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A parallel dimension or plane of existence where the departed Spirits go. A Spirit is ‘reborn’ into their new form, with changes to physical appearance and attributes.
Some of the living are able to possess abilities that allow them to see Spirits in the living world. Highly skilled ‘Seers’ can even physically interact with the Spirit Realm, speak with Spirits, or temporarily project themselves into it for a short period of time. This is considered very Dangerous as there is no guarantee you can return to your body - and you may become a lost or wandering soul in search of your body forever. The body itself becomes paralyzed or comatose, but otherwise alive until death actually happens. In which case, a wandering/lost spirit may still be unable to connect back with their departed body. The Seer Spirit tends to become unstable and unpredictable, causing hauntings or chaos that affects the Living Realm.
Sometimes, a spirit may choose to attach itself to a person from the living realm with the intent to watch over and protect that person. These Spirit Guides vary in personality, some are playful and want to interact with their person of choice while others are elusive and don’t want to be seen. These Spirits take on the shape of any critter from the living realm, and have a ghostly ethereal glow to them. Some Spirit Guides may also act as familiars with their chosen person, and grow a strong connection and bond with them for life. Some Spirit Guides may offer protection from darker entities, stronger magical powers, or simply be a best friend. These Guides are able to traverse both the living and spirit realm as frequently as they please, as they have no corporal body and are the spirits of deceased critters, or even family members or friends who have polymorphed. These Guides are typically non-hostile unless their chosen person is under threat. A person may choose to take a journey to a temple or place of peace in order to find a Spirit Guide, bringing with them offerings of trinkets or food to please the Spirit.
“When I met my Spirit Guide it had been a dreary, misty and cool morning. The morning meditation bells rang at the monks' temple and everyone had gone inside to light the incense and begin the meditative walk we do each morning. I had been feeling particularly melancholy from a sleepless night of having nightmares about being at the bottom of the ocean and swallowed by a giant bonefish. I knelt down at a prayer runestone contemplating life and existence, I cried for a moment at the stone and it began to crack with glowing blue light as my tears fell onto it. The crack was somehow silent, and rather than crumbling apart it seemed like it had always meant to look like rivers of light weaving through. Then to my surprise, out leaped an ethereal looking shrimp-tailed otter. It playfully danced towards me and I felt a wave of warmth and comfort wash over my body. It squeaked and wriggled its way around me before settling down in my lap and promptly falling asleep. I didn’t know what to do other than pet it, but my hand slipped through its ghostly appearance - though it didn’t seem to wake the critter. I spent the next while just sitting there, feeling almost bonded with this critter. Next thing I knew it was following me around, sleeping beside me and giving me a sense of calm and playfulness wherever I went.”
“I met my familiar about 270 years ago when I was just a child. My father had just been sent into battle which left my mother and two sisters to tend to the textile farm where we dyed huge rolls of fabric in colourful wells of water mixed with vibrant powders. My younger sister was playing on the edge of one of the wells and slipped in, she was too small to pull herself out and my older sister and I threw a bucket in and pulled her out. She was alright other than being frightened and covered in a terracotta colour. We rushed off to clean her up and our mother told me to go cover the wells for the afternoon. When I returned, there was splashing. It was like an invisible force darting between the ponds of colour, it stopped as I entered the area and I thought it was odd but went about my business. But it happened again, and this time I saw a ghostly looking blink bird having a bath and splashing around. I went and put out a bowl of grains for it and went to cover the wells. Years have gone by and this blink bird has come with me everywhere, always returning and keeping an eye on me and my sisters.”
Spirit Festival is celebrated by most cultures for about 1-2weeks of the year. With 2-3 days being the peak of the celebration, usually towards the middle or end of the holiday. It is celebrated by community feasts that include specialty treats themed around the celebration of Spirits and Ancient Ones. Jovial music played primarily on wind instruments and dancing all night long. Specialty nectar drinks and treats are shared and sold in markets. Skilled 'seers' who commune with Spirits, offer their services for people to speak with their departed loved ones, or even bring them temporarily back for the festival (tentatively, and with security present. Providing it is mutual and there is no ill-will with the spirit.) Decorations can include magically lit lanterns, sparkling garlands, glowing butterfly-like insects (representing spirits). Dazzling displays of magical fireworks that form into creatures meant to look like the Ancient Ones. Spirits and people can celebrate and spend time with each other to preserve their memories and family connections.
The first of each of the 4 races to become truly sentient. How did they first appear? Were they created? Or did they evolve over time? Will these ever have answers, idk??
Considered Gods in today's time. Keepers of old world knowledge and forgotten magics. The eldest members of early tribal societies, they lived for hundreds or thousands of years (most of the 4 species have long lifespans). They had their own families and children, who are also seen as Ancient Ones. Descendants of Ancient Ones still live today, and are often pressured by society to uphold and keep traditional values. Sacred knowledge passed from generation to generation is protected by them (or selfishly hoarded). Not all Ancient Ones and their descendants are ‘good’ or ‘lawful’ in their alignment. When the first Ancient Ones died, they were also the first to ascend to the Spirit Realm - and thus played a large role in its discovery. Various artistic depictions of the Ancient Ones exist, often with multiple limbs, giant sizes like mountains, and extremely magically powerful.
Lost and Wandering Spirits who cross through tears (Void Rifts) into the Living Realm get turned into Void Spirits. They were accidentally created with the discovery of Void Crystals. They are incredibly dangerous and cause mass destruction. Not only that, but they become carriers of a disease known as Corruption, which spreads to other Spirits as well as living flora and fauna, turning them hostile. Many military efforts have been unsuccessful in eradicating the Void Spirits, and no known cures to Corruption currently exist.
The Void and Corrupted take on the appearance of spectral beings, with flaming dark energy and aura. Glowing bodies that sparkle like the night sky and shift like a dense smoke.
Corruption has environmental impacts on the Living Realm which are not good. The Corrupted no longer play their role in their respective ecological niche, and it throws off the natural balance. Prey becomes predator, and predators become insatiable - this can include cannibalism. The growing number of predators and reducing prey, only adds to the unbalance. This also affects the habitats the creatures would normally be, the wilds becoming more untamed and plant life not being kept in check by herbivores. While other plant life may also become corrupted if exposed to too much of the infected creatures. Which then corrupted even more creatures, and so on. Eventually, habitats become inhospitable.
SEE: VOID AND CORRUPTION