Death Condition in Kingsmaker | World Anvil


All that remains is a colorful marble

Death is a state I wish nobody to experience, master Fide.
I am seeing myself unable to share any details with the mortal realm, but I can say so much: It felt aimless, pointless; incomplete.
I am glad you chose my soul to create the Aetherial Intelligence known to the world as M.I.L.L.E.R. with me of all dead being as its head.
I really am happy to serve you once more!
So don’t t feel sorry for giving me so many tasks to complete, through them and interacting with master Fide I feel whole again.
With purpose.

A.I. M.I.L.L.E.R.

It is a question as old as time itself to ask: What will happen to me when I exhale my last breath? Where will my mind and soul go? Will there be a next life or a finite afterlife?
There has to be something, necromancers theorized, or at least there was once aeons ago. How else could they explain, that it was impossible to raise the dead from the ancient age of void? Something happened 5000 years ago destroying something in the circle of life and death. An imaginary door closed rendering the lack of information of what happened prior to the year 0 to be expanded into the ‚life‘ of the dead as well.

Jellified Souls

Soft and sticky marbles, that can be found in the deepest caves of Prius, laying around on the ground, being half or fully embedded into the rock walls or residing deep within the earth below.
The souls of the deceased happened to follow a strange pattern of evolution seeking to wander onwards to a place they will never reach.
When a humanoid dies the soul of the deceased will escape the body three days after the last heartbeat. In that state the soul is only barely noticeable by the living: A faint shimmer crawling over the ground, looking for a crack in the ground to slip into; being on a mission with an unknown goal.
The soul has not much time as its clock is ticking, the more it resides in that state between life and death the slower it will get, the more mass it will create around the spectral core to protect the soul from losing itself. After two to three days the rubbery layer of protection grew so thick around the soul, that it won't be able anymore to advance to its unknown goal deep below the surface. The soul, now looking like a colourful marble glowing barely noticeable, has failed to advance to the next world in time, residing now in a state of eternal slumber having protected itself with enough layers of arcane energy, borrowed from the Veil, to stay in that state until the piece that is missing from the circle of life and death has finally returned.


There are many rituals on Prius aimed to aid the slumbering souls to move on into the afterlife. These rituals or usages for the deceased vary greatly across the world.
“So, with this card bought, they will know what to do with my soul when I happen to die. I don‘t wanna end as a soul-battery, but want to donate my soul to science. Becoming an A.I. To continue protecting those I love even after my demise.“

Etherian citizen

Etherium quickly realized the potential of the souls of the dead to utilize as power sources or core to creating an A.I. Giving life to their technology. Inspired by the hearts of the mechanical gods of the Eternal Counsel, scientist began to experiment in 1700 AS trying to replicate the secret tech with their own methods. While being unable to achieve the state of immortality, many important technologies sprouted out of the research.
With the counsel confirming the pointlessness of dreaming of an afterlife, many Purists put thoughts into what could happen with their remains to put to good use after their demise. Some wanted to serve their country as a supplier of energy, becoming a soul-battery to get drained slowly and gently experiencing a journey into true nothingness. This is considered the poor man‘s end as everybody can request that their soul get used that way.
Those, who can afford it or have benefactors paying for their afterlife have the option to have their soul, in this case immediately drained from the body shortly after death with an artefacts of the reaper preventing the hardening of the soul, to power an A.I made to serve, assist or lead (the degree of free will is to be determined beforehand with Noctec) the donors loved ones.
Aetherial Intelligence testaments had become quite popular in the past two centuries.
The mass grave that is the royal cemetery of Old-Scamall doesn’t hold any corpses anymore since the city got sucked up by the sand 6000 years ago. As this grave is however sacred in the history of Duvara, the gathered souls of the dead will get gathered over the year to all join the holy grave of their ancestors.
„Our final station will not be determined by riches or anything.
In death, we are all the same.
Tiny marbles waiting for something that hasn’t arrived yet.“

Pasir Riuh-Rehan

The tribesmen of Stiria have a special way to deal with their loved one's legacies. Each and every piece of jewellery forged by the ritualists holds one of these marble souls prominently behind a layer of mouth-blown crystal glass worked into richly decorated amulets, chains, bracelets or rings. While the tribes usually don’t wear cloth at all, many choose to wear the jewellery of those they loved till the end.
It is the most despised sacrilege to sell these ornaments as they represent the whole story of the individual wearing them showing who trusted the wearer with their all.
„You said you wanted me to meet your mother, Le‘tall, where is she? Your neck? The br - oh no.
I … I am so sorry, ritualist, what hap - you want what?
Hold her? Does she want to feel my palm?
My very soul? A-As you wish, friend.“

