Recompense: Soulbinder is an RPG project I'm working on. (Will finish this pitch later.)
The following is an excerpt from the game's opening.
Years ago, the empire figured a way to bind the souls of the dead to objects, or rarely, a place. Particular metals could be specially treated with herbs, and the result would cause a reaction that tricks spirits into thinking the object is an appropriate receptacle on an instinctive level. This proved useful because the latent spiritual energy could be harnessed to power all sorts of magical artifacts. Unfortunately, the souls of the dead would still go mad, and though they would output more energy, there was a backlash that if the user proved weak willed, would eventually kill the user.
An artificer that is killed this way is immediately corrupted by the soul escaping the binding and becomes a monster. This typically results in the creation of a zombie, but especially strong souls maintain their intelligence and become things far worse. If they survive though, the soul would burn through its energy far too quickly, weakening it enough that it loses its grip on this level of existence and it would pass on.
Later, they found a way to kill a God. Soon, they learned that unlike a mortal, a God's soul will eventually reincarnate in a new body, but binding halted the process. In addition, the souls of Gods are effectively infinite, and do not disperse when bonded. No mortal artificer can resist the backlash of a God gone mad for long however and as a result die and become what are known as God Beast. God Beast are less powerful than the beings used to create them, but are ravenous abominations that get stronger as they kill intelligent beings, taking the energy from them much as a mortal ghost would, but instantly, and permanently destroying the victims in the process.
The greatest of the empire's wizards took note of this phenomenon, and began to study it in detail. The link used between user and receptacle is malleable, and can be transferred or severed at will. So, some were able to learn to bind and destroy even a God Beast before they became too powerful. Others took their knowledge and influence and found a way to cheat death using magic to store their souls in artifacts intentionally, then attaching them to an unwitting God Beast after weakening them, forcefully possessing them, and finally becoming a sentient God Beast themselves.
This pattern of monsters, God Beast, and worse was allowed to run rampant, resulting in the destruction of the majority of the empire. In the chaos, many Gods fell or went into hiding, and no longer shepherd the dead, which only made everything worse. The old magic, and nearly all of the related research was destroyed, and the remnant of the Empire banned any practice of what is now known as necromancy. This came far too late though, and the scattered and isolated citizens soon forgot the empire.
Over several generations, the descendants of these citizens formed new tribes, and are beginning to venture out and fight back against the plague of monsters and God Beast. The spirits of their ancestors remained trapped in many of these beings, and some held onto their sanity enough to share the horrors of the past. This knowledge however, is all word of mouth and yet to be compiled, so different traditions have begun to crop up in the scattered empire. Some wish to work together while others developed war like tendencies. For now, the threat of monsters keeps them separate, but equal. What will happen when it lessens?
The old guard of the empire is still around, if weakened, and seeks to regain its control over the new tribes. They know that if the God beasts are slain, then the old Gods will be reborn, and order will be restored. Communication has been difficult though, as all the old highways and infrastructure is gone. The tribes are isolated, and have grown fond of their independence. All that is left of the old world lies with the old guard, will they be able to reunite the tribes under their banner? Can they rectify the mistakes caused by their hubris?
And in the shadows of the Old Empire, the wizards who transcend humanity are watching. They gather power, striking down those that come close to the truth. The gods cannot be reborn; the old guard cannot be restored. They seek to end the abominations, this will not pass.
Grab the demo for the game at the Recompense Homepage!