The Cherokee did not like to lose a single warrior. They believed anyone who killed a Cherokee was a murderer. The Cherokee believed that after a person died, his or her spirit could not rest until their murderer was captured and killed.
The Darkening Land was the place Cherokee spirits went to rest.
The Cherokee believed that torturing captives helped to send the spirits of dead Cherokee warriors to the Darkening Land. Lucky captives were sold into slavery. Others were first tortured and then burned at the stake.