The Ghosts of Gavepoli make up, bizarrely, the city’s uppermost strata. It sages have studied long and hard on what allows a ghost to remain after death, and they have produced a list, the 666 Ghostly Steps, with which all of the Gavepolian families are quite familiar. The first child of each house is put through an endless series of tortures and traumas to go along with their education and indulgence, with the notion that upon their death they will rise from the grave as the perfect head of a household–immortal, unkillable, detached.

No ghost has ever been known to linger more than 200 years or so, the point at which their lingering spiritual energy fades and they become imperceptible to humans. So even those families currently headed by a ghost have a child undergoing their 66. It is also not unusual for a family to spend 25-30 years ghostless, as the process fails far more often than it succeeds.

The ghosts themselves are clad in noble vestments and treated as if they are living. Ornate masks are particularly essential, lest the ghastly visage drive others to madness and make the business of governance impossible. Notably, and most strangely of all, no living beings may enter the Gavepoli Guildhall, where the city council meets.

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