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'Ala'ia, Limbo's Elegy

by Giampaolo Agosta

Limbo is a region of the Ethereal that closely mirrors Mystara. The souls of recent dead remain there until collected by servants of their Immortal patrons. Souls of people who did not follow the teachings of any Immortal in life are not collected, and must find their own way to the Outer Plane matching their alignment. Some remain in Limbo for a long time, forming small societies for mutual protection against the predations of the Minions of Chaos, servants of the Entropic Immortals who hunt down these souls to carry them to the Pyts.

While Nyx is an Immortal of the Sphere of Entropy, she is mainly interested in unlife and new forms of it. She took notice of these small communities of souls in Limbo, and decided to make an experiment in unlife -- she planted an artefact, the A'u ke 'Ala'ia (Monolith of Elegy, in the Makai language), on the coast of Elegy. In Mystara, the monolith is merely a geographical feature, Nyx's Post. In Limbo, it appears as a giant monolith covered in carvings. It radiates a form of magical energy that has two effects. First, it confuses the senses of Minions of Chaos and similar beings, who are not able to detect souls at more than 10' while on 'Ala'ia (Elegy goes by its original Makai name in Limbo). Second, it permeates the soil of Limbo's, allowing it to grow a plant, sa'au, which can be consumed by Limbo's souls to strengthen themselves -- a soul on a regular sa'au diet slowly regenerates hit points (1/month). Due to the sense-confusing effects of the A'u ke 'Ala'ia, souls are not collected as it normally happens in the rest of Limbo. Thus, after Nyx planted the monolith, a large community of souls developed on 'Ala'ia. These souls explored the island, and soon started to build canoes to explore Limbo's seas. They therefore discovered that, out of 'Ala'ia, the Archons came to collect them. The soul population of 'Ala'ia quickly dropped after the discovery -- most of the Makai worshipped the Immortals, and were glad to leave Limbo. A few remained behind, either because they did not trust the Immortals, or because they remained to guide future souls. In time, those who remained for a longer time discovered they could develop new abilities, and became the Uncorporeal (Huaka'i in the Makai language).
The Huaka'i have slowly increased in numbers as more dead were entombed on Elegy, and a number of errant souls from the southern reaches of Brun joined them in time. 'Ala'ia now has circa 3,000 inhabitants, 70% of whom are Makai who do not follow the teachings of the Immortals (or have good reason to avoid meeting their servants). The remaining are equally divided between foreign souls, and souls of Makai chiefs and warriors who feel responsible for directing the souls of other Makai towards the afterlife.