Grafting Technology / Science in Shedim | World Anvil


I don't care what I was. I know where I'm going.
  A rare form of magical butchery, Grafting takes bits and pieces of monster and binds them to mortals, creating something greater than the sum of their parts. While some spirits might offer splinters of their being as part of a Pacts, transformancers use grafting to take whatever parts they want, pact or not. Such thefts of essence were once so far and few between to be mythical, attached to names that echoed with glory or infamy.   Now, secrets unveiled have lead to a new, gore-stained era of transformation. The gates have opened, and the ambitious or desperate carve themselves apart for the chance to become something greater.  

Making A Monster

Hold still. This is going to hurt worse than Hell.
  Grafting comes in two types; body and soul. The first changes the physical shell of the recipient by binding bits of monster to them, and the second change the core of their being by merging their soul with that of another.  


Body Grafting takes some part of a monster imbued with power and transplants it into a mortal recipient, binding their essence to that of the monstrous organ. Anything from limbs, to eyes, to hearts or even less identifiable organs  
Most transformancers have to be able surgeons, connecting veins and nerves to new limbs.
  The parts have to be fresh to work. While preserved limbs and organs can still do the job, the very best come straight from the source, as it were. Some butchers even keep menageries of captured monstrosities locked away, just in case they need it fresh.
Some limbs retain a vestige of their previous owner's identity, occasionally acting on its own.
  Once attached and assimilated, the limb imparts its power to the recipient. Some offer purely physical advantages, such as raw strength or razor-sharp claws, while others have abilities beyond the normal. These can be anything from hypnotic eyes or heart that beats regenerating energy into broken flesh, to things only found in monsters, now claimed by mortals. Enough to tempt anyone with the promise of power not easily acquired any other way. Most Body Grafts are small - a hand, an eye, an arcane organ - but size, along with ambition, is growing.   Stolen parts will begin to crumble if subject to repeated stress, usually by overuse or significant strain. This can be inconvenient or crippling if the part is a hand or fatal for those who have replaced their blood or some internal organs. Damaged grafts heal slowly without help, if at all. Those who rely too heavily on borrowed power often find that it abandons them in the worst possible moments.  
As an emerging art, it isn't always what the results of a graft will be. At least one new school of magic has emerged from the melding of monstrous transplants and mystic imagination, but so has a whole heap of corpses and failures.


The more esoteric kind of grafting, known by perhaps half a dozen in the whole world. Soul Grafting binds a monster or spirit whole to the recipient's soul, merging the two into a new inseparable whole. It is a dangerous, delicate process that involves distilling the monster down to living energy before fusing them to the mortal. Depending on the transformancers, this can look like a complex alchemical concoction or blood-splattered ritual.   It is not a pleasant experience for either participant, and the alteration is terrible to behold. Flesh and bone twist, warp, and break as two entities struggle within a single shell. Survivors speak of feeling like their souls were coming apart, something new flowing in to fill the ruptures. None are ever the same after.
by Unsplash (Jaroslav Devia)
But that's the price of power.
  Once done, survivors have a new and inhuman source of energy to draw on to fuel their magic, in addition to what they could already muster. Like any battery, the new power within them occasionally needs to be recharged, too. Depending on the critter consumed, doing that might require drinking blood like a vampire, basking in the moon, or any other sort of unpleasant or unethical thing. Many also acquire or can develop abilities and physical attributes of the soul they have assimilated, whether they want to or not.   This power isn't without cost or its use without consequence. Forever changed, the recipient of the soul graft has bits and pieces of their selves replaced by something else, something monstrous. Even the least altered come out the other end with new quirks, while others are wholly unrecognizable from who they were. Unlike Body Grafting, this process is irreversible.  
by Pixabay (Stephan Keller)

Risks & Consequences

Either form of grafting is physically taxing, with no guarantee of survival. The more potent the graft's unwilling donor is, the longer and more traumatic the process. Recovering after can take weeks, if not months, and always include a period of adapting to both the new physical traits and appearance of the changes, and its supernatural qualities.  
Of course, some have no problem embracing what they have become. The lust for power, at any price, makes such trifling sacrifices nothing more than momentary distractions.
by Pixabay
Many feel like there's something wrong after, like some important part of the missing or that the limb they've acquired isn't truly theirs. For those who have gone through a soul graft, it only gets worse, though some are so changed they can no longer remember enough to miss it.  
Then there are the voices in their dreams, screaming for release.
  Others embrace the rush of power that comes with the graft and begin to seek more grafts to further divorce themselves from humanity.
Be careful hunting monsters, lest you become the meal for one yourself.
by Pixabay


