The Heroes of Rokan-Jin
Philosophies of the Dead
I have heard many philosophies on the Underworld and the Dead. I believe this best place to start upon a quest for knowledge is from the shore, what one knows already, that one might keep one’s course clear and not retread old ground. I first learned of the Underworld from the Immaculate monks that happened upon my father’s estate, in pursuit of some despotic god or trailing the rumor of stranger things, they sued for lodging and food. It was our honor and our duty to assist the Immaculates and they shared their teachings over food and drink. I learned far more at the Heptagram under the tutelage of Old Man Tepet – how the Underworld came to be and the basics of the joined quintessences of Han and Po. Now, having taken my second breath, I’ve heard the views of both the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible as well as the mentor of Shahai’s reincarnation, The Lover Clad in Raiment of Tears. These Deathlords, great sages of Death and the Underworld, even they have drastically varying beliefs. If Rain will entertain the thought – I would hear his sage wisdom as well. As a fellow necromancer and Lunar, these Deathlords are young after all, perhaps the long years have endowed Lord Rain with a deeper understanding. Rose spoke of another Deathlord in the West, perhaps Hsien-ko knows of him, I would have his knowledge as well.
Immaculate Faith: When I was a child the monks taught us that there is one place for you after death, Lethe. There your souls is balanced against your deeds and sins. That your place in your next life is determined by the deeds of the present and those given the second breath are the greatest of mankind with heroic deeds and pure hearts. The very concept of the Underworld and ghosts is aberrant to the faith – simply something that should not exist. The dead are either ignored, chased out, or given the means destroyed outright. They believe the ghost is only an echo of what once was – a mockery with no substance. This does not match with the knowledge I have gleaned upon my journeys. Ghosts have passions and wants
Old Man Tepet: Unique among my sources of instruction in the Underworld – Old Man Tepet only spoke on the mechanics of the soul and the birth of the Underworld. How the Han and Po soul are joined with the first breath that animated human flesh, he spoke of the City of Stygia that sat within the dark mirror of our own Blessed Isle, of Shadowlands and their formation, and that there was once no Underworld or perhaps there was yet it was not joined to Creation and it was an unknown. He joked that he could see me as a Dragon of Another Color sometimes…he said that he had seen in the stars that I would someday practice the arts of the Dead where so few of my enlightened siblings did. It seems he was right, but not as a Dragon of Another Color. I miss his easy wisdom and hope he’s found another pupil to keep him company. His life seemed a lonely one.
The Lover: I can not attest to knowing all of the minute of the Lover’s philosophy. That said, I have seen her domain and I’ve attended her court. The focus is upon pleasure for pleasure’s sake. It reminds me much of the Cynis, and while I miss my friend Oren deeply, my time with him was the emptiest part of my life. My family changed when I did not receive my second breath on my eighteenth birthday, even before that they had started to grow distant, I was seeking to fill that hole. Dozens upon dozens of paramour and the only woman who really matters to me is my darling Jesss. What I feel for Rose is pity and attraction – but I could not say I love her. She is still an enigma to me, but I will not allow her to suffer this road she is on. What the Lover provides her subjects, yes, it fills the hole and the pain. Yet, I have walked that path and it leaves you hollow and lost. There is much suffering for ghosts and death knight and I am sure the Lover herself. Hiding from that pain in lust only erodes the soul and I hope I can help the Lover and her court someday.
The Bishop: The Bishop is in many ways a greater succubus than even the Lover. I believed for the longest time that his philosophy had merit. Which was foolish, he tormented the dead within his manse and they tore at the living in their shattered madness. He is very much a nihilist, his thought is that emotion enslaves you to the gods, yet I’ve spoken to gods at length in the last year. God do not even understand human emotion, how could they use something they don’t understand as a means of control? I believe that much of the Bishop’s words are lies – empty lies that veils something darker at that. Certainly, the tormented ghost and the Blind Sunderer opened my eyes to the lack of compassion he holds for his followers. He preaches death as release, to his mortal followers at least, yet once they are ghosts he abuses them and torments them. He is another that predates upon the weakness of the dead – but he does this knowingly and ushers mortals into that state. Truly, should I ever hear word of him again, his influence must be brought to an end.
Rain: Of the previous view points I have had the chance to hear, Rain’s is probably closest to the Bishop. He proscribes to the Immaculate belief that ghosts are aberrant and a mistake – that Lethe is the one true course for them. While the Dead refuse reincarnation, they are nothing to him, tools to be used. He went so far as to say that Soulsteel, people trapped in torment forever, is a valid thing with merit. I believe he has rationalized it to himself, over his long years he’s faced greater hardship than I could know, he needed every possible tool. Ghosts, the Immaculates turned their back on all that, all the better for Rain to use it to his benefit. I do not believe the dead are maimed and broken irreparably. Ghost do not dream, they are stagnant and slow to change, and their world is much the same. They have lost their ember of the Wyld. Ghosts no longer sleep, much less dream, the Wind of Wyld is what makes us and our world alive. I will not abandon these people – I will find a way for them to dream again and feel change. In the case of Death Knights, they barely sleep, I wonder if they dream? To what degree, and using what sorcery, are their embers of Wyld suppressed?