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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Well, seeing as the Landfall world building project has sorta died, I thought I'd try my hand at starting one. I am doing it slightly different from the last two however in that, 1 it will be mostly focused on fluff (so hopefully won't die like the others did around the time stuff was going to be given stats), and 2 it won't be taking place in a world that has suffered from an apocalyptic type event. I'm calling it a semi community world building project due in part to the focus on fluff without stats being made (not that there will be any issue with people contributing such on their own), and in part due to that I'm going to reserve the power to say no to others about ideas (which I hope won't come into effect to much, and likely won't).

    That said, lets get to the setting. Due to the lack of some defining event in the history of the setting to make it unique, I thought I'd go with the nature of the world being different from most. If anyone could contribute a map it would be welcome, but first read through the world layout. Also, since I'm not quite sure how to explain some of the stuff descriptions may suck.

    No name yet either so... I'll just use the _______ in place of its name (or rather cuz I'm lazy avoid using the name).

    The sun and the night in the sky, and the shell in the ground. There are three main bodies in the cosmology. They are the sun, the shell, and the night.

    The sun is a small (relative to our sun. Its only a few miles in diameter) bright ball of fire in the center of the sky. It illuminates the world and always stays in the same position.

    The shell, is a large spherical shell that is around the sun. It includes the land and the sea. Both of which are on the inside surface. Gravity pulls toward the outside of the sphere. Everything lives on the inside surface of the shell (and for the purpose of the world there is nothing outside it). No one has ever manage to penetrate all the way through it. The shell rotates around the sun, completing one rotation in the course of a year.

    The night is a large approximately hemispherical shell that orbits the sun inside of the shell. It blocks about half of the shell from the sun at any given time causing night in that portion. There are some spots of illumination upon it (these are the stars, there is no moon). There is are no creatures that live on the night, though the Caves of Night are there (and for those who can't tell, likely most people, the Caves of Night are the afterlife). The shell-ward side of the night is mostly dark stone, while side facing the sun is almost like a mirror. The night's orbiting around the sun does not follow the dame path as the shells rotation around the sun. This offset causes seasons as the closer a location is to being directly opposite from the night during the day, the hotter it is (due to the mirror like inner portion of the night reflecting the sun more toward that area). Due to this in most places the seasons occur twice a year (the standard seasons are used). The night is also responsible for tides the same way the moon is for earth. And for those who couldn't guess, it takes one day for the night to fully orbit the sun.

    Some notable things.

    There is an event known as the midnight sun. This refers to a somewhat large hole in the night that causes about a 2 mile wide circle of daylight in the middle of the night. Its location changes with the time of year and time of day (well, its always at the same time of day for the location its at, but...).

    Humans have there normal role as the most common race (dominance depends on location).

    There are no elves. I find they tend to be over done. If someone can make a really good nonstandard group of elves (fluff wise) for the setting, I may change my mind (for an example you can look at the pirate elves in the landfall setting linked above).

    No goblins or gnomes. They aren't needed.

    There are no other planes. Sort of. The shadow and ethereal planes still sorta exist, but the terrain mimics the normal world and they're more like overlays or just slightly displaced than separate planes. This is mostly for the purpose of not screwing up spells. And the plane of shadows is my favorite plane (well that and a lot of illusion magic draws from it).

    There is no underworld. Why? Because it's in the night. Which is in the sky. So its not really under... Anyways as stated above its called the Caves of Night. Its where the spirits hang out before they're reset and reused (sort of like reincarnation, but more in the manner of recycling than reincarnation normally implies. They aren't giving you a new life, but using the material from your soul to make a new one). The are caves that are equivalent to both heaven and hell. Time spent in the caves of night before your soul is reset depends on how you lived you life. And the will of the gods. And in some cases how good at hiding and escaping you are. It does however tend to take at least a two years unless there are some odd circumstances (like if you pissed off a god, or one of those in charge of making sure the souls are reforged, and they've decided to make sure you can't get resurrected). New souls are forged out of old ones in the sun. This is done using the hole that causes the midnight sun. If your soul is forged into a new one you can no longer be resurected (could have likely figured that out from above statements but thought I'd make it clear). Also those that usually do the reforging of souls are not the gods, but other entities that live (well exist) in the Caves of Night (sorta like angels and demons, which also live exist there).

