Dying. Get used to it. That's part of the beauty of a MUD; You can do things you can't do in real life. Among these are things such as combat, which tend to get you killed in real life. In Dartmud, things are much as they are in real life, except that you can come back after you do get yourself killed.
Normally, when you die, your spirit disinhabits your corpse. When your spirit is not contained in a body or other container, you begin to lose any skills you may have accrued. You are also at risk of the corpse rotting away, or being butchered and eaten by some unfriendly and unsympathetic being. Should this happen, you will have ceased to exist, and you must start over.
You may also "give up the ghost" voluntarily, as you hover over your battered corpse. In any of these cases, you can come back, using the same name, but you will have to wait 20 minutes and register again. Never fear, your registration code will be valid, and your mail (but not your bank account) will still be waiting for you.
Your salvation in this situation is the opportunity to be resurrected. If you were lucky enough to have died in the company of friends, they will be able to seek help for you. If you have died alone, with no hopes of being found in a timely manner, you may sacrifice some of your skill in exchange for the ability to send a message to some other person. Ideally, you want to do this only once, so as to minimize the skill loss.
Choose wisely what you say in your message. You want the person to whom you send your message to be (a) able and (b) willing to come find you. Typically you would include your name and your exact location, along with what sort of hazard it was that killed you. After all, if your rescuer dies, they're no good to you.
Once rescued, you will need to find healers of moderately amazing skill (with moderately amazing salaries, payable by you) to heal your corpse back to health and tuck you back into it. Don't be surprised if you feel somewhat stupid after you get resurrected - a bit of brain damage is common, depending on the degree of rot.
This irritating variety of death can be prevented, although somewhat expensively. There are magical objects of various forms in the world, known as amulets, which will take your soul (and with it all your skills) into custody as it attempts to escape your body. Now, this seems better than losing skills and rotting away, but now you will need to get reincarnated. To be reincarnated, you need an unoccupied warm body (preferrably the one you just left, although this is rare), and a healer of amazing skill (with an appropriately amazing salary, payable by you). While your friends are trying to find a body, and someone to install you in it, your enemies may be carrying you, in your amulet, off to the ends of the earth. Meanwhile, you cannot read your mail (which is stacking up by the minute), practice your skills, or perform any normal actions, except talk.
If you are confined to an amulet, with no prospects of being resurrected, feel free to type "die". Now you can start over, as described above.
If you can manage to get the healer, a body, and your amulet, with you in it and logged on, in the same place at the same time, perhaps you can get reincarnated. If so, you can resume as you were before. Just hope the healer doesn't sneeze while he's casting the reincarnation spell...
Amulets are single use only, so not only will you need to pay off the healer, (and don't stiff them, as healers are known to have some pretty heavy muscle backing them up) but you will also need to come up with a new amulet, if you plan on dying again anytime soon.
Also, whatever killed you the first time may still be looking for you...
See Also: help death tell