Cryonics

Cryonics describes the expert use of Hydromancy to slowly freeze and then store organic tissues or even corpses. Due to the power of Curative Magic and Biomicrokinesis the use of the science is largely currently limited to cases of sudden death with the hope of preserving the body until resurrection, or victims of currently incurable conditions such as lethal viral infections. It also serves as the basis for industrial grade long term storage refrigeration, for those willing to pay the excessive costs.  

History

The first known references to cryonic freezing are surprisingly old, and typically mentioned in conjunction with references to Ancient Magic. It remains undetermined whether these early writings convey practical application or merely academic hypotheses. Modern scholars agree that if the science of Cryonics had been actively practiced in ancient times the temperature control required to hold the results within the required temperature tolerance would have been impossible to maintain without active monitoring, and therefore no functional examples of the ancient science would have survived to the present day.   The current applications of Cryonics are fairly recent, developed in 5746 CFE by when a creative Arcturian scientists determined a method of applying the principles of Cryogenics to organic tissue.   While the scientist's original intention was to develop a long-term method to safely store the town's game meat with minimal loss of flavor or texture, one of the local Healers quickly realized the potential medical applications.

Utility

Cryonics allows for the long term preservation of a body for repair and reuse later. The original soul can be drawn back into the body with the aid of Necromancy, or a different soul can be bound in its place.   The original inhabitant will require no further effort once their soul is returned to the body, as they are already attuned to that body. In cases where the preserved body is no longer of interest to the former occupant they can choose to release it for use by others. In these cases a complex Rune Magic ritual is required to bind the new soul in place and align it with its new host. These runes are typically tattooed into the skin while the soul is guided into the body, laying a careful spiritual web to keep the soul tied within. Legally the binding must be voluntary, with options to allow the new soul to voluntarily depart the body for any reason including its death, preventing the risk of undead.   Individuals living within a body which was not originally their own are often called skinlodgers and are recognized by their rune work tattoos. The bodies of skinlodgers tend to degrade faster than those of souls wearing their own skin, possibly due to the less precise alignment between body and soul. In some cases though an individual will bond with their new body almost as if it were their original, in which case their tattoos begin to fade and eventually disappear as the magic itself is absorbed into the bond between body and soul.  

Freezing

Cryonic Freezing requires a mastery of Hydromancy and an enviable level of control over the freezing process of water. Care must be taken to avoid accelerated or violent freezing, as this will cause catastrophic damage to the body including the rupture of cells and the crystallization of liquids throughout the body. For this reason Cryonic freezing is slow, patient work. Because the freezing process also kills any organism affected by the spells, including any inhabitants of the body itself, it is highly recommended the process never be performed on live subjects.   The soul of the individual is permitted to pass beyond the Veil. Their body will typically be stored with a durable, personal memento to assist the Necromancer in guiding their soul back after the Thawing process.  

Storing

Critically, organic material frozen with Cryonics requires precision in monitoring and maintaining temperature. Fluctuations in temperature will cause additional damage due to repeated thawing and freezing cycles. For this reason, while most facilities so maintain some form of automated temperature controls they are also kept under constant surveillance by someone with the necessary Hydromancy and Pyromancy skills to perform emergency controlled temperature adjustments.  

Thawing

The process for thawing cryonic subjects also requires great care and attention to detail. While more forgiving than the freezing and storage processes thawing must also be performed gradually to prevent any unnecessary stress upon the cells, which are already likely damaged from the thawing process.   An experienced Healer will supervise the thawing process, applying Curative Magic to repair and stimulate the cells until the body begins to function and repair itself on its own. This is grueling and exacting work, requiring a mastery of Curative magics as well as intense concentration.   Upon completion of their task the body is ready for the last step of the process, the guiding and binding of a soul within. This process requires Necromancy to either call the original inhabitant back to their body or attract the intended new soul recipient before binding them within using Rune Magic.   Legal soul transplants require a very precise set of runes, binding the soul to the body so it can stay within but also granting the soul permissions to depart of its own free will. Failure to include these clauses will permanently bind the soul within the body even as the body fails. This is one of the possible sources of the Undead.
Access & Availability
Cryonics remains expensive to implement and maintain, limiting its use to the wealthy and the desperate. Due to the care required during the chilling process to avoid crystallization, coupled with the stringent temperature stability requirements, the process has many points for possible failure. The exorbitant costs to initiate Cryonics and maintain it mean that most find the procedure difficult to justify.
Complexity
Only an expert in Hydromancy can be expected to perform the cooling process required for successful Cryonics, as even the smallest error can have catastrophic results upon the subject of the procedure. They must be able to lower the subject's temperature to a super chilled state, but in a highly controlled manner to avoid crystallization of the fluids and cells within the body. To prevent further damage this temperature must then be perfectly monitored and maintained until the subject is to be thawed.   The thawing process must also be controlled at a gradual increase of temperature, although here there is at least some leeway for error provided the fluids are not permitted to begin to boil. A Healer must also be present, in addition to the Hydromancer, to kickstart the cellular repairs needed by the body to correct the damages caused by the freezing process. A practicioner of Necromancy must also be present to guide the individual's soul back into their body from the higher planes. A failure at this step will result in a living but empty shell, commonly known as a Zombie.


Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

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Comments

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Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
28 Jan, 2021 10:47

As usual, very interesting article. Very inspiring, I will have to work on hydromancy for my world in future but I haven't quite decided which way to proceed... The only thing I would like is a slightly different visual aspect but, probably, I am just anticipating the times, I know you have done the article overnight while fighting insomnia therefore you had to go with the inspiration of the moment :D

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
28 Jan, 2021 12:46

What do you mean by a different visual aspect? Do you mean layout? Did I make the sidebar too long again?   I look forward to reading about your hydromancy when you get to it!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
28 Jan, 2021 13:01

No, I mean just that some nice image may fit well, splitting the text. But I leave it with you, you are more than capable to decide it!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
28 Jan, 2021 13:05

Ah.   Someday I intend to do a visual update on my world and add graphics. The layout and sizing of visuals is a challenge at the present time due to the fact I write on my cell phone, so I can't see the effects on a bigger screen. As a result I am hesitant to add them since mid-sized graphics can be very disrupting.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
28 Jan, 2021 13:06

Mis-sized   No thanks for the "help" autocorrect. Ha!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
28 Jan, 2021 13:08

Ah I see. I didn't know that and I relate to the difficulties to write on a small screen... it's rather challenging. I admire you a little bit more now that I know, I get so frustrated to write on my mobile that I hardly do it.

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
30 Jan, 2021 10:10

Is this what was used in the short story you wrote? It's a very different take on necromancy, as is all your magic system. I really like it.

30 Jan, 2021 18:07

Cryonics was not specifically used, but rather a fresh body she obtained and prepared just for the occasion..   But if you want to learn more about the details behind the story, my "Zombie" article would be of interest, and also the "Skinlodging" article I am still writing.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
2 Feb, 2021 15:52

This is such an interesting article. I love how you've gone through the steps of how you would freeze and thaw a body whilst causing a minimal amount of harm. The thawing process is the most interesting to me.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
2 Feb, 2021 16:02

Thank you!   It's certainly the most unique and complicated part of the process, haha. I had a lot of fun figuring out how this would work.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
3 Mar, 2021 18:44

Well thought out. The only thing I was wanting was an explanation of how the soul is extracted for replacing later. Did I miss that?

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
3 Mar, 2021 20:32

No, I didn't really go into that here. More under Necromancy and the Veil. A soul could be caught upon death using a soul trap, and imprisoned within an object, which is typically used as punishment. I would not recommend that method if you want to bring the person back.   Cryonics preserves the body, but it also kills the body. They're not alive anymore, and so they soul is free to go to the afterlife / the higher planes beyond the Veil. This is why a Necromancer is required to guide the soul back into their body, they've been dead while their body was frozen. And sometimes people who wanted to stay in the mortal planes change their mind once they experience lift beyond the Veil, and decide they don't want to come back. While there are still ways to rebind the soul to their former body reputable necromancers will not do so.   I hope this makes sense?

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
3 Mar, 2021 20:38

I added another paragraph under Freezing. Hopefully this helps clear things up. Thanks for your comment!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
3 Mar, 2021 21:18

That makes perfect sense!

Kahuna the Elder aka Leo - www.kahunatheelder.com Creator of Arnathia
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 May, 2021 19:34

I'm loving how you blend the idea of cryo with magic. It really opens up some amazing possibilities! The idea of using a body to tether a different soul is probably my favorite bit here. Well done.

25 May, 2021 19:48

Thank you! I have so much fun merging magic and science, there's so many ways they can work well together!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
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