If a character reached 6 Ruin because of physical limitations of mortal flesh, an incarnation of Death will come to take their soul to the Quietlands beyond the Bone Gates.
Quietlands Guide, Lesser
Description: Quietlands guides often change their look based on the culture of the deceased. Sometimes they are a ghoul riding a rotting polar bear, an angel with a thousand eyes and 8 wings or even an old fashioned skeleton in black robes and a scythe.
- Cleave a soul with a magical weapon.
- Cut a magical tether that no mortal weapon can touch.
- Cut a deal for more time as long as it means more souls for the Guide.
- Raise the recent dead to cover their retreat into the Quietlands with the soul.
- Offer the soul one last good-bye to someone important from their life.
- Tell mortals a detail about their eventual deaths.
Defenses: No mortal weapon can harm them.
Weakness: Summoning circles can entrap them if you can trick them into it.
Holy relics have strong effects on them.
What if the characters drive away death?
The Quietlands will come for them. It is only a matter of time.
The dead character’s Ruin is still 6. Their souls are in their bodies and they can move around but the clock is ticking. If they are called upon to make any Ruin rolls they either fall to dust, their soul evaporating into the universe like water into a stormcloud or they will become a vicious undead monster, losing control of their character as they become a NPC.
If the character can find the right lore, they can fashion themselves into a sentient undead character, setting their Ruin to 1. How do they do this?
Maybe they perform the Lich-Rites. Now their Ruin is bound up in their ability to devour spells. When they need to lower their Ruin, the only way is to devour spells. Each spell they remove from a living or dead skull or ripping them off the written page. These spells are stored in their decaying bones, able to be cast by them for a price. When they cast them, their Ruin will increase.
If they reach 6 Ruin again their bodies will turn to dust and only a jeweled skull will remain as they turn into a villainous Demi-Lich, bringing horror to some tomb.
Blood Rites, Ghoul Rites, and many others haunt the shelves of dusty libraries across the loom of the world and new rites are born every so often.
Sometimes a character hell-bent on vengeance will not attach to any rites, turning into a spite-filled Revenant, turning to the Quietlands after bloody justice is wrought.
Description: A stormcloud in the shape of a roaring skull.
- Ghosts slip into the living world to offer dire warnings.
- Rain cold hell down on the countryside
- Lightning strikes anything built by the dead character since they perished.
- Wind rips the soul from the character’s rotting shell
- The dead rise to bring the lost soul into the Quietlands
- Cause spells to act in odd and unexpected ways
Defenses: No mortal weapon can harm them.
Weakness: Powerful holy sites can slow the storm down for a time.
There is a black diamond in the eye of the storm. Plucking it from the skull will cause the storm to abate but the storm will attempt to possess any who hold the diamond.
The Quiet One
If the Quietlands Storm is somehow defeated, the Quiet One will venture forth before the year is over. You’ll know when it happens. Words will cease to be heard, holy statues will cry blood, temple and church roofs will fall on the heads of the faithful and a generation of children will be born as hungry ghouls.
How do Undead Exist if the Quiet One is coming?
I’m glad you asked.
In the Quietlands everyone’s tomb is waiting, prepared and silent. Yours is there. In order to stop death from seeking a lost soul, you must venture into the Quietlands, find your tomb and leave a living soul in its depths. There are few guides qualified to lead adventurers to their own tomb and fewer maps but for every lich-queen or vampire lord is someone who knows how to get this fell task done.
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Holy Katz, that stuff is awesome!
You can keep cheating Death, but it just makes the rest of the world worse and worse.
I’d think that cheating death would be difficult.