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Grim Reapers, Death, and the Underworld

Discussion in 'Research' started by TheCrystallineEntity, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. In my latest book, there are these semi-mythical beings called Sereners who are assigned to particular beings once the moment of death is fast approaching, to sort of ease their passing.

    There is an underworld, [literally underground], where the Sereners go to receive their next mission.

    I'm curious about death folklore, so I'm learning about grim reapers and Shinigamis and so forth from different cultures.

    Does anyone have anything to add?
     
    ascanius likes this.
  2. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

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    The grim reaper and shinigami are both psychopomps. Valkyries are another kind, as is Charon the boatman of Greek mythology.
     
    ascanius likes this.
  3. I know lots about Valkyries. I find them quite interesting.
     
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  4. ascanius

    ascanius Inkling

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    Thank you so much. While reading these three posts one of my characters plot, that I have been struggling with, popped into completion. I don't know how to explain it but thank you, thank you!
     
  5. Well, you're welcome! I am often spontaneously helpful like this; I have been all my life. :p
     
  6. Miseo

    Miseo Minstrel

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    Well, the grim reaper is based on the angel of death, which in the Abrahamic religions is an angel that either kills people or guides their souls to the afterlife to be judged. There's also the destroying angel which appears kills people then goes away. It's possible that the grim reaper is based on this guy too.

    Azrael - Wikipedia
    Destroying angel (Bible) - Wikipedia
     
  7. ^I considered that, too. I want to make the Sereners as unique as I can. Is using natural light as a power source to turn themselves to a particular crystal or gemstone to heal/protect pretty unique? [I was slightly inspired by the Mistborn Trilogy, if that wasn't obvious enough.]
     
  8. Miseo

    Miseo Minstrel

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    Well I never read Mistborn so to me it's unique?
     
  9. In Mistborn, the main character draws on different metals to use magic, which are categorized according to their effects.
     
  10. Miseo

    Miseo Minstrel

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    So... I thought these Sereners operated as grim reapers? Not entirely sure why they would protect life rather than guide it after death.
     
  11. They have somewhat corporeal forms, and at one point the main character [Oeuyia] has to get close to a definitely not-dormant volcano, and uses sunlight-channeled obsidian as a 'shield' against the heat and poisonous gas.
     
  12. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    Banshees function as heralds of death, and the Morrigan function in a similar fashion to valkyries. The Maori believe that the souls of the dead depart via a specific location (Spirits Bay), and the journey to Mictlan in Aztec lore is pretty exciting (it includes obsidian bladed winds).

    Just a couple of random notes that popped in my head when I read the post, hope some of it helps :)
     
  13. ^Thanks! :)
     
  14. Obsidian bladed winds? O_O

    That's awesome. Why hasn't anyone written any stories about that?
     
  15. ^^The underworld in the Silverwing series is desert-like and ruled by Cama Zotz.

    ^That sounds...really scary and awesome all at once! I don't want to know what would happen if you got hit by that wind!
     
  16. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Aaah, I loved that series! The underworld actually served as partial inspiration for Svartalfheim in one of my WIPs.
     
  17. ^It's one of my favourite series, too! I hope Kenneth Oppel writes more of them.
     
  18. Is that the one about bats? I swear there's a book series called Silverwing about bats. Or maybe just the first one was called that...
     
    Ireth likes this.
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Yep! They're collectively known as the Silverwing saga; there's Silverwing, Sunwing, Firewing, and Darkwing (a prequel).
     
  20. I wonder what the next one might be called? Moonwing?
     
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