Beyond the Shore: To Seek After Sadness
Life, Death, and What Comes After
All beings die, and, when they die there are only two options: Rot or Drown (or so priests of the All-Embracing Church say). Any sentient being that perishes while submerged in the strange waters of the world will return as one of the Drowned. The only intelligent beings that do not become one of these undead are those poor souls who breath their last breath on land. Thus it is common practice for those that are near death—those with critical diseases, mortal wounds, or suffering from advanced age—to be thrown into the nearest body of water. Most religions in the world recognize the existence of the Drowned as the only afterlife.
While even the Drowned do not exist forever (their bodies continue to decay and their minds degrade over the centuries), this second existence allows most individuals to complete any unfinished business, allows parents to continue to protect their young, and ensures that wars are almost never won by attrition.
Death and Dying works exactly as described for Combat and Injury. However, any creature that dies while submerged in a body of water immediately comes back as one of The Drowned, 1 minute after death occurs, so long as enough of their body still exists to animate. Raise Dead, Reincarnate, Resurrection, and similar spells do not function in the world of , except when cast by a Cleric of Dormin.
If you chuck a sentient creature at negative hit points into a body of water and let them bleed out there, they will come back as one of The Drowned. Otherwise, if you die you are dead and have to hope someone is willing to sell their soul to Dormin to get you back. If Drowned creature dies, it cannot be brought back by any means short of a Wish or Miracle spell.
Pirates and sailors, being a superstitious lot find this metaphysical trait of the world particularly troubling. Battles at sea can often last for hours as those knocked overboard and slain soon crawl their way back on deck to resume the conflict. Likewise, drowned victims have a high probability of reporting to authorities. For this reason, they will often chum the waters to attract sharks before an engagement (to dispose of the bodies), coup-de-grace downed enemies before they can be shoved overboard by a friend, and almost never employ drowning as a method of execution or intimidation (no sane person really fears walking a plank).
Note: The Drowned are not available as a starting PC race, but all Player Characters will probably become one of the Drowned eventually.