Death on Last Light

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Death on Last Light

Post by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:53 am


On Last Light, you may notice that there is a lot of stressing on the concepts of life and death, and what they mean. It's a very important topic in our game world, and much of the lore is created around it. Your average commoner has no knowledge about this. What they might have, though, is the fear of death; same as the fear of the unknown. Most people generally believe that death is final. That's the common interpretation. However, on Last Light, that's not entirely correct.

A lot of roleplay settings stress permadeath as a consequence--and that's certainly a thing that can be incorporated into RP and the game world. However, it is not impressed as an expectation on your character. You, ultimately, have the choice to choose permadeath at your own discretion. That's why Last Light has taken a different route with death than most servers. Death is a note of uncertainty for most, and a fear of permanence is always there... but for those "in the know", death is merely... a state of being.

Part One - The Elements of Life and Death

In Last Light's more... secretive lore, there is said to be a physical divide between life and death.. a veil, if you will. Some even call it The Veil. The reason it's called that, is because someone who is alive can't typically peer past that Veil. Those who do are known as Mediums. There are gifted characters in the game who have the ability to peer past the veil, but which don't necessarily have the ability to interact with it. Those who can interact with it are practitioners of--you guessed it--Necromancy. Necromancy is the art of manipulating the elements of death, which is a very broad scope. It also includes Souls.

The Soul is the metaphysical "glue" or energy source for a being. We could say that it keeps your state of being in one piece and provide a sort of longevity and existence for a person or being. The soul then ties together the Mind and Body. So, we see the trinity: Soul, Mind, and Body. The three things can be separated, but it creates different states of being. For example, a Body can have a Soul, but can be without a Mind, i.e. a mindless undead. An undead, though, does not need either a Soul OR a Mind to function.

In many cases, Souls can be replaced with other forms of energy to accomplish a similar effect, but the soul will always be strongest, since it typically holds the empathic energy of a creature. Necromancy magic or other forms of magic can create a sort of fuel for a body to move on its own. You could think of the "soul" as gasoline to a car, where any other substitute form of energy such as magic/necromancy could be considered a "lower-grade" gasoline.

The Mind is your own unique imprint and consciousness; It is joined almost directly with the Soul and the Body. Your Soul is the link to existence, and your Mind. well, it's You. It's your personality, your memories, your thoughts, your experiences. You can be a Body without a Soul, which creates a being of intelligence, but without a soul or some form of energy, your mind does not have the fuel it needs to "feel" or "empathize". Thus, a Body with a Mind and not a Soul cannot empathize well. This is a very rare thing, however, usually souls and minds are joined together as one and they are very difficult (not impossible) to separate.

The Body should be a no-brainer. It's your Vessel. The vehicle to your ambitions, hopes, and dreams. The thing which your Soul and Mind is host to. Without a body, you have no physical presence in the world. All three are very important. Combined together, they create... well. Your Character. That is, if your character is alive and functioning as a living creature would.

Last edited by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Death on Last Light

Post by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:16 am

I turned to the endless sea of misty water beyond the edge of the cliff. Whatever tiny little island we are on is clearly miles away from any civilization. There is nothing here, just bleakness and mist. Upon my questioning, a spirit appeared and gestured to a white gate just a short distance away. I looked towards it, and could see that it was glowing with an earthly, natural light. Familiar, like the sun, but painless to peer into. As I did, the formless entity spoke to me.

"There is the gateway to your world. Where you came from. There is the place that you have called home for all of your known life. That is not where you are now."

It then motioned afar, to a green gate which formless shapes swirled upwards into its own stream of light.

"There is the gateway to our world. Where you are meant to go."

I turned to the spirit. I was confused, lost for words. After some thought, I am able to surmise that I must be dead. It appears that my soul has been separated from my body and now I've found myself here.

"Why?" I questioned the creature with a pang of fear in my voice. It did not respond. Silently, I stared at it in confusion. without an answer, I was looking between the two gates. I had a choice, but the spirit had told me to go through the green gate. Why was I presented with such a pointless dilemma?

It was then that the spirit finally spoke, in its usual cold and uncaring way, "It is the way of things. Know the consequences of your choice."

I thought about what it had said for a moment, and then, pensively walked towards the green gate, stopping in front of it. The spirit waited with eternal patience. I then extended my hand, slowly, glancing towards the creature one more time, before shoving my hand through the swirls of green.

Part Two - The Realm of the Dead and What Happens When I Die?

As you may have guessed, The Realm of the Dead is an actual area which you are able to access while playing on Last Light. Actually, it's a set of many areas, all interconnected in their own ways. While largely the Realm of the Dead is almost a direct mirror of The World of the Living, there are some differences. Familiar places seem to bring back a sense of deja-vu, but also seem incredibly surreal... and... different.

When you die/are killed in the game world, this area in the screenshot is where you are brought to. You have two choices; the white gate leads directly back in game. This is the Gateway to Life. The green gate leads into the Realm of the Dead, The Gateway to Death. No matter which choice you pick, it is not final.

However, there is a catch. Let me elaborate.

