Deathbuilding part 4: Nothing but a bag of bon…


As mortal beings we are meant to die, dying is a must in our lives since, well, since we begin our journey here. But are there creatures meant to live forever or is everything living on borrowed time?

Doesn’t matter where you are, there’s always a god, or goddess, around, whether we believe in them or not, they seem to be present.

There could be an edification in their names, a statue, a painting, a symbol, or believers, depending of the religion they are eternal, they can only be killed by another god, or their life has to come to an end just like ours. But are gods considered dead when their presence is no longer in a place? Do they die when there are no more believers, or can we kill them just by saying so?

Death used to be a collective event, in some places it still is. For western societies death is supposed to be lived alone, or with few people around, death is hygenic, sterile, silent, and brief. Death is part of our life but always put aside, it can be an unwanted conversation, a silent topic among people, but it’s there. For other people death is celebrated, diying is not an end but a next chapter or even a new beginning, and Death is seen as a welcome guest in the houses of the living. For some, Death is a living entity with singular traits, for others Death is a sacred creature, owner of their own realm.

Different societies have different visions when it comes to afterlife. Some of them are cold, empty, and in silence, others are warm, customised, and with nice sounds. Some emptiness are black, some are white, some are soundless, some are not. Some societies don’t have an afterlife, this mean people simply disappear or they come back as newborns or as part of the world. For some, the afterlife is a passage, a place that leads somewhere else, for others is an eternal place.

When adding gods, death, and afterlife, give them a reason to be there, they can be forces or they can be characters, give them goals and traits if they are characters, if they are forces give your characters a reason to fight them or ally with them. Gods, Death, and Afterlife can give your characters fears and hopes, a final destiny or a call. If they can be defied, do so. If they can’t, try it anyway.