I’ve been musing over this for a fair amount of time, but I want to know if it’ll work before building a whole world. So I’ll get down into the who, what, when etc part of it.


He was a soldier for his country, in his mid-twenties. He protected the people, respected the country ruler, but eventually took a turn for the worse. A continuous habit of hot temper, strong spirits, and frequent killing. It continued until he attacked a disguised enchantress and her companion. She cursed him to be a death-bringer, hidden from society, cursed to collect the dead’s life-spirits. No one can see him, and he’s afraid to touch a living person.


A death-bringer curse. Causing the victim to perform death’s deeds and deliver lost souls. The victim’s skin color grows almost unnaturally pale. The person’s eyes will glow, especially when angry. The victim cannot be seen by regular human beings, only those who have the talent to look beyond. Touch will most often result in death or severe injury. The victim naturally shows up at a dying person’s last moments to take the life-spirit, which only the death-bringer can see. Occasionally the victim will lose control of their emotions and have “dangerous fits” that lasts from a few minutes to an hour.


The character was in his mid-twenties when he was cursed. The curse lasts around four, almost five years. The country is in the reign of it’s third leader.


I haven’t completely came up with a solid geography idea but the attack happened in a mountainous region. The country has rulers, soldiers, and villagers. Much like a kingdom. But more along the line of emperors or courts in the case of the ruler.


See What and Who for background and curse info.

I hope I explained it good. If I need to, I’ll add more info. The main thing is would this work?

  • 1
    You have an idea for a story and it seems fine. I note that hot temper dangerous fits and a penchant for killing is not entirely congruous with doing Death's deeds - Death's agenda, not his own. Some curses are blessings in disguise. Maybe this is what he needs to grow and mature.
    – Willk
    Mar 29, 2021 at 2:20
  • Thanks for the comment Willk! I agree, maybe this is what he needs. I'll work on his "mood swings."
    – The Eclipse's Shadow
    Mar 29, 2021 at 2:22
  • 1
    This seems more about writing than worldbuilding
    – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica
    Mar 29, 2021 at 3:04
  • If you haven't read Piers Anthony's book On a Pale Horse, you really should. The MC kills death and assumes his role as a semi-divine incarnation of Death. This can work, but there isn't a real world-building question: it's more like "Does this sound good?"
    – DWKraus
    Mar 29, 2021 at 3:18
  • 2
    If your question is really 'how to create such a character' then the simplest answer is to read more. Find fantasy books that deal with personifications of Death, myths related to Death, death angels, shinigami (Japanese gods of death), etc. and read them. I do not think that anyone here or elsewhere has a recipe for a death-bringer.
    – Otkin
    Mar 29, 2021 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


You have missed one fundamental question in your list: Why?

What are your goals, as an author, to create this kind of character? Everything depends on that. Will it be a journey of redemption, or one of growing madness and rage, or self-discovery, or just a piece of background flavor in world-building? Will your character evoke fear, disgust, compassion, curiosity, schadenfreude, or whatever else you want? What is his relevance to the living world of your story?

Don't try to weave some story around what at this point is an inert piece of mechanics of your world, a piece of lore with no consequence, suspended in a void, serving no purpose other than providing some exposition into the state and nature of the world.

Define your ultimate goals, what sort of story you want to tell, what you want to convey and what you want to evoke in your readers. Then think of means - how, what type of character, what actions, relations and introspections will provide that. Then you can adjust your death-bringer's character to fit. Or scratch him completely if he doesn't.

It's like you've painstakingly machined a precise, fancy, and somewhat versatile part of a mechanism, except you never decided what that mechanism is supposed to be, and what it's supposed to do. At this point it's pointless asking "how to make that part work" if nobody, including you, knows what it's supposed to do.

Find that out, and you'll likely come up with what you need to get there and how to make the part do what you want it to do, all by yourself.

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