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Well, I really think the egg came first. Divinity was laughing so hard at the idea of creating this reality, it laid one.

Fate of the Damned in Tradition

Witches Halloween

As for who decided the fate of the evil dead, it was not decided by any of the gods.

They had a concept of spiritual purity or wyrd. This is maybe why we call people weird these days, to imply there is something wrong with them, but everyone had wyrd. The triple goddesses of the moon were called the wyrd sisters as they were the oracles of fate, but for those who committed serious wrongs, who bore serious sin on their shoulders, it was seen as an act of self mutilation. If you were greedy and refused to share food with your neighbours during the long hard winter, you were volunteering to make yourself all mouth, more or less a ghoul, and when the time came for you to make the trip to the underworld, you would not be recognized by the gods or the peacefully departed ancestors. You would instead blend in with the evil spirits.

That’s an interesting idea, that all the different types of undead are suffering from their different sins. There is evidence in the Bible, and even more in traditional Jewish texts, that they believed the fate of the damned was to wander the earth. This is actually the origin of the dybbuk.

I wonder what sin causes a vampire. Usery. To take without giving anything in return. Something nobles came to be known for in later times.

Ah, bankers. Yes. Political assassination wasn’t viewed as just how the world works as it’s viewed now. If a noble chose to get blood on their hands, even a chieftain of the original era, it would bring wrath and war down on the heads of the people, the villagers or tribe, so it was betrayal. You couldn’t kill a rival just because you wanted to. What you could do though, back then, was call them out. Challenge them to combat essentially over your honour, issues of honour, and this was considered just, fair treatment.

Now not everyone could do this. Most villagers didn’t have the strength let alone the combat training to do any such thing. So instead they started stories, and these stories would even travel from village to village in later times, detailing the wrong doings of nameless nobles, and sometimes even naming the nobles if they weren’t part of the ruling family, and warning of what happens from behaving as they did or even just associating with them in general. This is perhaps one of the oldest roots of the ghost story? Some of our classical literature recounts parts of this. Poe’s stories would be an example.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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