Living Ghosts Protect the People from Dark Legends.
The people of the Longhouse tell many stories about the world as it was. It was a grim place before the Great Peacemaker and Iawatha led the people away from the Old Ways that brought them harm, uniting the people into six great nations of Fire (lost in the Perishing Blaze), Bone, Mountain, Smoke, Flint, and Pine.
The people tell stories of those days, and they are mostly true. Spirits and creatures from the upper and lower worlds stalk the woods, the streams, the grasslands and the hills. In caves exiles call back the old ways and create portals for strange and powerful beings to enter.
All that protects the people from the true stories they tell are ghosts.
Called by the White Eagle to service, Ghosts are warriors and seekers called by the spirits and the Powers in the name of Iawatha. They are considered “dead” by the rest of the world and so can accept the full power of the primal spirits. In exchange for this power they must protect the people of the Five Nations from monsters unimagineable, both spirit and human, living and dead.
We tell here the tale of a few the White Eagle has lifted into the sky of dreams.
Characteristics of the Five Nations
True Power Comes from the Spirit World. No matter how much material success a person acquires, nothing compares to the power of the spirit world. Flesh and blood, stone and stick; all are vulnerable to the whims of the spirit world. The supremacy of spirit is the reason the ghosts exist, and is also the reason that they are entered into a pact with spirits from the upper world. Without the strength lent from the spirit world, ghosts cannot survive their mission.
Spirits Must Follow Laws; Mortals have Free Will. As powerful as spirits are, they must follow ancient rules of behavior. They cannot break these rules, ever. Spirits covet mortals because mortals have free will. Mortals may choose what they do freely, which is a power in itself. Spirits desire that power, and will always try to corrupt mortals to break rules for them that spirits themselves cannot. This applies even for otherwise benevolent spirits who help mortals. All spirits see mortals as tools ultimately for their desire.
Mortal creatures are Meant to Live with the Land. Mortals were made for life on the Great Turtle. Made from the soil and rocks on it’s back, their natural home is in the middle world. Contact with spirits causes a disconnect between mortals and the land. Ghosts pledge themselves to the upper world causing a permanent disconnect between them and earth. In the short term it feels no different than life, but over time….
The Old Ways Open a Path to the Lower World. The Great Peacemaker brought the Nations together to combat enemies from the four directions. He also gave them rules to follow, things never to do. The Nations needed to put certain behaviors behind them to protect themselves against incursions of the lower world. But mortals can always choose. Sometimes they choose to forsake the Peacemaker’s Path and follow the Old Ways once more. Following the Old Ways of fratricide, cannibalism, and arcane study, one can open portals into the lower world, bringing evil to the middle world.
Arcane and Shadow are Anathema The study and practice of the arcane or shadow arts is anathema to all life. Those who make this contact taint themselves with evil forces, and are driven towards destruction ultimately. Those accomplished in these arts are considered more dangerous than spirits, for these are mortals who can choose. These mortals are unbound to any rules and can unleash terrifying dangers upon the world.
Surrounded by Enemies, Within and Without. The world of the Five Nations is a harsh place. To each of the Four Directions enemies bring war to the borders of the Nations. Inside the Five Nations there is always someone to choose an easy path that involves the lower world. The unity and strength of the Five Nations keeps them unified and strong against enemies outside, and the strength of the Peacemaker’s Path and its enforcers the ghosts keep the Nations internally sound.
Dreams are Destiny A man and a woman find their destinies in the world of dreams. Following the symbols embedded in dreams leads one down the most powerful path possible for them to walk. Dreams are pure, and it is the waking life that confuses the walker of dreams on his or her path. Following one’s dreams is always the ideal goal, and always what is praised and honored at the end.