Death and Life-After Death have always been controversial issues. Science and philosophy have long debated what happens to a person's life force after their body ceases to function. The most popular current theory regarding this issue has to do with life-energy. Some scientists think of this energy in terms of electricity, attempting to measure it in voltage and watts. Some philosophers believe that it is a spiritual energy - spiritualists claim that this energy can be seen, heard and communicated with. But whatever the debate, the evidence points to some sort of energy that is housed within each person that lives in our world.(There are even some who claim that animals and plants house a form of this energy, although this idea is often scoffed at.) The energy, some claim, is tied in some way to "consciousness", or the innate realization that occurs within humans that they exist within the world. This consciousness is connected to reason, thought, emotion, logic and even beliefs. The world's understanding of these connections is far from complete, but there is some evidence that life-energy stems out of consciousness, and that this life-energy has a kind of measurable substance that lingers after death. There is also substantiated evidence that the life-energy retains an impression of the consciousness that bore it.
Spiritualists point to the proof offered by their ability to communicate with spirits, and even to summon this spiritual energy to affect the world around them. Skeptics to these ideas avidly deny the truth of such claims, yet cannot discredit many apparent demonstrations of such powers. However, much more powerful and perhaps undeniable evidence can be seen in the locations known collectively as "Loci". These are places that seem to have a high concentration of spiritual energy, and are marked by structures that take many forms, seeming to rely on the culture of the area in which they exist. For instance, one exists in Asia in the form of an enormous ceremonial arch wrought of indestructible metals. One exists in the northern area of the United States, in the form of a stand of trees that have grown in perfect unison, surviving intact through fires, drought and even recent attempts to deforest the area. A third Loci is rumored to exist in the Antarctic, but this has never been substantiated. A fourth has recently been discovered in northern Africa, on the island of Puerto de Maio, Morocco. It is in the shape of a pyramid, reminiscent in some ways of the pyramids of ancient Egypt, but made of a strange stone that geologists can not identify.
Within the vicinity of these Loci, the life-energy of people may be felt, seen and even captured after death. If the life-energy is captured soon enough, it retains the impression of the consciousness from which it came, and it is possible to speak with those persons who have passed into death. Indeed, there are reports that these Loci can even be used to bring those who have died back to life. The exact method of doing so seems to differ according to the place and the person performing this feat, but scholars from all disciplines are beginning to scoff less and less as the evidence mounts. Even those who are not trained in mystic arts claim that they have actually seen spirits in these places, further pointing to the extraordinary nature of the Loci.
The areas in which the Loci can be found are all ripe with rumor and legend about how the Loci came to exist and how they can be used. Common threads exist, however, which cause some scholars to speculate that the Loci all stem from the same source (although that source is still a mystery). Each Locus's origin myth includes the element that long ago, a person (or persons) discovered the Locus and intuitively knew what it was and how to use it. From myth to myth, these persons differ significantly: in Asia, they are known as the Twins. In the Northern United States and parts of Canada, they were a large frontier family. Tales of the rumored Antarctica Locus say it was a woman with eyes as white as the snow. In Northern Africa, Berber legends speak of a Triad that discovered the pyramid Locus. The origin stories also have in common that each of these knowledgeable individuals showed the people of the area what the Loci were capable of, and taught small groups of people to use their powers - thus, the appearance of supernatural powers in the myths and legends of many cultures. These Loci and their powers remained the stuff of legend, until the invention of new forms of communication, travel and scientific inquiry came about. Then the whispers of legend became stories told by travelers and explorers, and these stories drew scientists and scholars to study the Loci. Further fueled by the spiritualist movement, we now have astonishing proof that these ancient myths (although allegorical in many ways of course) may be true. Much still needs to be discovered about these Loci, but more and more people are willing to bank their reputations, and their lives, on the power these structures hold. Some people appear particularly apt at learning to use the Loci - achieved Mentalists, powerful Shamans, and oddly enough, very talented performers and entertainers seem capable of the feat. The exact method for returning the spirit to the body differs among the locations of the Loci, and presumably developed according to the traditions of the cultures that first discovered and learned to use them. In Puerto de Maio, the process is reported to take place within a structure build around the pyramid Locus, apparently erected by the local Berbers who, according to local legend, first found it. According to the Berber tradition, the Marabout (the native word for shaman) dons a white robe which is sacred to the Locus and must never be removed from the building. When the spirit enters, the Marabout performs a ceremony lasting approximately five minutes, which is timed with a candle or incense. Items such as salts, sand, ash, wheat grains and other natural substances are ritually sprinkled over the spirit form, sometimes accompanied by invocations or ceremonial phrases uttered by the Marabout. Then the shaman sweeps the area clean, and extinguishes the candle or incense, upon which the insubstantial form of the spirit once seems to regain its physical form, and the restoration is complete. This ceremony seems to vary in detail among those who perform it, without detriment. In the case of an entertainer performing the restoration, it has been reported that ceremonies have included a song, story, poem, reading, or other performance - however, it is only very recently that entertainers were found to be able to use the Loci, and such ceremonies have rarely been witnessed. In Puerto de Maio, the Sultan has also recently employed local shamans to perform restorations in case a death occurs when there is no one available in the town who can use the Locus. To this point, there has been no fee asked of those who require this service.
When you die, proceed directly to the Locus and wait for someone to arrive to restore you. You may wait as long as you wish for a player to arrive to restore you, however, you may not leave the immediate vicinity of the Locus. You may at any time ring the gong loudly, and a staff person will come to restore you.
If you are performing the restoration, you must fill out all information and follow all instructions in the Death Log provided in the building. Spend five minutes role-playing your ceremony. Feel free to create your own ceremony, so long as it remains consistent with the atmosphere outlined above. After your ceremony, you must clean up any mess you create, or the restoration will fail.
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