Sunday, April 3, 2011

[D20] C is for Coin of the Dead

File:Claudius II coin (colourised).png
The Coin of the Dead is a magical coin that assures the dead a free path to paradise, no matter their sin. Looking like a common copper coin, the faces have the benevolent visage of Lamiel the Crafty on one side and a menaced goat surrounded by snakes on the other.

The coins appear at odd times and few recognize them for what they are, often spending them for trivial things. If one if found and recognized, however, it can command high value because it will wash clean any crime in the afterlife.

To be effective, the coin must be placed either in the mouth or on the left eye (Lamiel side up) on a corpse and the body must be buried in hallowed earth for three days without being disturbed. According to legend, if those requirements are met, the spirit of the dead will fool the guardians at the gates of paradise, thereby gaining entrance into those hallowed halls. Thereafter, the coin disappears.

If, however, the coin is removed during those three days, the spirit is recognized and (often) treated worse by the guardians. Some legends state that the coin becomes tainted with the failure and subsequent use leads to eternal damnation (another variation of the legend mentions that undead are created by interruptions to the ceremony). Even with that, the value of the coin is still worth enough that most graves are guarded for the three days to prevent theft.

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