    Cats a sentient. The usually live in harmony with other races helping with rodent problems in the like and in turn are provided with places to stay and are pampered. Due to solitary nature one usually doesn't have to worry too much if they annoy a single cat (aside from with that specific cat), but it is usually not advised to do it too much (the average cat can kill the average person after all). Cats ate like in the monster manual except with an average int of 10. Cats can be used as a race using the stats from the Cat Pantheon thread (unless someone can come up with better ones). Due to the nature of the setting the Cat Pantheon is not in it however.

    On the topic of races, there are also the Ifiol (by me), and The Vorpal Tribble's Glöi (checked and got permission to use). Others may be added. Refluffing may be needed in some cases. There will be at least 1 non-humanoid non-monstrous humanoid race (other than cats), but I haven't decided on it (that will be left up to you people unless I randomly find a really good one, I'll try to stat it out if it does not have stats if no one else wants to do so).

    And on the topic of non standard things, classes. The normal base classes exist. Except wizards. They're replaced with Warlocks. sorcerers fill their shoes. Also, the harrowed (revised version), cat burglar, and wisp fire guide exist. That is assuming that Lord_Gareth (permission granted), Bhu (permission granted), and I respectively don't mind. Other classes may be added as the setting fills out. I'm not bothering with listing PRCs used (and really haven't given it much thought). Also some refluffing will likely be needed for classes to better fit the setting

    Nothing has been decided yet on the pantheon, so thats open for elaboration. As is the geography, the cultures, etc. There may have been more I wanted to say, but if so I forgot it and am wanting to wrap up this post so... Now that the basis of the setting is laid, its time for other people to try to contribute.

    (also things features are for the most part up for discussion)

    Owrtho
    Last edited by Owrtho; 2009-07-24 at 02:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Reserved to keep thing organized as they are added.

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Another reserved post, because I can.

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    I don't mind the inclusion of Harrowed, but keep in mind that they are subject to change and/or major revision.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by Owrtho View Post
    There are no other planes. Sort of. The shadow and ethereal planes still sorta exist, but the terrain mimics the normal world and they're more like overlays or just slightly displaced than separate planes. This is mostly for the purpose of not screwing up spells. And the plane of shadows is my favorite plane (well that and a lot of illusion magic draws from it).
    Perhaps the Ethereal overlays the sun and the Shadow overlays the night, and they touch the shell only when the corresponding body is overhead? That way, "ethereal" effects become "sun" effects and "shadow" effects become "night" effects--sun jaunt, night elementals, etc. Both planes would then simply be physical manifestations of the sun and the night on the shell.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Perhaps the Ethereal overlays the sun and the Shadow overlays the night, and they touch the shell only when the corresponding body is overhead? That way, "ethereal" effects become "sun" effects and "shadow" effects become "night" effects--sun jaunt, night elementals, etc. Both planes would then simply be physical manifestations of the sun and the night on the shell.
    I fully approve of that idea. It is very, very cool.


    How big is the total landmass of the world? The same as ours? The size of Italy? The size of Africa?
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    I don't mind the inclusion of Harrowed, but keep in mind that they are subject to change and/or major revision.
    Glad to hear you don't mind, the changes shouldn't have a huge impact though given the focus on fluff more than stats (unless your removing the beast within, and shadowmental energy which I think is unlikely as they're defining aspects of the class.
    The main idea in including it is that harrowed would be the result of a somewhat botched reforging of a soul. Where normally multiple souls are broken down and reforged together causing people to have small parts from various people, all no longer retaining any of their original form, a harrowed would be a from a soul that somehow misses being broken down and as such manages to retain much of its former self before being reused (though rather off still as it was still reforged to an extent). Can also occur if you happen to time someones resurrection while their soul is starting to be reforged but before it is too late. As such though, harrowed are likely born at an average rate of 1 or 2 a year (and many dying soon after their nature becomes apparent).

    Anyways, I realize I forgot to mention in the first post that the setting is likely going for a slightly darker feel than some fantasy, but not to much. Sort of a "its advised you don't travel at night or even go out at night if you can avoid it but its otherwise safe here" feel in most places (may vary from place to place and change as setting fills out).

