This is the worst thing that can happen to a character in the early Wizardry games of the Llylgamyn Saga. If a character's status says "Ashes", he is not only dead, but his body has been incinerated. While a character with a "Dead" status can be resurrected by casting the "Di" spell, or by letting the priests of the Temple of Cant do the job, only divine intervention can raise a character from the ashes. This can be achieved by the "Kadorto" spell or, the Temple of Cant. Raising a character from the ashes is more expensive than ordinary resurrection. Success, however, will provide the character with full hit points. Failure results in the character being "Lost" Forever - his file will be erased.
Characters are turned to Ashes if subjected to a failed resurrection attempt, if they are hit with an Electric Bolt trap from a chest, or hit by an "unavoidable" trap such as the one on Level 3 of the Maze. I believe holding the Lightning Rod will negate these "unavoidable" traps, this will be tested soon.
Most likely, every player will at one point or another, scream at the Temple of Cant after paying for a failed resurrection AND a failed raising from ashes. The success of both raising and resurrecting from Ashes is affected by a character's luck stat, meaning that freshly class changed characters are most likely to be "Lost" Forever.