FIRST AND FOREMOST: I'm intimately aware of the visceral response to the new mechanics and concerns about them, but this is not what this thread is for. I'm also aware that this might currently be a touchy subject for the volunteers involved, but I'm trying to remain respectful, so I'd appreciate if you could please take my feedback into account without taking it personally.
This thread is instead to discuss the messages for the new system and how they introduce some lore inconsistencies that I'm hoping we can resolve. Yes, it will be nitpicky, but this is some of my favourite lore in Aetolia, and I want to see it handled correctly and with respect to the playerbase that actively engages with that lore and segment of the game. Here are the messages, both from the Teradrim and victim's PoV.
You use Terramancy Undeath on Mjoll.
You stand beside Mjoll where the earth plane touches Sapience, with its immense power. You speak to him regarding the Undead, of the power and strength that comes from choosing to shed mortal limitations. As you approach the ritual location, a heavy weight settles over Mjoll whose form does not match yourself.
Mjoll is ushered into the bowels of the earth, where it begins to make a low rumble in response to the mortal body being so close to a sacred place. The floor of the temple around Mjoll breaks apart, and traps them, encasing their feet in sodden earth.
As soon as the sodden soil touches Mjoll, the rumbling in the place begins to strengthen till there is naught else but the sound of it. With a sudden roar of movement, the earth rises up to swallow Mjoll entirely, sucking them down into the earth with a muted scream of pain.
Mjoll has been slain by misadventure.
Mjoll has been sheared from her mortal flesh by the power of the earth.
*after some time passes*
As Mjoll breaks the surface of this holy ground, dirt and debris fall away from her altered form. She gives a last exhalation of living breath, while the earth recedes and leaves no trace of what has occured.
Iazamat uses Terramancy Undeath on you.
Iazamat stands with you at the closest place where the earth plane touches Sapience. he speaks to you about the strength and power that comes from choosing to shed your mortal limitations. As the time comes for the final decision, a heavy weight settles over you.
Iazamat is offering you the opportunity to undergo transformation into the Undead, removing any ties to life and its weaknesses. Type AGREE and become a Child of the Earth, or anything else to refuse.
As you are ushered into the bowels of the earth, it begins a low rumble in response to the mortal body making its way so close to a sacred cavern. The floor of the temple itself breaks apart, encasing your legs with sodden earth, trapping you in place.
As soon as the sodden soil touches your flesh, the rumbling around you begins to increase, an angry sound that soon fills your ears entirely. Once it has detected that the flesh is mortal, a roar of sound comes as the earth swallows you entirely. Pressure and pain collide as your body is shoved further into the earth, until it touches heated rock. Flesh and bone are seared and crushed away, leaving nothing but the spirit behind.
You have been slain by misadventure.
There are no obvious exits.
As the earth consumes your flesh, you are left without a body, without voice. There is no way to scream, no way to voice the sudden loss of a shell to hold your soul. All that surrounds you is earth. Stone, dirt, blackness. Despite this lack of body, pressure and movement is sensed, pushing you further into the earthen embrace.
The sense of traveling downward starts to slow. Vision somehow begins to return, but in this deep place only the muted red heat from earthen core can be seen. Pieces start to break away from the core, merging together in a central point for a new form to be molded.
The only source of light comes from the molten core, and even that dims as the pieces come to a central point and begin to merge together. They take the rough shape of a body, clumps and pieces still missing as the rock begins to cool and harden.
The pain from your mortal flesh being consumed has dimmed now to only a fleeting feeling of unease. A sense of strength starts weak and becomes stronger as molten rock and earth start binding together into a new, perfect form. The earth continues to rumble and shake with energy, drowning out all other sound.
Debris and strata from the earth itself bind, mold and shape around you in the darkness of its embrace. Bones are shaped to the body that most fits what captures your choices, cementing into place as small worms wind through the new flesh, binding with sinew and tendon, sacrificing themselves in order to be one with the new form.
Sensation starts to trickle into your extremeties. Your fingers can move, curl inwards and tighten. Toes can flex - then ankles, wrists, arms and legs. Mobility starts to return, though in the tight embrace of the Earth, it is limited. Strength and newfound power rushes through as your flesh pinkens with its newness and then settles into the proper pigment.
As you feel the last of your body form into place, movement is felt as your body is slowly pushed upward from the depths of the earth. It is a slow progression, with stray bits finalizing themselves inside, organs formed but not given the spark of life to make them function. Lungs fill in with air that is not needed, giving you one last exhalation as you break the surface and rise as a new child of strength.
As you break the surface of the holy ground, dirt and debris fall away from your body in a shower, coating the ground with remnants of your old body scattered around in a circle. One last breath is expelled from your lungs, and with it, a new understanding of the power and strength of the earth versus the weakness of mortality. You rise as a child of Strength.
Right off the bat, the line "Iazamat stands with you at the closest place where the earth plane touches Sapience." implies that Azvosh and Prime touch, but public-facing canon - which I assume to be canon-canon - says that Azvosh and Prime cannot
touch or both will be reduced to ash. Hence, the Pillars exist in an abyssal boundary separating the two planes. This piece of lore alone makes the rest of these messages, as cool as they are, a bit confusing and contradictory.
While there are very clearly islands of earth (assumed to not be Earth due to lore plainly stating the consequences) where the Pillars take root and mortals and Earthen can walk, I've never understood it to be a plane that behaves in the same way as a world. So the idea of it being sacred Earth (note the capital letter), a molten core rebuilding you, and living things in that earth (worms of all things) is a bit baffling. It doesn't line up and make sense to me, because either the public-facing canon isn't canon, the lore isn't being considered here, or someone wasn't aware of the finer details.
If the Sacrament was done on Prime, there wouldn't be any issue here. These messages could exist as they do without anyone blinking an eye. But we specifically have to travel to the Pillars (the corner of the abyssal boundary we can currently reach). It would make more sense, if the Pillars have to be involved, to instead have the Pillars rebuild us into undead. Canonically, they have offered power to the Earthen (and Teradrim) in exchange for being sated, and I feel that's something that could be worked with. As is, though, the current messages don't make sense.
So consider this a plea and request to please right this, I guess? I know it's something most people will ignore, I know it's nitpicky, I know it probably doesn't really matter in the grander scheme of things, but this particular canon is important to me. I don't want to see the lore change to suit the Sacrament, since the Sacrament is a more recent addition to the canon, I just want to see things make more sense to those who really appreciate the Pillars RP. So please either move the Sacrament location to a suitable spot on Prime or rewrite the Sacrament messages to be more in-line with the lore as it stands. I'm more than willing to offer my help, if it's wanted, too.
Finally, as an aside, consider this a vote to change the name of 'undeath' to something with fewer zombie connotations and far more cool sounding since that's been up for debate forever.
Edit: Something else I forgot to mention: I'm not sure where the temple in the messages came from. I forgot to read the room description, so I'm not sure if it's a recent addition, but it also seems entirely out of place for the location.
Edit2: Also, if I'm wrong, please correct me!