The Afterlife

Death is not the end...

When a creature passes on from the Middle Lands it's spirit is brought to the Halls of Thoko, goddess of Death where that spirit might remain for sometime while awaiting the Judgement of Thoko. During this time in the Halls of Thoko, the spirit is given a chance to review and reflect on the life that they have just led, to consider all aspects of their actions, and inactions, and prepare to answer to Thoko for those deeds.

The spirit can also meet with with others that are awaiting Judgement, and could possible find the spirits of those that it knew while in the Middle Lands. These familiar spirits may be able to help, or hinder the Judgement.

The Judgement

When the spirit is called before Thoko, she invites the spirit to plead for what they wish of the afterlife. Those that have led lives fully in the Light, may seek to leave the Halls of Thoko to reside in the Upper Lands until their spirit is needed to return to the Middle Lands again. They may also make the case for an immediate return to the Middle Lands, if they feel that they have unfinished business that needs completion before they can be truly Judged.

After Thoko hears the pleadings, and hears from any spirits, either in the Hall, or somewhere else in the Upper Lands, she decides the spirit's case. There can be several decisions given out by the goddess of Death.

The first, is that the spirit truly has led a life fully in the Light, and they enter the Upper Lands until called to the Middle Lands once again. The second possibility, is that the spirit is deemed not worthy to enter the Upper Lands, but not so lost that they are to be condemned to the Lower Lands. In which case the spirit remains in the Halls of Thoko until such a time as they are sent back to inhabit and new mortal form in the Middle Lands, where they will be given a chance to walk in the Light once more. This new mortal form, may be one similar to the one that they most recently had, or it may be something completely different, and that is based on how close to worthy the spirit was in it's past life. The third possible judgement would be that the spirit has not shown any redeemable qualities, and therefor is condemned to the Lower Lands. Thoko reaches out with her Staff of Death, and with a touch, sends the spirit screaming into the Lower Lands forever forbidden to walk the path of Light.

After Life in the Upper Lands

The spirits that reside in the Upper Lands can move freely from one Hall of the Risen to another. They have all the food and drink that they wish and all the joys and entertainments that they desire. If they wish to wander the gardens in the Halls of Rabab, god of Nature, or play games of chance in the Halls of Tabelon, god of Trickery they can. Those that wish to fight, may spend their mornings on the fields of battle around the Halls of Vikar, god of War, and then attend a party in the Halls of Basheera, goddess of Love. Any and all possibilities are open to those that have entered the Upper Lands.

After Life in the Halls of Thoko

In the Halls of Thoko, the spirits that have not gained entrance to the Upper Lands, nor been banished to the Lower Lands, spend their time trying to determine how to make the case that they should be granted admission to the rest of the Upper Lands. If they have already been Judged, and found wanting, those spirits are given the chance to learn about their past mistakes and ways that they could do better the next time they stand before Thoko in Judgement. When the time comes for them to return to the Middle Lands, they called before Thoko once again, and Thoko wishes them well on their second chance, and then she reaches out and touches them with the Staff of Death, and they are sent back to the Middle Lands, reborn into a new creature with no memory of their past life, but with a sense of urgency to do better.

After Life in the Lower Lands

There are two ways for a spirit to end up in the Lower Lands. The first is to be Judged by Thoko as not being worthy of redemption. The second is to actively rebuke the Risen and give your spirit over to the Fallen.

For those spirits Judged and sent to the Lower Lands by Thoko, Xi and her minions, the Fallen, do not look upon them kindly. These are spirits that did not come to the Dark on their own free will. They were not good to begin with, but they did not actively work for the Fallen while in the Middle Lands, so these spirits are turned into the slaves of the Lower Lands, the lowest of the low, with very little chance of ever escaping that fate. The slaves of the Lower Lands not only are whipped and treated badly by the Fallen, but are also used a food whenever a Fallen is hungry. This does not destroy the spirit, but spending time digesting in a demon's bowel is not pleasant. After a period of time, the spirit is deposited back out of the demon to begin their eternal servitude once more.

The spirits that gave themselves to the Fallen, do not go to the Halls of Thoko, but instead go directly to the Lower Lands, where they are brought before Xi and her generals to determine the value of the spirit's work for them. If they have served the Fallen faithfully, and done all that was asked of them, they will be turned into demons of the commensurate rank, and given the privledges of that rank, and the possibility to work their way up in rank by performing well in their new roles.

Cover image: Explorers of a new district by NCorva


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