Reapers can be found anywhere in Ga'leah
and move about frequently. They are much less common in Allutheria
and had been nonexistent there until the Blight
Reapers are the Priests and Priestess of the Soul Reaper
. They were created because the goddess could not be present for every death and to reap every soul in Ga'leah
. So, to facilitate the journey of every soul to the Afterlife
, she created Reapers and bestowed upon them certain gifts which would allow them to act as her proxies throughout the world.
A Reaper's base form most resembles their physical form before their deaths. It has no perceived scars, injuries, or imperfections, however. They can also appear either corporeal or incorporeal depending upon how much they wish to interact with their environment. When incorporeal, they can only be seen by the Pantheon
and by those who are near death. They can also not interact with the physical world such as moving objects or speaking to corporeal individuals, even those near death.
Reapers can also alter their appearance at will to appear in a form that would be most welcomed by the soul they are going to Reap, thus allowing a Reaper to assume any physical characteristics or age they desire at any given time.
Reapers are, first and foremost, priests and priestesses of the Soul Reaper. Although their primary duties are to reap the souls of the deceased, some of them are equally as active in leading worship to the Soul Reaper and trying to ease her reputation as something to be feared and avoided. While many of the Reapers in Ga'leah are nomadic, there are some who remain within a single temple of the Soul Reaper and service a small area where they become known and even revered as Reapers.
Boon of Death
The Boon of Death is the ritual by which a creature becomes a Reaper. Those who are deemed worthy by the Soul Reaper are taken by her to Caelum upon their deaths. There, all but a select few, have their memories of their former lives removed by the Forebearer and had their souls taken into the keeping of the Matchmaker. (Since the death of the Matchmaker, souls have been placed into keeping of the Source.) They are then given new physical form by the Source and their Reaper powers by the Soul Reaper herself. The Boon of Death is officially granted by the Soul Reaper and can also be taken away by her as well.
The Escape Clause
At the Matchmaker's behest, there is an escape clause for the Reapers. Its existence is not kept secret intentionally but it is still not well known among the Reapers because of the cost of failure. Should a Reaper find 'true love' like that of a soul mate, parent, child, or sibling, their True Love can request to take the tests that will determine if a Reaper can and will be freed. These tasks are determined by the Matchmaker to prove that they do indeed love the Reaper in question and to gain access to the Reaper's soul; by the Forebearer to prove that they are willing to do whatever it takes for the Reaper and to gain the Reaper's memory; and also the Soul Reaper herself to prove that they are worthy of the Reaper and that their love is worth removing a Reaper from her service. Success results in a new mortal life for the Reaper in question. Failure results in the death of the True Love.
As the population of creations within Ga'leah grew, the Soul Reaper came to the realization that she could not be everywhere at once and that some souls might need to wait hours or even days for her to arrive and free them of their physical form. To combat this, the Soul Reaper devised a very special purpose for her priests and priestesses. She would make them Reapers and they would help her in her quest to bring the creations of Ga'leah to the Afterlife after their deaths. To do this, she needed the help of the Source, the Matchmaker, and the Forebearer. But, knowing how much of a burden the godhood of Death was and how important it was for the souls of Ga'leah to find peace, the other gods helped the Soul Reaper in the creation of her clergy.
There were several Fae Reapers active before and during the Great War, but most proved to be unfaithful to the Pantheon and had their Boon of Death forcefully removed. Those that continued to be faithful to the Pantheon were allowed to remain in Ga'leah even after the Fae were banished because they had forfeited their magic to become Reapers and because all memory of the Great War was extracted by the Forebearer and added to the collection of their memories from their mortal lives.
Most Reapers are now human, but some Fae Reapers do remain albeit without magic or much knowledge about their true heritage if any at all.
Following the Blight and the death of much of the Pantheon, there were some among the Reapers were questioned the Soul Reaper's ability to keep them safe as well as her sovereignty over them. Through experimentation, one among them discovered that by drinking the blood of the living he could pervert their gifts as Reapers into something that was immune to the powers of the Soul Reaper. Although not all Reapers followed Dracula and became Vampires, there are many that forsook the gods to serve their own self interests.
Reapers cannot reproduce. They can only be created by the Soul Reaper. They can, however, become Vampires if they drink the blood of the living and reproduce as Vampires.
Like the Soul Reaper, Reapers can sense when death is near. They can also remove the soul from the body, but are sworn to only do so once a creature has died. To remove a soul from any living creature before death is taboo and could result in losing the Boon of Death which keeps a Reaper alive and makes them what they are.
Reapers can also alter their physical appearance to take on the form that would best benefit the dying. Sometimes this might require taking the form of a familiar individual living or dead, or a person of a similar age or type.
Reapers can be corporeal or incorporeal at will but cannot interact with the physical world when they are incorporeal.
Reapers are not alive and therefore cannot be killed or injured in the traditional sense. Their existence, however, is closely tied to that of the Soul Reaper and should she weaken or die most of the Reapers would perish as well without divine intervention. Similarly, the Boon of Death can be removed from the Reaper at any time by the Soul Reaper if they betray her or are found to be lax in their duties to their goddess.
If a Reaper turns their back on the Soul Reaper and the gods, they will fade out of existence...unless they resort to drinking the blood of the living. Then, they will become Vampires.