Passing Through the Veil

The act of passing through The Veil is called Deadwalking. This is simply when moving through "the barrier" we talked about before. You may see this term when you are coming across other lore for Last Light, so keep it in mind. When you Deadwalk, it is includes either passing through the veil in either direction, Life to Death or Death to Life; it doesn't matter. Deadwalking will drain your character's Soul Vitality, which is the strength of his or her soul. The lower your character's Soul Vitality, the weaker your character will be in either realm. This weakness is depicted with stat penalties which only go away when Soul Vitality increases.

Soul Vitality

Soul Vitality is a finite resource, so they say, in that it can run low and eventually run out. Your character begins at 100% Soul Vitality and each time you Deadwalk it drains down by a portion. The portion is dependent on things such as character level and items/feats that might give bonuses/penalties, as well as other factors that may be more area-specific.

Achieving a Soul Vitality of 0 is somewhat difficult to do in our game world. However, it isn't impossible. It is effectively a "permanent death", your soul is too weak to exist any longer and dissipates. You want to try and avoid this. It is not usually something that you yourself can inflict upon your character, it is a combination of many different factors. The most likely culprit is many repeated deaths over a short period of time with no effort to restore the vitality you lost. For characters that are able to Deadwalk on a whim, this can also be very dangerous; try to avoid overdoing it.

Restoring Soul Vitality is actually fairly easy, and there are a handful of ways to do so.

  • Epic Level Clerics can restore Soul Vitality if they invest in the ability to do so. More on this later.
  • Many relic items can have effects on your Soul Vitality. Some improve it, others hinder it, some can restore Soul Vitality by expending a charge (so you might run the risk of destroying the item) but those are some examples.
  • Souls. This is a big one. Souls are actually something you can "farm", in that you can actually withdraw a soul from certain creatures that you kill in the game world, and these creatures can exist in either the Realm of the Dead, or in the World of the Living. Some spells or items can also help you extract Souls. You can get them with other means as well, such as Soul Trading, which allows you to actually BUY souls, with either experience points or even gold. You can then even trade these souls with your fellow players. Your fellow characters can even extract pieces of their soul to give to you, which costs them Soul Vitality, but hey, Jolly Cooperation!
  • Other methods may be added over time, such as craftable items.

So there you have it, it's actually not difficult to restore your Soul Vitality. In certain cases, it can be costly or time consuming (and you have the power to choose).

The Gateway to Life

Upon entering this gateway, you immediately are respawned into the world of the living. Again, Deadwalking costs you Soul Vitality, so when you take this method, your Vitality will drain a little more. This leaves you weakened and closer to ultimate destruction if you don't try to restore your Vitality through the means mentioned above.

The Gateway will take you to a Headstone. No, not necessarily a literal headstone, a Headstone. Headstones are places where Life and Death touch. Headstones usually stand out as they are typically found in areas where there is a lot of constant mist/fog. Spirits are more active in these places, and areas like these are often unusually serene and peaceful, with a surreal feeling to them.

The Headstone your character will wake up in is random unless you've visited a Headstone in the past, in which case it will take you to the Headstone that you've bound yourself to.

The Gateway to Death

This gateway, on the other hand, takes you deeper in to the Realm of the Dead. Once you do, you have several areas you can explore, but you do not gain experience while in them. This is because the realm of the dead is a place of forgetfulness, and any memories you keep from Deadwalking are usually hazy and confusing. Thus, characters who die, while they may eventually return to the world of the living, don't often come back stronger without other factors influencing it.

Creatures in the Realm of the Dead do not drop loot, but many of them have a chance of dropping a usable Soul. You can keep this when you Deadwalk to the other side or you can consume it immediately. Consuming a soul gives you a portion of Soul Vitality back based on the size/power of the soul.

Since the Realm of the Dead is actually explorable, you are able to roleplay here as well. You can find Headstones n the Realm of the Dead that will take you back to the World of the Living. Headstones are linked together, so you might find a cemetery in the Realm of the Dead that links back to a cemetery that looks quite similar in the World of the Living. How strange!

Last edited by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:20 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Death on Last Light

Post by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:49 am

Part Three - Soul Trades

The art of Soul Trading is said to be as old as time itself. Souls are said to be one of the most valuable resource in the known universe, and as such, some gifted individuals aspire to break away from society and become Soul Merchants. These mysterious traders are usually outcasts or hermits that live in isolation, dealing souls for a living.

Players can become Soul Traders as well. It's actually quite easy. As we said before, you can get souls through a variety of means, even just by killing certain creatures in the world, or in the Realm of the Dead, and then selling it back to other players. There's a plethora of potential in such a business!

Soul Merchants, though, are strictly NPCs which are dotted throughout the world in secret places. At these merchants, there are four types of exchanges that a player can make:

  • Give Experience Points -> Receive Souls
  • Give Souls -> Receive Experience Points
  • Give Gold -> Receive Souls
  • Give Souls -> Receive Gold

The ratios of these transactions are negatively proportional in order to keep it from being exploited. As a result, Soul Merchants will always take more than they will give as a "fee". Buying a soul from the Soul Merchant is expensive, and the same soul will be marked down tremendously when you sell it back. To get the most value for your souls, it's better that you sell to players.

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