Re: Being Dead

From: Andrew Larsen <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 15:23:20 -0500

> From: "Nick Brooke" <>
> Subject: Being Dead
> Andrew B writes:
>>> Yelm still went to Hell (even if it was in small pieces) and
>>> that is the same as being dead (even for heroquesters).

>> In which case, how can a Humakti ever heroquest to Hell and return?

> When he's in Hell, he's dead. When he returns again, he isn't. (Though he
> would still be Death). Resurrection taboos don't apply when you are
> following in the footsteps of your God.

    There's some disagrement about this, based on other responses to the question.

> Andrew L writes:

>> That would mean that all the Lightbringers died and resurrected
>> themselves.

> And resurrected everything else in the cosmos at the same time, yes.
> Why is this a problem?

    Okay, by what principle do Issarions enter the Underworld to map it and then return? I wasn't aware that Issarions were capable of resurrection.

    My primary objection to this idea is that it goes against the way journeys to the Underworld work in RW literatue, so far as I've seen. In the sources I've read, the person who journeys to the Underworld and returns does so because they are heroes who have gone into the Underworld using a geographic route rather than the spiritual route that people follow when they die. The Underworld is conceived of as a physical place that ordinary people can't get to except by dying, but which heroes can journey into and out of without dying. Thus Odysseus, Theseus, Heracles, and Orpheus all travel into the Underworld without being dead in Greek mythology; Aeneas does it in Roman mythology; Arthur does it in Celtic 'mythology', and (I think) Hermod in Norse mythology (when he's trying to bring Balder back). There's at least one medieval legend of a man who journeys to Purgatory, and Dante does the whole afterlife tour. None of them are dead, and often they have to use special precautions or rituals because the Underworld is dangerous to the living. Even Persephone doesn't die when she is taken to the Underworld, but her dining there taints her. Being Dead in the Underworld when you're questing there just doesn't feel right.

Andrew E. Larsen

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