|The Land of the Dead|
|Released:||May 2000 ()|
The Land of the Dead
More than a physical path, the road to Jigoku is a spiritual journey. Every man and woman in Rokugan, from the lowest eta to the greatest Emperor, makes the trip to the land of the dead. Each person's path to Jigoku is different. To some it is an actual road, well-traveled and easy. To others it is a rushing river that batters and drags the traveler over sharp rocks and foaming rapids. But always the destination is the same a tremendous arch guarded by a spirit who has never known life. This spirit stands in the great arch, watching as spirits pass beneath it.
Rokugani culture is filled with stories of spirits returned uneasy from the lands of death, hungry or lost. These lonely few cut themselves off from Jigoku, although they continue to dwell there. They form a living history of Rokugan, an invaluable resource to the generations that follow then. Some drift among the living because they cannot find their way, others because something important in life calls them back. These spirits, known as ancestors, hold the ancient history of our land in their words. The Rokugani revere them, and from them, we learn of our past.
Rokugan's history and folklore are filled with tales of ancestors who stay to serve their descendants or who appear to help in times of great trouble or hardship. These individuals, by sheer force of will, choose to retain themselves and to stay on this side of the veil, to finish work they perceive as undone. Such individuals come from every clan and every class. But however strong their force of will, should the living begin to neglect or forget them, they slowly forget themselves and are finally drawn across into the afterlife forever.
Jigoku is not the realm of the dead. It is the realm of Evil. There are several Spirit Realms where the dead can end up. Gaki-do for the hungry dead, Toshigoku for those who died in acts of violence, Tengoku for Emperors and Fortunes, Yomi for the blessed ancestors, Jigoku for those truly evil. Meido is the truest realm of the dead, where the dead first congregate before being ushered into their correct spirit realm.
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