The cycle of souls

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The cycle of souls

Post  Berserker on Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:42 am

The cycle of souls, as it is known by those few who truly take the time to study patterns of life and death, is the phenomenon that occurs upon someone's death. While it is believed by the Church of Guardians that the souls of living beings go to join the Five Guardians upon death, each soul gravitating towards the Guardian closest to the deceased, and the Church of Magic believing that when a person dies, the soul simply becomes one with the magical energy in the world, the truth is neither; upon death, the soul is transferred beyond all other planes of existence, be it physical or magical, and delivered unto the base of the Tower of Souls, located in a plane of existence no mortal creature can access. Once there, a soul may choose either to begin the ascent up the tower at once, climbing thousands of thousands of stairs in a long, long queue, or to have a meal and a good night's sleep first. Straying too far from the tower is considered a rather poor option - souls who become lost in this manner soon fall prey to fiends feeding on souls. For each soul that is lost in this manner, the fiends grow in number.

The souls that choose to ascend the tower, however - nearly all do, fortunately - find themselves on a winding stair, so long that they lose sight of the tower's base long before they reach the tower's middle height. Of course, there's always the pace of the other souls on the tower to consider - somehow, there is always a throng of souls, as though there are more souls in the cycle, both alive and dead, than there are living beings. This serves to speed up or slow down the pace of those souls ascending the stair as needed, varying with the birth and death rates in the physical realm. Once the soul finally reaches the tower's pinnacle, it dives - willingly or no, for each soul is pushed by the soul behind it - into a grand vortex within the tower, and from then on, brought on to inhabit the next sentient being born into the world. Such the cycle goes, and - depending on the pace up the long stair - some souls may still hold memories from their past lives in their new. Whether this be inherent to the cycle's design or no, the first generations after long and terrible wars tend to speak out against such gruesome warfare - though each such soul is naturally influenced by the body it inhabits, and the inheritance it bears.

Only those who willingly become Undead can escape the grand cycle, as the free undead have their souls bound to their bodies for an indefinite time, animating it and staying time's toll upon it. All other beings, including those reanimated by necromancers and other magics, have their souls removed upon death, and rejoin the cycle.

It is yet unclear what happens to animal souls, but some scholars believe that animals, too, are reborn in this manner - certain dogs have shown unmotivated joy upon seeing certain people who recently lost their animal companions, for instance, supporting this theory. However, as memory is usually lost between lives, and no memory of the grand cycle remains in nearly all people, nobody can verify the existence of other such towers of souls.
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