BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Academics disagree regarding whether or not soullessness was an existent problem pre-Sundering, but it cannot be denied that it has caused a host of pain, fear, and grief in its prevalence post-Sundering.


Regardless of how it is incurred, the fundamental cause of soullessness is a lack of soul in an animated body.    In the Deadlands, if immediate actions are not taken to revive an individual and restore their soul and a new body refreshes at an impaired Star Shrine, the body will not contain the individual's soul. Incidents have also occurred when an attempt at a resurrection has resulted in soullessness instead of a true resurrection.   On very, very rare occasion (thought by many to be merely fearmongering myth), a soulless has manifested within a Sanctuary zone. This is an indication that the Sanctuary zone itself is in fact failing, and happens almost exclusively close to a border.


Initial observable symptoms include a profound listlessness, a disinclination to make any kind of motion, an emptiness of intelligence or recognition in the eyes, and an absence of natural reactions to stimulus of any kind. An affected body may continue to breathe and have a heartbeat and all other natural functions, but the conscious self is simply absent.


Soulless bodies have been known to be kept in preservation via means such as petrification, crystallization, cryogenic freezing, or similar stasis-inducing magic. There is no known method or successful execution of retrieving the lost soul.   Preservation methods are no longer considered an advisable course of action.


Left alone, soulless bodies simply exist, standing in place. They continue to breathe and have heartbeats uninterrupted. Over time the bodies slowly waste away and eventually begin to decay, until nothing remains but skeletons, still standing in place. They are effectively undead.


The soulless are uniquely vulnerable to two conditions: possession and sock puppetting.    Possession is when the body is occupied by an alternate entity. Sock puppetting is when command of the body is taken over by a necromancer.


The only sure prevention of soullessness is to restore an individual's soul to their body as quickly as possible, whether via aesul elixir or directly by a paladin, after the body's condition has been returned to viability. This is true even inside a Sanctuary zone. However, inside a Sanctuary zone it is generally considered safe to allow a natural refreshing with the new dawn.   Barring the immediate restoration of a soul, one needs to have had one's soul captured inside a soul stone, to be held safely until restoration is possible.


There have been three known waves of soullessness.    The first was during and immediately following the Sundering, and is agreed to be the worst.   The second took place when Zone 5's Sanctuary zone is thought to have been deliberately sabotaged by a cabal of necromancers, causing widespread fear and destruction.   The third is just beginning, with the apparent shrinking of Zone One's borders.

Cultural Reception

For a time, fear of possession and sock puppetting led to attempts to destroy the soulless immediately upon manifesting, however it was discovered that the soulless simply refreshed with the dawn, just as they would have if they were still living.    As an alternative to continuing to attempt to destroy them, several large, maze-like necropolises were built out in the Deadlands, and any discovered soulless were deposited there.
Chronic, Acquired
Affected Species

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!