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The Shamen

[Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay]

Culture of the Shamen

Although the first Question was a stressful event, and the following need to survive in the new, almost deserted world, was paramount, there were people who wondered what had happened to them. The ones inclined to theorize, to dissect their experiences out of pure curiosity or just the need to finish things (something that was generally termed a pathology beyond a certain point) made countless theories about the ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Why’. It all ended in the need to experience the same phenomenon again, and the opportunity came every morning, everywhere they went. It wasn’t long until they started answering the Question positively again.
The process bore many names: binding, entering, entombing, possessing, to name a few. The ones who tried it used small items (as they already knew the basics of the process) and most of them asked someone else to guard them and the item while they did it. There was no knowledge of how one exited the object they were bound to at that time, and this led to a lot of these experiments lasting much longer than expected. Some of those first Vessels were lost, while others released their inhabitants at the next random occurrence that resonated with their souls.
The next wave of experiments, although much smaller, was hugely successful. The ones who dared try now had an instinctive understanding of how one ended the bound state. Nearly eighty percent of them returned successfully the next morning, helped by their living assistants.
It was a turning point for the part of humanity who accepted the change not as the end of the world, but as the next step in evolution. They started using regular occurrences and easy to define goals to ensure their spirits’ release. Once it was easy to go in and out of objects, they could start focusing on their experiences and what they could do while bound.
The second breakthrough came from a small number of binding experiments that failed outright. At the beginning people were amazed to find items that they could not enter. The ones who tried were left feeling empty and depressed until the next Question came. It was some time later that they found these items already held a spirit. This sparked even more questions, and it was asserted that no item could hold more than one spirit at a time. The art of Touching developed as the simple act of sensing the spirits when they were not apparent and without doing any harm to the potential Vessels.
Several different paths formed as different people developed different affinities to the spirit world. Some were better at binding to objects, their conscious though sparking even while in this state, and they soon developed skills to manipulate their spirit selves at will. Others excelled at detecting the Bound (the name that they gave to all people in spirit form), and even exchanging thoughts and emotions with them. Whatever their skills were, they embraced the new form of existence as their own.
A school of thought was born with the rise of this group that promoted peaceful coexistence with the new world. They taught their children and newly recovered souls to not fear the spirits, but also not to abuse them. They taught respect for all living things, as for them the Bound were still living too. They taught, and they learned, and they explored.
For them the Question was just another challenge, one that just hadn’t been overcome yet.