has shown measurable success in assisting the bereaved.
Payment & Reimbursement
Methods of payment depend upon the culture to which the Grief Walker belongs. Different areas across Fillimet hold different viewpoints as to the importance of their work, which tends to dictate the worth of their services and therefore their methods of payment. Within the Prophet's Woods Grief Walkers are considered a luxury, and so frequently wealthier individuals will set aside funds for use after their passing to hire a Grief Walker to facilitate communication with their loved ones. Sometimes the survivors will be forced to locate the funds themselves, if the deceased either did not possess enough foresight to plan ahead or did not consider the surviving individual important enough to comfort. Exceptions are made in cases of extremely violent individuals, where the Church of the Heathen Prophet will pay for a Grief Walker's services in the hope of placating the spirit. In Rol'na the services of Grief Walkers are considered a basic right of all people. The ability to say goodbye, and to celebrate this new beginning with their loved ones, is written deep within their cultural beliefs and family values. Here Grief Walkers are not paid for their service at all, but rather their health and welfare is considered the responsibilities of their community. As a result they are free to devote their entire energies to soothing their clients, both living and deceased, while their neighbors ensure all their needs and most of their desires are met. The hardy Reachmen believe that it is the community's responsibility to provide comfort to the friends and family of the deceased. Here the community will gather to tell stories and share memories of the departed, guaranteeing they live on in the memories of their friends and neighbors. These proceedings are generally sufficient to sooth the dead, as they always make a point to focus on the good of the deceased's life and the well-being of their friends and family after their death. Grief Walkers are therefore uncommon in Reachmen communities, and their services are deemed largely unnecessary in most circumstances.
A Grief Walker's workplace depends upon the environment in which they feel the most attuned with their Necromantic abilities. Many make house calls, traveling to the homes of friends or family members of the deceased. Others keep an office location and request their clients travel to them. Due to the nature of their work, however, the most skilled Grief Walkers do not require a physical meeting at all. In these cases they can choose to utilize the very nature of the higher planes themselves and shift their own spiritual frequencies to step beyond the Veil, harnessing the interdimensional aspects of their deceased clients to meet with living relatives. This requires a great deal of Imperium to sustain, and so meetings in this manner are necessarily short. Grief Walkers taking advantage of this option will also locate sites with stronger than usual Magical Fields, preferably in locations that provide them with a sense of serenity and peace to improve their concentration. Remote locations in nature or private meditation rooms in their own homes are two of the most commonly chosen options for these high cost spells.
Officially, Grief Walkers provide therapeutic bereavement services for the newly deceased and their loved ones, helping everyone come to terms with death and to recognize that this is simply the next phase in the deceased's life. They can also assist the dying in accepting and preparing for their death, frequently through calling for encouragement from their dying client's loved ones who have already passed beyond the Veil. Unofficially, skilled Grief Walkers frequently also possess a license in Necromantic Soul Magic, allowing them to directly sooth their clients' souls to help them heal faster. When done correctly this does not harm the client or change them in any way, but simply allows them to work through their emotions of the loss without the worst of their grief dragging them towards despair and apathy. The Grief Walker can literally lighten the pain of their grief, often by helping their joyful memories of the deceased shine through brighter while smoothing the sharper corners off their pain.
Dangers & Hazards
If a Grief Walker fails to properly council the decease or, even worse, if they prioritize the needs of the living over the needs of the dead they risk angering the newly departed. In these cases the dead are more likely to remain near people or places of importance in their old life rather than moving on into the next phase of their life beyond the Veil. If the Grief Walker remains unable to resolve the situation a Ghost Hunter will be required to enact more drastic measures.