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A sundered soul was one which was not taken up by any of the gods. This could happen because:

  • The individual rejected the gods and chose to be sundered.
  • Some barrier prevented the soul from being taken up. In particular, spirit warriors and shamans with spirit animals could not go their god until a shaman removed the animal from their soul after death.
  • The person had committed such sacrilege that no god, not even the Bastard, was willing to take them.

These souls remained in the world of matter as ghosts. Invisible to most people, to those with second sight (saints and sorcerers) a ghost initially resembled their living form but gradually lost both form and self-awareness before fading away. Even to those with second sight, ghosts were silent, even when they appeared to scream or speak.

Ghosts were powerless to act on the living, but could seize the body of a victim of death magic (which was theologically 'empty') and reanimate it if the body was not burned before nightfall. To remove the ghost the body must be burned and will scream with the voice of the death magic victim, distressing the mourners.