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Perhaps the Ethereal overlays the sun and the Shadow overlays the night, and they touch the shell only when the corresponding body is overhead? That way, "ethereal" effects become "sun" effects and "shadow" effects become "night" effects--sun jaunt, night elementals, etc. Both planes would then simply be physical manifestations of the sun and the night on the shell.
    I rather like this idea as well. However the question is should it be sun-ethereal night-shadow, or sun-shadow night-ethereal. I could see arguments for both, the first mainly being its dark at night. The later in that the ethereal plane is normally what spirits are tied to and the afterlife it in the night (literally), and also shadows are more defined and apparent when there is light to define their form.

    As for the landmass, well, not sure specifically on land to water ratio. Its most likely about like out world. The diameter of the shell would be slightly larger than that of earth (maybe around 1.25 times the diameter of earth, which is just an arbitrarily chosen ratio, but seems like it would work).

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by Owrtho View Post
    I rather like this idea as well. However the question is should it be sun-ethereal night-shadow, or sun-shadow night-ethereal. I could see arguments for both, the first mainly being its dark at night. The later in that the ethereal plane is normally what spirits are tied to and the afterlife it in the night (literally), and also shadows are more defined and apparent when there is light to define their form.
    Hmm...if you want to flip it around, here's a different take on things:

    The Ethereal is a misty realm of spirits, constantly present over the Shell--however, the harsh light of the Sun sears the paths to it from the world, so only when the cool Night overhead shield the land from the Sun can the connections be reestablished. The souls of the recently dead are compelled to travel through this reflection of the real world, visiting familiar sites and hovering near old loved ones. As a soul visits persons or places while the Sun shines, its memories of them are boiled off by the Sun's rays, eventually leaving the soul free of material attachments and ready to face its punishment (or reward) in the Night. It is theorized that strong-willed souls, while not able to resist the compulsion to visit what they find important, can exert some effort to choose to visit some of them while the Night is overhead; in this case, the memories are not burned away, leaving some memories intact to be used as part of their reward or punishment in the Night and possibly explaining claims of past-life memories.

    The Shadow doesn't exist as a plane of its own; it is the warped, broken remnants of the souls in the Ethereal after they have been scorched by the Sun. Being reflections of the positive emotions shown by the Ethereal souls, the majority of shadow creatures are cruel, bitter, and otherwise horribly unpleasant--however, some fortunate few are the reflections of emotions such as sorrow, regret, or concern, and so have a more cheerful (or at least tolerable) disposition. Where the Ethereal is normally a cool mist radiating soft blue light, the Shadow is a realm of the smoking ashes remaining after spirits and the mists are burned. The smoldering embers in this ash allows these creatures to survive (barely) when the Night is overhead, though most would be well-advised to seek the Sun lest their outlines blur and their twisted mockeries of souls be dispersed to nothingness.


    How's that?
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2009-07-08 at 08:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    That sounds good, though based on whats already said, people loose memories of their life at the end of their time in the Caves of Night (when their soul is used to forged new ones, and I'd meant forged rather literally as in the souls are all sorta melted down together, mixed up and then formed into a new group of souls). But what you'd mentioned about them retaining memories from past lives could be when they manage to keep a particular memory or some such strongly enough attached to a portion of their soul that it survives the reforging process. Also, anyone have ideas for any cities, cultures or communities yet?

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    The Shadow doesn't exist as a plane of its own; it is the warped, broken remnants of the souls in the Ethereal after they have been scorched by the Sun. Being reflections of the positive emotions shown by the Ethereal souls, the majority of shadow creatures are cruel, bitter, and otherwise horribly unpleasant--however, some fortunate few are the reflections of emotions such as sorrow, regret, or concern, and so have a more cheerful (or at least tolerable) disposition. Where the Ethereal is normally a cool mist radiating soft blue light, the Shadow is a realm of the smoking ashes remaining after spirits and the mists are burned. The smoldering embers in this ash allows these creatures to survive (barely) when the Night is overhead, though most would be well-advised to seek the Sun lest their outlines blur and their twisted mockeries of souls be dispersed to nothingness.[/I]

    How's that?
    Your idea for shadow creatures that reflect emotions, remind me of the emotion-locked. Its a template for undead that was posted on here a while ago. I don't know if you can get permission to use them, but they might work.
    Last edited by mr.fizzypop; 2009-07-08 at 11:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by Owrtho View Post
    That sounds good, though based on whats already said, people loose memories of their life at the end of their time in the Caves of Night (when their soul is used to forged new ones, and I'd meant forged rather literally as in the souls are all sorta melted down together, mixed up and then formed into a new group of souls).
    The Ether scouring is just losing their attachments to their lives--their love for a sibling, their fondness for their home, their hatred for a rival. Their memories would remain intact for the Caves, so they would still be themselves but a shell of their former selves.

    But what you'd mentioned about them retaining memories from past lives could be when they manage to keep a particular memory or some such strongly enough attached to a portion of their soul that it survives the reforging process.
    That was the idea. Just enough people would have memories to suggest reincarnation as we know it exists, but there's plenty of uncertainty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Ah, I must have misread it. Makes more sense now.

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    How about the shellward side of Night is black onyx. Thus reinforcing its connection to death/undeath and making the Night a sort of holly grail for necromancers. How about animate dead is not always evil, it can be used for good.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToySoldierCPlus View Post
    Now you're attempting to model physics when arguing your case for armor made by a guy who explicitly tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up whenever he starts tinkering stacking with regular armor. Stop that.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    I hate to post negative comments, but isn't this setting somewhat gimmicky?

    It is essentially the same as the real world, but different in a way which makes absolutely no difference to the inhabitants.

    A new setting needs something other than an odd cosmology to make someone want to play in it. I agree that the spate of post-apocalyptic settings is somewhat tiresome, but just because you don't have the world recovering from some calamity doesn't mean you need to avoid some event as a starting point of the campaign setting. Even the death of modestly important noble could set up adventure hooks.

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by kopout View Post
    How about the shellward side of Night is black onyx. Thus reinforcing its connection to death/undeath and making the Night a sort of holly grail for necromancers. How about animate dead is not always evil, it can be used for good.
    That said, perhaps black onyx could all come from the night, and be considered a somewhat holy substance. Might be night-forged objects made out of it that have some death related abilities.

    As for BarroomBard's comment, I'd first note there are ways in which the cosmology effects peoples every day life (though maybe not on a daily basis, and I don't know that any have been explicitly stated yet). Also, I thought I'd start the setting out with the lore and such things rather open so there could be more creativity in designing it. As such I chose to use a rather unique cosmology as the starting point as it would allow the setting to be less closed in to begin with. Everything after that in the first post was pretty much made up on the spot so as to at least have a starting point for people to build from.

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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Quote Originally Posted by BarroomBard View Post
    I hate to post negative comments, but isn't this setting somewhat gimmicky?
    It is now, but it hasn't been fleshed out yet. If you look at all worlds where the creator took an unusual cosmology and said "How would this differ from the real world because of it?" with that perspective, then Ringworld is just a world on a ring, Eberron is just a world with common magic, Coruscant is just a world covered in cities, Athas is just a desert world, Discworld is just a world on a plate, and so on. No one claims those are "essentially the same" as the real world.

    Regarding the impact of the differences on the inhabitants, there are two differences I can think of immediately that create literally immeasurable differences between it and Earth:

    1) The shell is a Dyson sphere. Given the differences between that and a spherical Earth, their entire body of knowledge is going to be different than Earth's (astronomy doesn't exist, geography is pathetically easy to study if you just look up, and so on).

    2) There's no regular day/night cycle; instead, there's a huge barrier that makes things look like night for a while (with a sharp cutoff rather than dusk and dawn) with light in the middle, so a huge chunk of their mythology and worldview would be changed (no moon myths, no dawn/dusk metaphors, etc.).
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2009-07-09 at 09:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    No moon myths but "the deference between night and day" tasks on a whole new meaning.
    Thought, non-evil necromancy based society? possibly a way of going about making an advanced Glöi society.
    Last edited by kopout; 2009-07-09 at 09:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToySoldierCPlus View Post
    Now you're attempting to model physics when arguing your case for armor made by a guy who explicitly tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up whenever he starts tinkering stacking with regular armor. Stop that.
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Is there an actual atmosphere or clouds between the sun and the shell?
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    I'd say there is an atmosphere and clouds between the shell and the sun (though clouds wouldn't be between the night and the sun). The Glöi could work quite well as a non-evil necromancy society, or at least the main members of such a society. For that matter the Ifiol could also work rather well for a non evil necromancy society (though in their case it would likely be more that they have no problem with necromancy rather than that they use it).

    Also, I could see the midnight sun being somewhat significant in a number of societies (and religions). Being born in it might be considered something like a blessing (or curse depending).

    Owrtho
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Seeing how this is basically an egg that peeps can't break out of, wouldn't it stand to reason that the people would be curious about the floating mass above them? It's stated that nothing lives there, but does that mean that nothing CAN live there? To that end wouldn't there be some people interested in trying to get to it?

    And in the inverse, wouldn't you have a group interested in seeing how deep the outer Shell goes, if there is anything beyond the shell they live in?

    Either way would require some pretty potent things to get them to either place, be it magic or tech...Speaking of which, what should the tech level be?

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    I could see some groups that might want to try going to the night (while alive). And I expect that some likely have managed to get to the night through magic.

    Also, thinking about it, if I were to try having an outside of the shell, I'd almost think the best place for it to be is somewhere in the far planes sealed away from all the stuff outside it. Still that doesn't really matter much as no one has ever managed to get outside the shell anyways.

    Owrtho
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Bump.

    Owrtho
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sun Behind Night [Semi-Community World Building Project]

    Well, this hasn't gotten any attention for the past while it seems. This is likely in part to the other CWBP that started the same day (not that I can talk much as one of the main contributors there). Anyways, since just another bump would seem lazy, I'll see about defining more of the setting (even though I'd planned to let other people do some stuff first).

    Well then:
    Necromancy is not widely considered evil as it is in most settings. Rather it is more often considered to be reusing materials and rarely seen as disrespectful. This is in part due to the Glöi who use it often seeing life and death as a cycle, and the Ifiol who consider death a laughing matter. Thats not to say however that there aren't any who oppose it. Some cults (and possibly one of the main gods) consider necromancy to be an abomination that must be stopped.
    Much more controversial than necromancy however is resurrection. This is due to the way that it calls souls back from the night and can throw off their place in being reforged. The gods themselves are somewhat divided over the issue. Some even go so far as to send out their followers to hunt down those who have been resurrected and kill them and depending on where you are (and what gods are mainly worshiped there), you may or may not want to mention if anyone has been revived.
    Other gods however consider it to be fine, some even protecting those who have been revived from the followers of the gods who oppose it. One of they're main ways of doing so is removing the night's taint from those that have been resurrected. The night's taint refers to a residue that is left on the souls of those who have gone to the night and stays with them when they are called back. It can be detected by various methods such as detect magic and is often sought out by those who wish to kill the revived. As such those who have been resurrected often seek out the churches of gods who will remove the taint for a 'small' (around one to two gold depending) fee (may be more expensive depending on who you worship and what you did in the after life).
    The harrowed are somewhat off in this as well. Some gods consider them abominations while others consider them blessed (not for the monster inside them but for maintaining who the previously were). The god most strongly in favor of resurrection strongly favors harrowed seeing them as blessed (thinks of it as a form of natural resurrection) and will often help to protect them. This is due to his (her?) disapproval of the manner in which souls are reforged destroying the past people.
    The beasts within the harrowed are believed to be trapped within the sun, only able to escape by attaching themselves to sufficiently large pieces of souls which they will try to do whenever the opportunity is presented. Them doing so also tends to help lessen the destruction of the soul in the reforging process and is why harrowed can recall things from their past life. Also due to this it is not uncommon for the same harrowed to make it through the reforging process multiple times. It is also noted that as far as natural born harrowed are concerned, they are most frequently born under the midnight sun.
    Due to this the reaction of the populace the birth of a harrowed may vary. In some cultures they are revered, while in others they are considered a curse or abomination and will be attempted to be killed off. They are also often persecuted however for the actions of the beast within them, even in cultures that consider them blessed (though in those places they are more often confined or kept away from others than killed).

    Well, thats my idea on the viewpoints of necromancy and resurrection. Didn't get into the more cultural thoughts, but stayed more on the religious side of things (don't know about the pantheon yet so was a little difficult but...).

    Owrtho
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