Trumvirate Death

This is based on a chunk of internet research into greek death beliefs - tweked for NWN2 ( Source Material )


Base Beliefs

When a person dies their spirit is initially confused and stays inside the body until a guide arrives to take it to the banks of the River Styx. During this time the spirit can see what is going on, but can’t join in. When the guide arrives the spirit is freed from the body like a puff of breath and transported to the very banks of the river Styx.

(during this period a person can be raised from death by either a raise dead or a resurrection spell - however if we restrict this to 5 minutes it reduces the chances of meta-gaming with other characters running across worlds to perform a rez…. Generally scrolls of this nature will only be available from priests of Hades for a ‘fair’ price :P)

Once at the river Styx the spirit has to pay the ferryman for entrance into Hades realm. If they cannot meet the fee the spirit is doomed to walk the banks of the River Styx until the eventually fade away. They will never have any chance of being born again unless they can finds away into Hades realm before the fade completely ….

(The Doomed Spirits walk the banks of Hades trying to steal life life essence from each other to stay ‘alive’ for as long as they can. They can suck life energy (xp) directly out of any spirit they find especially those PCs desperately trying to make their way back to earth. Some Doomed Spirits will realise that the PC spirit is different and will try to steal gold that they can use to ‘pay the ferryman’ to cross the Styx and thus regain their chance of rebirth.)

The Priests (as the Gods representatives on earth) are the only people who can reach through the wall that separates the dead from the living and, as God of Commerce, Hades smiles on those priest who enrich their temples and shrines by selling temporary exemptions from death. Approach the priests with the right donations and you maybe able to cheat violent death once or twice … However, there is no cheating death by old age, sickness or poison.

(Priests sell raise dead scroll, and also sell ‘Life Stones’. If you have a life stone to can search the area around the banks of the Styx until you find a projection of a temple of Hades and have the priest ‘pull you through the wall’ back into life. (ie you run the gauntlet of the doomed until you find the temple portal and get respawned. If you haven’t bought a Life Stone - you can try an d find a projection of a shrine and negotiate with the priest, but its going to be much more expensive …)

Once across the dead are judged by Hades and his minions – before drinking from the river Lethe to forget their previous life. The spirits then await to be reborn in a new body.

Each spirit must have a coin with them - or else they will not be able to pay the ferry man and will face eternal doom. However the more fuss you make, the easier it is for the spirit to make the journey and to face Hades’ judgement so the bigger the funeral the better.

(Not too much of an effect in real terms for Dead PCs - but gives us some RP material for funeral rites)

If the dead person is ‘remembered’ - it helps the spirit settle in Hades Realm, after all, who wants restless ancestors that might come back to haunt you?

(Not too much of an effect in real terms for Dead PCs - but gives us some RP material for soliciting funds for temples and shrines)

Funeral Rites

A brief 'composite' funeral description based on the Source Material it needs to get 'tweaked' for different cultures churches and servers

Upon a person's death, the eyes and mouth are shut to secure the release of the psyche from the body. After being washed and anointed with oil, the body was dressed and placed on a high bed. During this principal ceremony, women would sing ritualized laments.

The body remains on view for two days. Mourners came to ‘lament’ and pay their respects to the deceased, they dress in black. In wearing dark clothing similar to the deceased, the mourners exemplify honor and respect by identifying with the dead.

The corpse is removed for the burial before the dawn of the third day after death. Women members of the family always cut their hair short and friends always wore black. During the funeral special professional mourners were hired. The corpse was escorted to the cemetery by a procession of mourners wearing black robes and making gestures of grief (tearing at their clothes and. hair).

During the funeral a coin was placed in the dead persons mouth (or somwhere on their body)so as to pay the fare to Charon who was the ferryman of dead souls across the river Styx.

(from a PCs point of view - the only ESSENTIAL part is the coin – although we can build some nice expensive funeral rites for NPCs. From an RP point of view - it would be good to give an rp reward for any PC who finds a corpse and offers a short prayer for the dead and places a coin on their body)

Burial

A brief 'composite' burial description based on the Source Material it needs to get 'tweaked' for different cultures churches and servers

Each family had a burial plot at the cemetery, which was located outside the city walls.

The body was either cremated or buried with the dead person's favorite belongings, gifts and offerings. During cremations the ashes of the dead were buried in jars in the grave. (eg , food, and drink pottery, stone vases, mirrors, and other personal belongings) Although very few objects were actually placed in the grave.

(Nice. That lets us do almost anything we like – so long as we stick to the basics we can have different traditions all over the place.. I supect in Altmark we won’t have an external cemetery - but will have a crypt under the Shrine. Important families can each have their own ‘room’) {although that might change - there is room for a cemetarty}

Remembrance

A brief 'composite' description of remembrance rites based on the Source Material it needs to get 'tweaked' for different cultures churches and servers

Immortality lay in the continued remembrance of the dead by the living. The women of Classical Athens made regular visits to the grave with offerings that included small cakes and libations. While waiting for rebirth, they spirits on their living relatives to tend them in certain ways, such as offering them food and drink at special times of the year.

Monumental earth mounds, rectangular built tombs, and elaborate marble stelai and statues were often erected to mark the grave and to ensure that the deceased would not be forgotten.

These responsibilities were gladly carried out by the family, who wanted to do their part in making sure that the deceased rested comfortably.

(perhaps in Lyrae - we encourage PCs to remember their dead. A remembrance donation to the priests on a regular basis (once per level) might get a small XP reward. PCs who actually choose to die (delete their characters) get their name inscribed on a plaque on the temple wall? Or read out aloud by one of the priests in a remembrance service?)

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