Hael, Realm of the Dead
Beyond death lies the realm of Hael. A land of wandering spirits, presided over by Van-Hael, the God of Death.
Thousands of years ago, before Van-Hael was tasked with watching over the realm, it didn’t have a common name by which the people referred to it. The beastfolk munseyre called it ‘Toghaernas Falhun’ which, when translated into human languages, means ‘completed journey’. Some beastfolk kryn still refer to Hael as Taghaernas Falhun today, though these kryn tend to be more reserved and traditional.
Daelin courts had a handful of different names. They were often interchangeable and a court would use whatever name they fancied most. As these names were relevant before a veil was raised between Ma’rune and Hael, most of them were merely descriptors of what the realm looked like from a living perspective. Historical records state that the most common variations were ‘Blue Fire Valley’ - named because of the pale, blue hue to the spirits and their consistent flickering in and out of sight - and ‘The Lost One’s Shadow’ - named more for the dark colours of the land itself, painted in shades of grey.
Humans feared the realm beyond and would refer to the realm by names that would imbue a sense of warning or dread into their young. The most common among these names was ‘Death’s Embrace’, with the added tale that crossing over into the realm of the dead would slowly drain your remaining years of life until you were nothing but a husk, trapped forever to walk amongst the spirits.
“And so the man turned to the child and said ‘do not cross into the embrace of death, for the shadows shall claw away at your existence. Lesser men have tried and failed to conquer a force they cannot comprehend.’
‘They become an echo of themselves. Not a spirit, for they do not shine that brilliant, phantom sapphire. For you see they lose more than just their lives; they lose their memories, their desires, their sense of being.’
‘My child the living do not belong with the dead, so if you cross into death’s embrace, a shadow you will become.’”
Hael. Rumour has it the Prince of Ghosts renamed it after himself. Did he do it to boost his ego? I mean, it can’t be easy being the only mortal-turned-god, can it?