On Osumpemlaba, the Unscattered Ones are beings of legend. They are said to form out of the souls of those whose funerary rites were not carried out correctly- that is, their bodies were not cremated; their ashes were either not scattered, or not scattered at a lofty enough location. Either way, these creatures, unable to reach their final resting place among the stars, must wander the land, unseen but on rare occasions, and try to make their way into the sky. Unlike the 'ghost' stories of other lands, Unscattered Ones are not feared, though the condition is not one to strive towards- rather, the lost souls are perceived as harmless, gentle and simply a little lonely. According to folk tales, they can sometimes be seen in especially windy conditions as shadows or clouds of dust, searching for the heavens.
In the most basic sense, Unscattered Ones still resemble their human form- their features remain intact, as well as any clothing they died or were cremated in. However, their true nature is revealed by the ashen material of which they are made. Unscattered Ones appear as concentrated shapes of their cremated/ rotted bodies' dust and ash, which rise together to surround the deceased's soul once their funeral rites have been unsuccessfully performed. They are therefore a uniform black and grey in colour, with swaying clothes and hair, and eyes that are sometimes described as glowing faintly. They are invisible to the mortal eye except on very rare occasions, and almost intangible to the world around them- only felt, perhaps, as some dust in the air, and only able to interact with others of their kind.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Since they have no corporeal body, Unscattered Ones do not technically need to eat. However it is said that they do enjoy some form of nourishment, though what exactly this is is not described.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
When sudden swirling eddies of dust in the air surround a person, it is said that this is an Ashen Traveller attempting to communicate with the living. Though none can hear or see them, the Unscattered Ones are said to possess incredible powers of perception, their senses heightened in their new form. They keep their memories and mental characteristics from their previous lives. Some even say they are gifted with the capability of foresight, though this would, of course, only be useful to the other Unscattered Ones they could tell.
Reaching the StarsMost legends about the Unscattered Ones mention that there are certain nights, when the moon and stars are shining bright and are uncovered by any cloud or mist, that some among them may rise to take their final place in the sky- however it is unclear why, how, or exactly under which conditions this happens. In windy conditions, children will often 'dance' with the Unscattered Ones, and many children's games revolve around helping the Travellers reach the sky. This often involves circular dances where dust and earth is kicked up or into the middle, in the attempt to give a Traveller the strength to ascend.
When the air is filled with dust, with ash and dust,/Roving souls swirl round you and me/ Come dance with us, oh travellers, come dance/ Maybe soon skyward bound you'll be!// When at night the wind is shadowed, very dark, /there're glowing eyes that we don't see/ Sing: Good Luck, Ashen Pilgrim, on your road,/ Maybe soon skyward bound you'll be!
Also known as: Ashen Travellers, Ashen Pilgrims
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild