Death is a frequent companion in Avendar, usually directly the result of the loss of one's hit points, but also of old age. Death and subsequent resurrection at altars is an explicitly in-character experience for both PCs and NPCs.
Life, Death, and the Soul
Life begins at birth; all living things are ensouled upon taking their first breath, and are not considered a separate and whole living being until that point. For much of the history of the world, life was singular and death final for nearly everyone. Immortal divines sometimes had access to miraculous powers capable of raising the dead, but this was exceedingly rare. Near the end of the War of Night, the goddess Lielqan became capable of intervening upon the death of any living thing, and this knowledge slowly became widespread. Priests trained in Lielqani resurrection rites now grant any who entreat them access to a second chance at life, reviving them as they were at the time of death but in perfect health.
As such, for the past four thousand years every person in Avendar has had access to multiple lives, and most everyone has probably died multiple times by the time they reach old age due to subsequent changes in culture and attitudes around dying. Though anything with a soul is capable of being resurrected, most animals and extremely young children will be inclined to let go of life instinctively, and for the most part only sentient beings capable of communicating somehow will be able to entreat a priest to intervene for them. It is common practice everywhere to soulbond a child to an altar as soon as they are old enough, ensuring they can receive help in the event of an unfortunate accident.
There is a limit to Lielqan's ability to intervene, however. A being will only have the will necessary to survive death so many times, and Lielqan also refuses to intervene at the natural end of a person's lifespan. The exception to this is immortal divines, individuals invested with agelessness and resistance to death by a deity or other powerful being.
Lielqan despises the undead, and will not aid necromancers in returning to life.
Mechanics of Death and Dying
Each person is assigned a maximum amount of deaths they might sustain, and a maximum age they might reach. Should either of these be exceeded, resurrection will no longer be possible, however in both cases characters are granted sufficient amounts to have a long and fruitful life. There is a small amount of variation in this, and traits are available to give you more of both. When you are on your last 10 deaths, you will receive very clear and gradually more urgent messages notifying you of your impending demise. Upon your final death you will have a short amount of time in which to linger as a ghost, say goodbye to your friends, and insult your enemies one last time. If your character was sigiled, it is likely their deity will want to speak with them as well.
When you die, you will find yourself as a ghost at the same altar the recall command and word of recall spell takes you to. All spells and skills that had been in effect while you were alive are terminated. You are unable to handle items that you yourself have not handled recently, and you are unable to participate in combat. You will be flying, able to see in the dark, and pass through doors. Ghosts have free access to the 'recall' command to return them to their altars, so long as they are not in a locale that prevents this.
Your ghost will be naked; all of your equipment and inventory will remain on your corpse, which will be lying where you were killed. If you are not certain where your corpse is, you may use the corpsewhere command to find what area your body is in. If you require assistance beyond that, it is recommended that you speak with a player ICly, whom you know would be willing to assist you. People you are grouped with will generally help you find your way back to your body. Enemies, of course, are under no obligation to assist you, and may take the opportunity to loot your body.
Once you have found your corpse, you may get items from it much as you would any container. All of the following are valid and will provide you with articles of your property:
get 1. corpse get pants corpse get all corpse
Please keep in mind that if there are multiple corpses in the room, you might need to specify a number to take from the correct body, such as:
get pants 2.corpse
Please note that get all.corpse will not retrieve everything from your body; it will take 3 items at a time. In either case, other players will be able to take from your corpse, though only 1 item at a time.
If you are completely unable to find your body, with will decay within roughly 15 minutes real time; after this, your property will return to your altar, where your ghost appeared after death. Be advised that anyone may take any item from any altar, with no lag or restrictions on number of items taken.
Once your have your property (or not) and are ready to resurrect, you are able to return to a healer. Healers are always near or physically at your own altar, and there are others throughout the world as well who are able to resurrect you. To resurrect, simply go to a healer and use the command:
and you will be alive once more. Please be advised that you are not able to resurrect immediately after death; there is a brief period of time after death when you must remain a ghost.
Should you remain as a ghost for longer than roughly 20 minutes (your affects list will be able to provide you your exact time remaining), your constitution will start to drain. Should it reach 3, you will die again.
Death is a taxing experience; the first three deaths your character experiences will cause a penalty of 1 to all stats for the next 24 hours after your death. Beginning with your fourth death, this penalty is raised to 2. Should you die again within this 24-hour span, this penalty is cumulative.