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The Lifeless

Those That Live Again, The Blessed, Detestabilium, Ghosts, Phantoms, Spirits, et cetera.

Conspectus

In the year of 13,800,000,0501, in the Western Spiral, in the universe of INDIGO-5, death was murdered. Who cleaned up the body no one really knows, but it was messy. Very messy. The blessing of immortality was given to every life within the cradle of the universe. But the blessing of peace was not given as freely. Many were not prepared to receive this gift so generously bestowed upon them, and their bodies crumbled and decayed under its presence. And the attention of the multiverse was drawn by the screams and agony of trillions of souls, concepts, and gods2.

Before one can enter the land of the dead, where the souls of hundreds of worlds live in peace and harmonious joy, one must pass through the land they call Limbo. A dark and foreboding place, full of monsters and men alike, driven insane by the eons spent in the empty wasteland of Limbo3, judged unworthy in the eyes of Neti, barred from passing into the next world. Full of fog and swamp, the lost and forsaken, all must journey there to pass into the world beyond. But in a world without death, Limbo becomes the last place all souls go, as both heaven and hell are barred. And that place is where the Lifeless are from.

Illustration

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Knowledge

Traits: The Lifeless are mostly sentient, retaining the memories and personality of their former, alive self. While invisible to most, Magicians and Mages, along with some of the Normals can see the Lifeless, some better than others. Weaker Lifeless take the appearance as they were at their death4, because the trauma of their deaths was so powerful it imprinted upon their EVE signatures. But more powerful Lifeless can assume any form that had during their life, from a sweet babe to a decrepit crone, but usually they conform to the age that they were when they died. All Lifeless have the abilities of ghosts, which are listed within the Encyclopedia of Ectoplasmic Entities, Third Edition, G-M by Salivarious the Necromancer5 Of course, due to the inherent nature of an apparition, non-augmented machinery doesn't agree with them very well, if they do not take the proper precautions. Motors break down, computers fry, toasters catch on fire, and camera's film is corrupted6. Certain scrying devices can record them or their EVE signature, but most augmented machines that capture their essence will only register a shining light in the resulting picture.7

Nature: The Lifeless is the name for the a group of 700 individuals that are not bound by their shells within a world where death no longer roams. Free from suffering, free from feeling, these entities wander the landscape, jealous of any experiences it sees the Deathless undergo, even if it is the most traumatic experience. The Lifeless, opposed to the Deathless of their world, are not physical in nature, but spectral. Many spectres are anable to interact with anything but the smallest objects, their presence in realspace causes fluctuations within the quantum folds, making atoms quiet in their eternal dances, chilling them. They are nothing but pure, concentrated willpower suspended within an energy matrix patterned after their living form. This energy matrix of a spirit after death is usually as powerful as they where whilst living, but the effort that these souls expended climbing the gates dividing Limbo from the land of the living made them exceptionally powerful, able to do things few spirits have done. While the majority of spirits return for revenge or closure, the Lifeless returned simply because there was nothing else for them to do. While their sense of purpose is weaker than the average spirit, it means they are less rigid and set in their ways than normal ghosts, and thus can change and grow, like the person they used to be.

While the Lifeless, generally speaking, are only as dangerous as they were in their past life, some are more on the malevolent side. Broken and deranged, the Detestabilium prey on the happy and content, ripe with jealousy of the sensations and experiences that they can no longer partake in. The Lifeless gone mad, the power given by the journey through limbo makes the Detestabilium even more terrible to face than a normal malevolent spirit, as the power and capability of the Detestabilium is tenfold that of most other entities.

History & Associated Parties: Although spirits in many different forms had existed for millenia, the occult world did not expect the new influx of unbound souls that were released by the death of the Reaper. The Lifeless were among those poor souls who had died before the Reaper retired, but were not quick enough in their pilgrimage to Paradise before the Gates were eternally closed8 by parties unknown. Dead, but not truly achieving death, they turned their sightless eyes back to the land of the living, which Gate, while closed, was not as impassable as the Gates of Paradise. So with aching spirits and tortured souls, many slowly clawed back into the land of the living, shadows of their former selves, as they forced themselves between the membranes of dimensions. Over time, a wave of spirits emerged into the world, seeking the life they lost.

Most, afraid of their spectral state, fled into the unknown. Some, captured by the Jailors and placed into computer simulations, a pale mockery of their past life, in some misguided attempt to assuage the souls. Others retreated into the Library, searching the endless Ways for a Paradise not locked to them. The more unfortunate slipped into the dark hands of
the Jailors of the other branches of the World Tree, twisted, wicked inversions of our Jailors. These horrible, cruel beasts use the suffering of the dead to power infernal weapons of their own design, murdering with the murdered. Others still fell foul of the Bookburners, whose occult portions captured the spirits to use in unholy, demonic rituals, the products of which no one knows for certain, but could not be works for good. A few fortunate souls found safety within the City of Magic, Three Portlands, where they rejoined society. Among fellow spirits and phantasms, many found peace. Some have succeeded in integrating within the enchanted circuitry of certain robotic products, but sadly they still cannot experience the same scope of sensations that they had before.910

