Introduction: The Soul Cycle

The information in this article may not be common knowledge for the everyday person. Every culture interprets life and death on Aurora differently, and every culture looks at the Soul Cycle itself differently!

The Soul Cycle is a system of rebirth in which all (or most) life on Aurora is renewed over time. In short, it means that every living person on Aurora has lived many lives - perhaps even hundreds - before the one that they live now… Not that they can remember it, or reference it in any way. Previously overseen by a mysterious figure known as The Judge in Niflheim; the Soul Cycle is currently no longer overseen by any powerful foreign being, and occurs as a natural phenomena - which may make it even more difficult to escape… Should that be one’s goal.

The concept of rebirth or reincarnation is a common factor in many of Aurora’s religions. There exists no absolute proof outside of the far-fetched stories from adventuring types that the Soul Cycle itself is even a ‘thing'. However, many theories seem to point to it as more than just a possibility especially when referencing ancient history and the beliefs of dead races such as the Nephilim.

There are three recurring themes common in most of Aurora’s religions: The first is that people are reincarnated after death, whether as ‘new people’ or simply ‘new beings’(ex. A plant). The second is that memory of their previous life and aspects of who they were are erased, meaning they will never remember their previous life cycles. The third is the idea of a cycle of energy. Mana is given to the person by the World, and when they die they’re merely returning that gift to be re-used.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation and rebirth are concepts that refer to ‘life after death’. Ghosts and spirits are common enough (more so in specific areas) that they are simply accepted as something that exists… Which means that existence must not end after bodily death, though no one has yet determined what happens when a ghost ‘passes on’ in a concrete way. This knowledge that there is life after death has spurned quite a few theories, however!

Most religions believe in the aforementioned reincarnation or rebirth - that the deceased’s soul is gathered up (often by their God/s, or by the Yggdrasil Tree) and all memory of that person’s previous life as well as their characteristics are expunged. This clean slate is then sent back into the world to be reborn either as another person or something entirely different and the cycle carries on in this way. It means that anyone as they are now has lived hundreds of lives before the one they are living through in the present, though there are a number of religions on Aurora with different theories. Some beliefs even consider that the ‘gift’ of life is meant to be spent gathering experience and knowledge, in order to cultivate it so that it can be returned to the World at more potency. In this way, the World might even be renewing itself with the energy that it was kind enough to give.

Odinism was the most prominent religion to cast this belief aside, preferring instead to declare that life after death is spent in Heaven. No longer as widely practiced after a religious inquisition that led people to flock away in droves, even Odinism embraced the possible idea of reincarnation later in its lifespan… Ruminating instead on the idea that one’s consciousness goes to this Heaven instead, and their clean-slated soul then goes on to be reborn.

Death & Permanence

Despite this cycle of rebirth, however, death is still a very permanent affair. Those who pass on either linger as spirits if they have unfinished business or were slain in a particularly swift and unexpected fashion… Or their soul may vacate immediately. Regardless of religious belief, the soul is carried through the roots of the Yggdrasil tree to its trunk and then ‘renewed’ in the aforementioned way. Occasionally a soul may linger within the Tree itself, though there isn’t much proof of this or an explainable reason. When ready to be born anew, they travel back down the roots and are released into the world with a fresh new outlook! In so many words.

In the past, this cycle could be side-stepped by beseeching the aforementioned Judge… Dead souls lingered in Niflheim for a short period no matter how they died, and it’s rumored that adventuring types occasionally found their way there in pursuit of resurrection for a fallen comrade. A few famous heroes in Aurora’s past have died before audiences and then come back to life some time later, which seems to lend credence to these claims…

Now the process is more ‘automatic’. Souls have little time to linger, and even ghosts and spirits will begin to feel the constant pull of the World Tree before very long. Niflheim has divested itself from its responsibility, and visitors who make the dangerous trek to beg for resurrection are turned away.

Ghosts & Spirits
Ghosts and Spirits are a fact of life in most cultures, as Spirit Magicians tend to have the ability to see them from the moment they begin to master the craft. These are dead people who either died in such a way that they didn’t realize they were killed, died in a way that necessitated revenge such as torture or worse, or simply left unfinished business behind that was important enough to them. In all cases, they’re shadows of their former selves - a spirit is rarely a full and well put together ‘person’.

Instead they typically gravitate toward whatever emotion best suits the reason they stayed behind. One who died needing revenge, as mentioned above, might become an angry spirit of vengeance that obsesses over the person who killed them. Haunting (and killing) them becomes their singular goal, and their reaction to just about anyone is likely to be angry and spiteful. Conversely, a violin maker who died before his grandest instrument was created might be more of a forlorn and sad spirit. Less likely to haunt a person and more likely to haunt an area, they will remain where they are feeling sad and sorry until they either pass on when the pull becomes too strong or their wish is carried out.

In short, spirits are usually singular in their feelings. They’re a spirit of vengeance, or a spirit of sorrow, or a spirit of longing, etcetera. This knowledge is important when dealing with spirits, as it helps bargaining with them (especially when it comes to passing on) and knowing how best to approach them with consideration to the emotion they are always feeling.

world_setting/magic/cycle.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/19 03:46 by nexxus