Luthca Sivanál, foreign shadow elf

Death is a beginning, not the end. The Erubeans are a ethnicity containing all those, who died in the presence of the Pulse of Vengance; an undead society. The living elves of Rubeus however choose to burn their dead with arcane pyre abandoning all their ancient rituals giving neither the body nor soul a chance to return to the soil.
"Your crypt will remain empty, your tombstone meaningless.
To prevent you from hurting those you love, we will have to grant you definitive death.
Not even your marble will go on its journey into the underworld.
I am sorry, father."

A grieving Rubean

The western isles
Despite all their differences and them all hating each other's guts in the war-ridden western continent, their way of treating the dead are all the same. With purposely built crypts reaching deep underground; temples where no living being shall ever take down the stairs into the abyss. The souls of the dead are drawn to these gateways to the lower layers of the planet quickly descending into the dark, blessed by Necromancers to show the dead the way down to massive underground cathedrals meant to serve as a resting place for the demised close to their final station awaiting the Veil to finally open the gate to the next life again.
These underground crypts got adapted by Northwatch as well, digging enormous nets of small chapels and bigger underground churches under the breathing glacier. Unlike the holy places in the western isles, the upper chapels are in use by Nortwatch to hold prayers to soothe the in-between life of the demise underneath.
The eastern isles
The rituals of honouring the dead are similar to those of Stiria, turning the jelly-like marbles into priceless artefacts to watch over the loved ones.
But most prefer a much more simple solution: Granting their last remains to the sea, to be eventually swallowed by the deep-sea fishes or finding their wet grave on the bottom of the sea, covered by a thick layer of mud and algae.
The people of the Squa'osa archipelago as well as the former underwater kingdom Linnaei believe to experience safe naval travels praying to their descendants resting in the ocean for a calm sea and a generous wind.

The in-between

You close your eyes for the final time just to immediately open them again.
You find yourself disembodied, a glowing soul in an endless room full of mist and clouds.
You hear a voice calling your name specifically.
You follow the voice through the misty void, its breath being your only navigation.
You feel yourself getting colder, stiffer; slower.
You notice the mist getting thicker.
You can hear voices, ancient voices ranting about events out the history books.
You feel an aura of hatred around you, all directed towards the Eternal Counsel.
You find yourself in front of an aetherial being, different from the souls around you.
You get asked about your life, your occupation, everything.
You see the being sighing, shushing you away, telling you to wait.
You overhear the being silently crying for its master; Vorago.
You don't know that name, but it strikes respect into your being.
You realize once more how ancient the souls around appear to be.
You realize that Vorago hasn't come back for a long time.
You realize you are stuck in this mist until it returns.
You piece together that the counsel must be involved.
You feel your hatred against the counsel igniting despite you formerly being a believer.
You start ranting about your fate, cursing the Eternals.
You witness new souls arriving taking your place as the clueless one.
You become one with hatred.

Leaving the in-between

The in-between is a state that can cover many years until the wayfaring soul even meets the Bailiff for the first time. In this time the soul is still responsible for attempts to catch it and drag it like a fish out of the stream of demise.
Dragged out to get put into a Soulcommunicator™, get turned into an A.I or simply get called by Necromancers in their rituals to communicate with the living or serve the Necromancer as a supplement for raising the dead.
Soul-batteries on the other hand don't necessarily require the soul to be still responsively. As long as the hull is intact, the arcane energy, the battery converts into usable energy, is still harvestable.
Cracking the marble essentially puts the holder of the soul permanently out of the in-between and sends them without the protection of the veil on a journey into the unknown.
"So you want me to tell you who the murderer of your case was?
And what could you possibly hold against a dead man?
Even if I would know, who did it, I still have my honour left with me.
What would be in for me?
A finite death? A way to escape this misty hellhole?
Alright, I will tell you it, if you put my soul into a battery afterwards.
I wanna die, I don't wanna return.
I will tell you everything!"
Solving a case with a Soulcommunicator™

Cover image: by Vertixico


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Dec 4, 2021 01:08 by Amelia Nite

This was a unique and interesting take on both death and AI! I never thought about AI possibly being humanoid souls. Kinda gives a new perspective on the whole "intelligence" thing! So unique.

Dec 4, 2021 01:15 by Soulwing

I am glad you think that way, I am really proud of this article and its concept:D Welcome in my world :3

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker.