Souls are a cluster of Mana
that is the embodiment of a sentient person's memories, personality and being. Every living thing has a soul, but lesser creatures tend to have weaker souls compared to more intelligent species.
Souls in their purest form, are dense orbs of mana, much like how stars are clusters of space dust. Since mana is invisible to most creatures, the soul is as well. The soul only takes a physical form in spiritual realms like the Overworld
. Those who can
see souls in their purest form describe them as glowing, misty balls of magic.
As a soul exists in a body, the memories of that body will effect the appearance of the soul, especially so when it takes a physical form. If removed from the body --such as what happens in death-- the soul will take on the form of the being as they were in life, creating what is known as a Ghost
. In the case of a traumatic death, the ghost will occasionally display visual signs of that death, such as physical injuries, blood stains, burns, or being left in the clothes they died in.
Souls are what makes you 'you', As a result, soul behavior can change depending on whom the soul belonged to. However before this point, souls are a blank slate, searching for a body to make their new life. A soul will come into existence upon the creation of any new person or animal, and remained bound to them with a magical tether. When a body dies, a soul's tether to that body snaps and the soul is freed. This tether can't be recreated without another soul, making true Necromancy
difficult, if not impossible.
A soul plays an important role in casting magic. When a magic user casts spells, they are using mana from their soul rather than the mana in the air. The soul is capable of absorbing extra mana into itself to be used for spell casting. It is important for a mage to be careful about how much magic they use, as they run the risk of chipping away at the mana vital to keeping their soul together. This causes a condition known as Mana Exhaustion
. Rarely, a soul can absorb too much excess mana for the body to handle, causing Mana Poisoning.
During sleep or unconsciousness, the soul is capable of leaving the body while still remaining tethered to it. Most of the time it comes in the form of the soul entering an astral dimension known as the Mindscape
, where people dream. Some forms of magic allow the soul to dream walk from their own dream would to someone else. Another type of magic is Astral Projection, where the soul leaves the body and can wander other realms that isn't the mindscape.
A soul that has been freed from a body is invisible and intangible when it's in the mortal realm. While some ghosts can absorb energy and mana to make themselves physical for brief moments, they are otherwise useless on the surface. As such, most souls move on to a spiritual realm to spend their after life. Most good willed souls will ascend to the Overworld to live in eternal bliss, while those who are unworthy or have emotional baggage are barred from entering. These souls will often either float endlessly on the surface, or go to the Underworld.
If a soul is given enough energy in a spiritual realm, they can go from a ghost to a Demon
, a type of powerful undead creature that can manipulate mortal minds. Souls without bodies are also capable of possessing other bodies and taking control of it by pushing the original soul out of the way. The stronger the soul is, the harder it is for the original soul to wrestle control from. But since the possessing soul is not tethered to the body, it can be removed from the body with an exorcism.
After some time, a soul that has been drained of energy can begin to fade. Fading is when the soul's mana breaks apart and scatters back into the ether. This can be an instantaneous process, or a slow, agonizing one. The soul will lose memories and aspect of their personality, and their physical form will begin to warp and decay. The person a faded soul used to be will cease to exist as the mana is released from it. The only way to stop fading is to be reincarnated. This is when the soul's memories and personality is erased from a soul, but the soul itself remains, and is reused for another living being.
People with reincarnated souls will usually not have any memories of their past lives, or even realize they had any, unless when using some sort of past life regression magic.
The soul is a fragile thing and can be damaged through excessive use of magic. Damage to the soul can corrupt it and change it, and because the soul plays such and important role in a person's being, is can have some nasty effects on them. Soul corruption can alter memories, personality, magic, and even the physical body, usually in a negative way. Corruption severe enough can even turn people into monsters.
Soul corruption is not easily fixed, as it doesn't respond to magic the same way the body and mind would. An unskilled healer risks making the damage worse with the wrong movements. The corruption is often never truly healed, as it leaves permanent scars. Corruption can persist even in the afterlife.