Ghosts (The Dead)

Ghosts are the spiritual entities that remain, chained to the House when a human with Sin sickness dies.Unlike a regular disease, Sin Sickness does not die with the body. It continues to plague the spirit, even after the physical body withers from its ravages. Ghosts/spirits carry with them the plague they suffered in life, and this chains them to the House of Crimson Wings.

Ghosts, for the most part, appear as human, but afflicted with various horrific afflictions. They usually appear corpse like, semi-transparent, or hauntingly white and corpse like. Sometimes they may appear more zombie like, rotting and decrepit, or their appearance sometimes reflecting the circumstances of their death. All of them have symbolic representations of their sin and its weight and level of affliction on the spirit. There are two sorts of ghosts, the old and the new.

Being dead has a curious effect on people. The mindset of the ghost often determines their looks, and sometimes it changes depending on the entity’s stability and mental/emotional state. Ghosts also may have issues with percieving things as they really are. Common ‘insanities’ among ghosts can include:

  • Obsessive compulsive behaviors
  • Seeing the world as it used to be when they were alive as opposed to how it really currently is (this often has them believing they aren’t dead)
  • Mistaking living people for people who used to be in their lives.
  • Re-enacting crucial or traumatic events in their lives, sometimes sucking other people into their fantasies.
  • Violent (sometimes extremely violent) tenancies when their ‘reality’ is disturbed and/or they are forced to confront the truth of their existence.
  • Obsessions with objects, people, or places

Ghosts and spirits are all also still afflicted by Sin. The effect on the dead is similar to that of demons. They hunger for sin that is like their own. Unlike demons however, ghosts cannot feed on flesh, only on energy. They do this by attempting to draw people into their fantasy worlds of the past (which can sometimes be informative), or by attacking directly at times. Sometimes they try to get people to fall into destructive patterns that worsen their disease and through minor possession and feed on them that way. They can also attempt to possess lower demons and feed on demons as well.

There are two sorts of ghosts in the HotCW setting.

Old Ghosts

Old ghosts are those who were made when the original Unbinding occurred. These are primarily the spirits of the priestesses, shrine maidens, and Crimson Wings warriors and household members (wives, children, etc) and shrine worshipers,  maintenance folk (landscaper, carpenter, other tradesmen), or visitors who were about at the time. These ghosts are asian, and historically from a time period in the 1400s japan. Most aren’t sure exactly when anymore. They are usually all wearing traditional Japanese vestments of some kind. Kimonos, Asian armor, Hakama’s, shrine maiden or priestly attire. Many of them didn’t know what hit them and are not overtly hostile, some are helpful even, others down right violent.  It very much depends on the individual ghost. However, these ghosts tend to be more knowledgeable about the history of the place and might be able to lead people to clues about the tragedy that happened and how to free themselves of their curse.

Like all ghosts however, they are afflicted with sin. Although in the case of historical ghosts, its been thrust upon them by the circumstance of their death. It is still individual to the ghost, but all of them suffer from it. The effect of the sin on them is hunger for Sin, like any other sin afflicted spirit.

New Ghosts

New ghosts are ghosts who came into the house after the original Unbinding. They are not native to the house and don’t generally know much about the place as it was before the tragedy occurred. Many of them arrived as living folk and died either of their sickness or were killed by others. Some may have knowledge of the place as it is, even discovered tidbits of it’s history from when they were alive or from other ghosts or demons, but their knowledge is usually far from complete. Many of these ghosts are also quite mad, suffering numerous insanities from being unable to accept their death to becoming sadistic, power mad killers. Ghosts of this sort can be of any era on earth from the 1400s forward to modern day. Some of them originate from outside the house, finding themselves in it after death, in which case, they tend to be very confused for some time.

Like all ghosts, they hunger for Sin. Many new ghosts actually died of their own sin or being attacked by other ghosts and demons.

Ghostly abilities

Ghosts in general have all the potential to achieve the same abilities, even if they do not know they have them or haven’t figured out how to use them (which is pretty common).