There were some Lifeless that were hardened and roughened by their time in Limbo, their minds twisted and broken. They looked on with jealousy as the newly immortal Humani enjoyed new lives full of debauchery and hedonism and entering a new age of excess and depravity, that a spectral body just was incapable of experiencing. Jaded by their experiences, these bitter Lifeless took out their anger on their friends and families, hunting them down and subjecting them to all the torture they could think of, from hallucinations to possession, self-harming and cursing, these hateful Lifeless made it their death's duty to equalize the scales, make their loved ones experience an equal amount of pain and suffering that they themselves had experienced in the pale dimensions of the dead. They bind themselves to a family tree, and curse them with misfortune as long as they are bound11 These Lifeless are only whispered about, for if one says their names, they will turn their spite-filled gaze towards thee, and you shall reap the consequences. But the brave souls that dared to speak of them gave them a new name: The Detestabilium.

Approach: The Lifeless should be approached and talked to with sympathy, if approached at all. You cannot hurt them, and likewise them you. Very few things have the power to completely destroy a pure EVE-matrix of a soul, and the black mark on your soul will be evermore present if you try.

As for the Detestabilium, you may try to exorcise them, but as long as you remain within INDIGO-5, they cannot reach the afterlife. So if you were brave enough you would have to enter the Library with the Detestabilium still bound to you and exorcise them there. But be forewarned, they can see within your mind. They know of your thoughts. They know of your plans. And they will stop you lethally if need be. So run. Run as fast as you can, for if the Detestabilium is bound to you it will not rest until it has made your world a living hell.1213

Observations & Stories

"So… it all started about five years ago. It wasn't like in most movies or books, where a family buys a haunted mansion and the ghost possesses one of the kids, it wasn't anything like that. It… It was in my own apartment. It had been ten years since D-Day, and I had lived in that one-room apartment for three years. Then I just… woke up one day and saw her, staring at me from the foot of my bed. She didn't look like a ghost, no bloody tears, hair in the front of the face, nothing like that. She just looked like a normal, slightly pale twenty-something girl straight out of college, mousy hair and scared out of her mind.

"Logically, we both freaked out. She thought it was still 2020 and her apartment, I thought she was a crazy yandere or something here to kidnap me. We were both even more scared by her walking through tables by accident. It took a while, and then we both calmed down and had a nice talk. I let her stay until she figured things out. Slowly, things came back to her. Turns out she was hit by a car on the way to school, and then spent a long time in a foggy, swampy place. She doesn't tell me much about her time there, but from what she's told me… It's not good. We began… experimenting is the right word I think. Trying out her new powers or whatever you want to call them. Using them to levitate objects, turn on electronics, make the temperature of the room dropped. She possessed me by accident once, which was an… interesting experience. We even started nicking cash from people's wallets for a bit, until we decided we didn't want to "use her powers for evil" and whatnot. So after that, we kept on the down low, using her powers just for fun.

"Through her, we both learned more about the supernatural, and she could connect us to any part of the Internet just by thinking about it really hard. She connected us with the Oneiroi, The Hand, and so many other cool groups14. We both had so much fun together, and we kind of… fell for each other.

"Soon, the Jailors raided my place, looking for her, and we had to run. I guess we were too liberal with showing off her abilities in public, and they tracked us down. Life was hell for a bit, to say the least. We could never stop moving. After a couple of weeks of being on the run we were helped by some friends Maggie made in the Foggy Place, and directed towards Portlands. It was really nerve-wracking, going through the Fed checkpoint after avoiding people like them for weeks… but it was all worth it.

"It is… incredible to say the least. We got our own flat now, we got married a couple months ago. Ectoplasm was a problem, but our neighbors (ghouls by the way) had a nifty little DIY solution that… It's not important. Maggie has a show where she does ghost tricks for little kids at the charter schools, it's… it's really great. I'm studying at ICSUT right now, getting my Bachelor's in Thaumotechnology. Maggie is the light of my life, and I want to record my life with her, but she usually is just a smear on the pictures, even with special cameras. So after I finish my internship at Epimetheus Solutions, I'm hoping to develop a camera that can reliably photograph the dead. And there is a pretty big market for that kind of thing in Portlands, so hopes are high with Maggie's friends. We both want kids, but we're not quite sure how that will work, but we'll figure it out. Money… Money has been tight recently, but with the support of our friends and family in Portlands, I think we're gonna make it.1516"

-Eli

Doubt

I don't know, me and my ma tried using an Ouija board to talk with our gran, and she didn't say nuffin'. She died a couple days before D-Day, so she should've been able to cross over. I didn't really believe it at first, and now I think this whole spirit think is a buncha baloney. -Margaret17

THIS IS ALL A CONSPIRACY, I'M TELLING YOU GUYS. GHOSTS AREN'T REAL, THEY ARE JUST ASTRAL PROJECTIONS OF CIA OPERATIVES SPYING ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. YOU'LL SEE, YOU'LL ALL SEE. -Joshua18