The God of Death and the Man He Loved

Once, Emet-Selch dearly loved a mortal man. He did all he could to keep the man safe and well. The two of them abided together for more than a century, the man never aging or falling ill.

They were happy.

But as time passed, life around the formerly-mortal man began to suffer. Plants withered, animals died, men grew ill and faded. Even the god of death could not forestall the inevitable forever.

Emet-Selch desperately tried to find a solution. But his lover knew what he had to do. He told Emet-Selch, “You know that all which lives must one day return to the star.”

And so, rather than returning his lover’s aether to the Great Flow where it would break apart and mix with countless other souls, Emet-Selch took his lover into the Underworld, where together they abided for another century.

And they were happy.

But his lover suffered. He enjoyed the company of Emet-Selch and, when they came to visit, the other gods. But it was mostly a lonely existence, especially since the god of death had duties that kept him busy. He endured for Emet-Selch’s sake. But he was lonelier than he had ever been.

Eventually, Emet-Selch saw this. And he knew he had been selfish.

Finally he granted his lover that which he desired. But he took care to preserve his lover’s soul as he placed it gently into the Great Flow. And so while the man’s memories of his life were washed away in rebirth, his soul remained intact.

From that day onward, mortals who earn the favor of the god of death are rewarded with the rebirth of their soul in full. While they do not clearly recall their past lives, some emotions and instincts remain.

As for Emet-Selch and his mortal lover, it is said that they have found each other again and again, loved each other over and over, for a thousand thousand lifetimes.

And they are happy.