This entry concerns death in the In Nomine setting. For the Word held by Saminga, see Death.
Death is a term used to describe a loss of vital synergy in a particular being. This process occurs on multiple planes, and it's not clear just how similarly it plays out in one form relative to another.
Corporeal death refers to the death of a vessel or body in the Corporeal plane.
When humans die, a number of things can happen:
- They might disperse into their constituent Forces, similarly to what happens when a celestial is destroyed.
- They might re-enter the Corporeal plane in another body.
- They may be anchored to the corporeal plane, becoming ghosts.
- They may be bound to the Marches, becoming dream-shades.
- If they closely adhered to a pagan faith of some type, they may join that pantheon in the Marches.
- If they succumbed to their Fate, their soul is pulled down to Hell.
- If they realized their Destiny, their soul is drawn to Heaven.
It's not entirely clear what determines whether a dead human's soul dissolves or reincarnates. It could be random, it could have something to do with the soul itself. Maybe it's the result of some process occurring in a distant plane, such as the Higher Heavens.
Celestial Vessel DeathEdit
This is far more clearly understood. When a celestial's vessel is killed, the celestial's soul is sent to their Heart. (If they have no Heart, they go to Limbo.) This is not a comfortable process. Death is an abrupt break in the continuity of their existence, and gives unsettling visions of who-knows-what in the space between planes. Perhaps these "visions" are just vivid yet indescribable delusions, and perhaps the space between life and death reveals something true. Whatever the case, death is a disturbing and unbelievably painful experience which leaves them comatose for a time, totally unhinged from reality.
This dissociated, agonized state is called "Trauma". It can last days, or years, or centuries ... and in some cases, they just never wake up. There are Traumatized angels from the Fall lying in Heavenly cathedrals to this day. (Demons are torn apart for their Forces and Essence if they don't recover in a "reasonable" time frame.) The only beings immune to prolonged Trauma are the devoted Malakim. They experience a flash of Trauma, then pick themselves up and grimly go back to the War, usually in the space of seconds.
Celestials can usually get replacement vessels from their Superiors...so long as they have a good explanation.
Humans and celestials can both be attacked on the Celestial plane. Damage there weakens the bonds holding their Forces together into a distinct being. One at a time, Forces can be knocked loose, until there is nothing left. Some theorize that the essential image of a destroyed soul is sent on to another plane. It's a nice thought, perhaps, but there is no strong evidence to support it. (Most arguments rely on presuming things about God's motivations, which is a difficult enterprise.) Whatever happens to destroyed souls, they're never seen again.