Chronicles of Neverael
Beings that were once alive but haven’t passed on to whatever afterlife lays in wait for them, Ghosts are echoes of will and spiritual power with a life all their own. Creatures which possess both a physical body and a potent spirit or full soul have the potential to become Ghosts when they die – their material aspect dies but their spiritual aspect remains anchored to the physical plane. Ghosts usually have deeply personal reasons for remaining behind rather than going on to where they belong – wherever that may be. Reapers look down on Ghosts but some Ghosts are so strong that not even a Reaper can force them into the afterlife.
Most Ghosts retain at least some portion of their former memories and personalities, the stronger the Ghost the more memories they retain. Sometimes witchborn who become Ghosts retain a portion of their powers in death and gain new ones unique to their now existence as ghosts. Ghosts, in general, are usually trying to accomplish something by remaining behind in the physical world. Sometimes though, Ghosts, go mad and become the Empty – Ghosts who have become so fixated on rage and sorrow and the fulfillment of their “purpose” that they become consumed by it. They become something else – warped monsters who feed on other Ghosts and on human suffering. They sometimes attack witchborn who have the ability to perceive them and kill them in order to use their bodies as temporary, rotting puppets in their obsessive desire to fulfill their purposes. The Empty are more common than one would think – many Ghosts fail to fulfill their purpose and forget how to move on to the afterlife and become Empties. One of the primary functions of the Reapers, other than herding the dead into the afterlife is to deal with rampant Empties.
Ghosts usually haunt places or objects and, more rarely, people. A ghost which can exist independent of an anchor is a rare, powerful being indeed – the spirit of someone remarkable in life who still has a role to play in destiny’s grand design even after their deaths.
Ghosts cannot usually interact with the physical plane but can sometimes do so through essence manipulation – drawing essence to be able to muster the force necessary to knock a lamp off of a table or limning themselves in enough essence to be seen by the naked eye. This is exhausting for most Ghosts and many never learn these skills. Most Ghosts require willing agents to help them to complete their purposes – witchborn who are necroscopes (can see the dead) often fulfill this role. Some Ghosts possess lesser creatures and use them as temporary tools through which to act. Particularly powerful Ghosts can possess the spiritually vulnerable as well but no Ghost can maintain possession indefinitely – unlike Demons.