  1. All spirits can possess things, animals, or people. The time they can do this and how well they can do it varies from spirit to spirit. Possession of objects is much easier than possession of a living thing with a will. Animals are easier than people, people are very very difficult. Only powerful spirits can manage it with any reasonable time. Otherwise, they can only influence dreams and whisper in the ears of their victims. To possess a person or animal, the ghost’s player must obtain permission to ‘possess’ and work with the other living player to make this happen. The act does not harm a person physically, although repeat possessions can add to sin and insanity. The living person always has the ability to ‘kick’ a possessing ghost out of their mind and body after a small mental struggle.
  2. All ghosts can feed off sin. This applies to the living and even demons if they are strong enough. They suffer a sort of hunger and emptiness if they do not, and feeding alleviates this pain for a time. They do not die or wither if they do not feed, however, they can suffer if the sin they collect is stolen from them. Ghosts gain more power the more sin they feed on. Most ghosts perform a sort of eating motion on a victim which transfers a small portion sin to the ghost or feed through possession of a person. It causes a great deal of pain to the person being fed off of as it is damaging to the spirit to be fed on in this fashion.
  3. All ghosts can affect the physical environment in small ways depending on how emotionally focused they are. This means they can move things, throw things, knock things over, make noises, bash things, even scratch people or drop things on them. But ghost focus depends on what they can touch and move, so the more insane and distressed a ghost is, the less they can do. A highly rage focused ghost however, might be able to throw something big.
  4. Ghosts cannot be killed. Ghosts are pretty much immortal, although they can be harmed they can’t actually die because they are already dead. They can be banished, they can be turned away or forbidden from entering places. They can feel pain and be repulsed by esoteric techniques and spiritual power, but they can’t be permanently killed. They can also be severely reduced in strength to the point of almost non existence by demons who eat their sin, but they cannot be killed. The only time a ghost is snuffed out truly is if their spirit is laid to peace and the player leaves the game.
  5. Ghosts may evolve into demons. If a sufficient amount of sin is collected, a ghost may become a demon. This is usually signaled by a significant change in appearance and the ability to become briefly corporeal in a humanish form. The ghost then loses their ghostly powers and gains demonic abilities.
  6. Ghosts may only be released from the house if their spirit is cleansed of the burden of Sin they have accumulated, at which point they may move on to the next life.

The Undead

There is no true undead in the HotCW game. Vampires and other traditional ‘monster’ undead, such as liches and wrights and such are all considered a form of demon. Zombies, as in the rotting shambling corpses are bodies possessed by ghosts, like rotting puppets. Sometimes they can also be puppets of demons depending, but most of the time its weaker ghosts who can’t possess the living. For the purposes of simplicity in this game, if its a zombie, its a possessing ghost. If its anything else, its a demon.

Fighting a ghost

Ghosts can be fought with esoteric means, such as talismans, symbols, wards, and certain spiritually powerful weapons. Spirits cannot die, but they can be forced to dematerialize and send them packing, disoriented and disbursed to another part of the house. They can also be kept at bay with spiritual barriers, or even harnessed to be used by trapping them within objects prepared with esoteric glyphs and symbols.

Ghosts may attempt to possess a person, however, its a matter of wills and in the case of the game, consent of the other player. If a ghost wishes to possess someone, they need to ask and communicate ooc with the player they want to possess. If the player agrees, they must do what the ghost wants them to do, and play out the possession. Successful possession of a person of appropriate sin type also means the ghost gets to feed on that person’s sin, and will attempt to maintain the possession as long as possible. A possessed person will be exhausted, sore, and potentially injured by the time the ghost is done with them. Ghosts generally do not generally kill those they possess, but that doesn’t mean others won’t kill the person. Its in the best interest of the ghost that a person they can possess lives, and may even act to protect that which they see as theirs.
When a ghost has gathered sufficient sin and power, they may become a demon. See Race Info – Demons.