I am in the middle of writing an essay to explain how and why this spell works, as well as covering a few other subjects such as the nature of souls themselves and the way that I - and my characters - see Spirit Healers to work. This shall be completed, hopefully in the near future - if not, I will post what I have when I have it.
P3a 19:09, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
On Spirit HealersEdit
The Spirit Healer, if you actually read what she says to us, puts it quite nicely. "It is not yet your time" (or words to that effect). This, to me, encompasses the whole thing. What you see is what you get. The idea being - there are two types of death.
There's a fatal injury, and you fall over, and your spirit's no longer got a vehicle - but it can only go so far without Fate lending a hand. Because it's "not your time", your spirit merely goes to the nearest spirit healer, and does its spirit walk thing back to your corpse - the spirit healer's bestowed upon you the power (whatever type of magic that is) to resurrect yourself once you get there, you just need to do it yourself.
You can ask her to do it for you, but you have to give her something of yours - resurrection sickness is, presumably, where she takes some of your power in return for using hers to teleport your body. It's all very Extreme True Neutral.
Especially when you take into consideration she probably does this for the bad guys, as well - it explains respawns, guys! Isn't that great? Blizzard gave us all the tools we need to understand, for once.
I imagine the time between the person keeling over and, presumably later resurrecting themselves, is rather nerve-wracking for the other people in their party, because...
...then, there's the second type of death, and you never know which one it's going to be until the second one happens. You sustain a fatal injury, and... it is your time. You're fated to die at that point. Nothing can bring you back after that (well, almost). Ever wonder why Thrall didn't just magic up some shamanistic rebirth spell for Grom? Yeah, me too. I figure it was because it was Grom's "Time" (for want of a better, less pretentious word) to die, and Thrall was way too nice and shaman-y to consider the alternatives to just letting Grom die - necromancy, demon pacts, the old way of making Death Knights (putting dead orc souls into human bodies, IIRC)...
See, imagine there are two boxes. Every time you get bonked on the head with a big sword, you have to pick one of the two boxes to open. You never know what's going to be in the box. Inside one is a little electric shock - and inside the other is certain, instant death. Even though there's a chance you'll get the little shock rather than the death, you're still going to be terrified of opening the boxes and, subsequently, terrified of being bonked on the head with a big sword.
Everybody gets rather irate when people bring other people back from their fated death. Everybody, including the Reds (undeath is not life), Bronzes (intefering with Fate), Greens (it's unnatural) and Blues ("What? You're using OUR magic for YOUR necromancy?"). The Blacks are all a bit crazy anyway.
Big things, like wars, are significant events in history. As such, it simply follows that more people are going to be fated to die in a war than, say, in time of peace. Somebody is more likely to be fated to die after a long stuggle with a disease than when doing unspectacular things like staying in the forests killing boars - hence, even though we know a lot of low-level characters die killing those boars (wolves, bears, Hogger...), we never really hear of anybody dying forever whilst attacking them.
It makes me wonder if whoever the Spirit Healers work for really likes good stories. Maybe they work for the Old Gods, and the Old Gods are reading our stories like books, killing us off when they get bored of us! Oooohhh. Extreme chaotic neutral cthulhoid horrors abound.
This is also fully compatible roleplay with somebody who doesn't roleplay this way - whose character believes that you get knocked out whenever that happens. The character who believes in the spirit healer can speculate that the knocked-out-theorist character simply forgets their out-of-body experience, and the knocked-out-theorist character can speculate that the spirit-healer-theorist character has reoccuring halucinations whenever they get hit too hard on the head. Everybody's happy!
I could go on to speak of how I believe Soul Shards can work and still allow respawns, and speculate more on who or why the Spirit Healers do what they do, but I digress. I hope this answered a few potential questions on the subject and clarified my point of view on the thing.