This weeks Creature Files features: Reaper
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*WARNING: The following post may contain scenes of graphic violence and torture. Reader discretion is advised.*
I did not create nor do I own the artworks that follow:
One of the few binding links between all religions and peoples is a theory of death. While many disagree on where the transition takes an individual; if any transition takes place at all, there is a communal realization that no one lives forever. Much like in the present times, in the world of Radiant Heroes, there is controversy to what happens when life ends. Likewise, because of this disagreement, many religions are born to allow belief in whatever fate one might pace their faith.
Regardless of the faith, the Reaper is always associated with a black cloak and a magical scythe. While some have been known to have wings, horns and greatly varying size; all embody a skeletal frame and a frigid, foreboding presence.
In some of these faiths, Reaper’s are regarded as kind beings that are meant to ease one into the acceptance of death and then lead the individuals soul into they beyond. These Reapers, more typical to The Maker oriented religions, describe death on the whole as a release into something greater. They allude to a paradise of pleasant memories and even potential rebirth.
Alternatively, some faiths revere the Reaper as a harvester of reluctant souls; dragging them into the fires of the abyss or consuming their very essence to increase in power. These theorize the Reaper as a parasitic creature of the afterlife that bears as little a religious function as a mountain cat.
What is fact? Which is true?
Reapers are bound souls of once mortal beings that; voluntarily, offered their eternity to help collect and transition souls into their fate. Souls that are otherwise lost in the Between begin to lose purpose and identity, making way to become demons that feed off other beings waiting to pass on. The reaper must guide a soul to accept their death in order for it to move on and prevent becoming a creature of darkness. If the individual is unable to accept death, the reaper destroys their very essence so as to prevent the spread of darkness.
I have been using the word Reaper-s for a reason. There is no single reaper that collects all of the dead. While a most powerful Grimm leads over all reapers, there is a legion of them that has existed and served thanklessly since the dawn of time. Their numbers fluctuate but do steadily tend to increase as the need to keep up with the collection of lost souls grows with the population.
A typical question is: can a reaper die?
Yes – ask Stein.
Also, while guiding beings into the afterlife, they often encounter demons; the lost souls that were not harvested before being consumed by darkness and grief. These can be formidable foes and have been known to be one of the few things to destroy a reaper.
Does all of this make them good? Does it make them bad?
Reapers are neither good nor evil: they simple exist and serve their purpose.
Looking for more monsters? Check back here at mcgrimm.blog for more and pick up your copy of the pages they live in; Radiant Heroes – Episode 1: A Fantastic Youth.