Fate is a cosmic force, personified in the Sprit World as a cloaked figure with an incorporeal, upright body and able to take the form of any spirit or creature who addresses it. Its goals are hidden. It uses no name; the name of “Fate” was given to it by the deities it governs. In the Courtyard of Fate in the Celestial Gardens, it passes judgment on spirits, gods, Leviathans, and demons. Fate can be at many places at once, collecting rogue spirits with help through its army of Grapplers. Fate is not omnipotent or omnipresent, as many demons, rogue spirits, and Leviathans escape its grasp. Fate’s powers are vast, but it uses them sparingly, mostly to steer events away from catastrophic conclusions. This powerful demiurge has no friends or allies, only subordinates who carry out its will.
All spirits have met or will meet with Fate. Doing so is unavoidable, as Fate governs the Celestial Spheres and the Known World. Though gods describe it in this way, they use the word “govern” lightly, as this being is more of a steward of souls and the afterworld. Some mortals call Fate the Grim Reaper, Destiny, Death, or the Creator. It is none of these as it does not reap souls, decide other’s fate, kill, or write the laws of the universe. It is only Fate.
Deities meet often with Fate in its courtyard to discuss matters of the Known World and the Celestial Spheres. Spirits passing to their god’s heaven or hell, as well as souls returning to the Well of Souls, meet with Fate before going on to their destinations. Enraged souls, powerful Leviathans and truant demons try to avoid Fate, hiding in the dark corners of the Veil of Dreams and the Known World. Eventually Fate’s Grapplers or a vigilant god brings the offending spirit to Fate’s justice, and Fate sends these twisted souls back to the Well of Souls to be reformed. Fate is patient, for time is on its side.
Meeting with Fate is an intensely personal experience, as its appearance and personality varies based on the being with whom it speaks. Many spirits who pass on to the Well of Souls describe Fate as a shadowy, faceless elder of their tribe or nation, an elder who speaks in whispers—disturbing, yet comforting. Some see Fate as a beautiful member of the opposite sex; some see it with wings (of many types), guiding them to their proper heavens. Other souls describe Fate as a merciless beast with snarling fangs and many tails, dragging their souls to a hellish land. Gods view Fate as a giant being of the deity’s parental race, who sits on a bright golden throne with a golden crown and staff, robed in a dark sheet that constantly changes patterns and colors. Leviathans and demons see a similar sight, except the being is usually feminine and filled with wrath. No one can pin down this being’s natural form — no one even knows if it has one.
The matters over which Fate presides are vast and ever-changing, according its plans’ whimsical, calculating nature. Fate always anoints new gods, as it makes the final decision to allow a spirit full access to the Celestial Spheres and the Known World. The punishment of rogue spirits, demons, and Leviathans is also Fate’s jurisdiction, and the sentence is usually a return to the Well of Souls.
Fate sends most homeless spirits to the Well of Souls to be reborn again in the spirit waters. Gods sometimes choose a few special souls who remember their past lives as they are reborn. These beings are the gods’ earthly champions, blessed by Fate.
Fate does not interfere with most matters in the Known World, and the elder gods hold much sway in earthly matters, checking the activities of other gods and Leviathans. Fate becomes involved in worldly affairs only when catastrophic changes pose a threat to its eternal plans. Since no one knows what these are, gods can create horrible events with impunity. Even by the elder gods have few records that speak of Fate interfering with matters in the Known World.
Grapplers are creatures that Fate creates to retrieve rogue spirits and demons. They are dark, oddly-shaped beings which hunt in both the earthly and celestial realms. Shaped like a cross between a worm and an octopus, a Grappler has a sectional body ten arm-spans long and three arm-spans wide. Its sections bear splotchy patterns that are ever-changing, except for its underbelly, which is lighter and more constant.
Near the creature’s “head” is a gaping maw of a mouth much like that on a lamprey or suckerfish, allowing the Grappler to swallow spirits and store them for travel. Tentacles of indeterminable length surround the mouth and upper sections and are able to grasp matter and incorporeal forms. Grapplers can scent spirits, as each spirit has aromas according to the emotions that it displays or on which it feasts.
Grapplers are not the most intelligent of creatures, nor are they as powerful as gods and Leviathans, but they are loyal and obedient to Fate. Grapplers are capable of defeating spirits and some demons, but they alone cannot overcome Leviathans and powerful demons. These strange beings bring many foolhardy spirits and demons to the Courtyard of Fate, but many more escape them.
Who can know the thoughts of a being not of the Well? All we can do is listen and hope.
A Final Note on the Creator
The Creator is even more mysterious and unknown than Fate, even to the Gods of the Known World. No being in the heavens or on earth has ever met the Creator, except, possibly, Fate. What we know is that, in the beginning, there was the Void and Thought. The First Thought, as legends proclaim, created everything in existence.
Many deities have asked Fate about its master. Some have been answered. What these gods asked and what Fate replied remains a secret, for neither the gods nor Fate wish to discuss it. The secrets of creation and its author are buried deep in the myths and lore spread throughout the Known World and the Celestial Spheres.
May this recollection of my experience guide you, spirit or mortal, through the coming struggles that define life.