The Beyond is a realm of monsters and magic, of wonder and horror, far from the mortal world. Here, spirits, gods, and demons dwell among impossible, myth-shrouded lands. Getting there is difficult, and getting out can be even worse.   Almost all entities of power worth sealing a pact with lives in the Beyond, in castles made out of dreams and nightmares, in fear-shadowed forests of primordial glories, or among a thousand different hells.   All the best parts are in the Beyond - still attached to terrors unwilling to part with them.  
The Beyond
Geographic Location | Jul 3, 2021

The world beyond all other worlds, a place of wonder and horror in equal measure.



Pacts are contracts signed with entities of power, usually from the Beyond, where a Magi makes a promise in exchange for some boon. These range from small and fleeting, such as safe passage through a part of the Beyond or the Key to a particular Gate, all the way to immortality and forbidden, blasphemous powers. The price paid rises accordingly, and only fools make such promises lightly.   Making deals with monsters is nothing new, but becoming one piece by piece... Novel.  
Condition | Jul 8, 2021

Making a deal with a devil, and its consequences.

Demons refuse to bind pacts with those who have gone through with a Soul Graft; their souls no longer 'right'.

The Martezi Family

Arcane mercenaries specializing in pacts, the Martezi family are reportedly plunging head-first into learning as much as they can about grafting. Some say the art was first discovered by them, but as with most things regarding the Martezi, the truth is shrouded in rumors and lies.   Experts in Pacts, the Martezi is either a venerable line of knowledgable magi, a masterful scam, or maybe both, depending on who you ask. The Martezi barter their expertise in spirits and pacts to any who will pay their exorbitant prices, saving Magi the trouble of doing anything but pay two entities; the spirit, and the family.   Exactly what the Martezi do with their treasure trove is anyone's guess, and that guess is 'nothing good'.  
The Martezi Family
Ethnicity | Jul 8, 2021

Experts in dealing with demons, sealing pacts, and getting paid for it.



A common pact to make is for a Familiar - spirits housed in stolen flesh. Anchored in a corpse prepared for it to inhabit, spirits that would normally struggle to remain in the Prime has a sanctuary. From there, they can serve the Magi who bound it.   Soul Grafting uses the same principle but with living flesh and fresh terrors.    
Species | Jul 11, 2021

Spirits from the great Beyond, clad in stolen flesh and bound by arcane Pacts. Get yours spayed and neutered today.


An Emerging Art

Grafting is a relatively new magical art, less than a few years old. While some mythical magi acquired the power of monsters through similar means, they were always rare and never with much consistency to either method or effect. Its first application in the modern world is either attributed to an Arabic mage named Raha Hannan or an unknown Irish wizard. The former has spoken about her work and sold her services, while the former is known only through their trademark work with transplanted eyes, always with a signature.  
It is still, and will likely remain, a rare form of magic-surgery. It requires an unusual combination of skills and what one could call an utter lack of concern for humanity, and most magi are squeamish about the prospect.
  Rumors persist that the origin of the art comes not from any mortal wizard, but from the Beyond. According to some, it comes from pacts made with cannibalistic spirits who prey on other monsters, and their assistance is required for a graft to be successful.   Among magi, opinions of grafts are split. Some are horrified, some intrigued, and the rest cautiously stay away to see where this goes. If more people knew what really went on during a soul graft, opinions would likely shift to the first group. Already, some magi make it their mission to hunt the abominations spawned by too many grafts. For that reason and many others, transformancers who specialize in the art stay hidden, offering their services to an exclusive clientele.  
by Unsplash (Mark Tegethoff)

Rogue's Gallery

Still, there's no denying the advantage afforded to those who risk it. A few names have already risen to infamy, either from their masterful merging of monstrous power and magical prowess, or sheer transformative inhumanity. The Veil wraps tightly around these few, forcing them to spend most of their time lurking in the Shadow or away from prying eyes.  

Acadia Rose

by Pixabay (Devoka)
A story of circumstance and desperation, Acadia's graft came not from a quest for power but a desperate bid for survival. A Walker who often worked as a retrival expert into the Beyond, collecting things found nowhere else, she had a bad run-in with a brood of monsters. She barely made it back through a Gate, but her injuries were horrific and fatal.   Or would have been. For favors unknown, one of Acadia's companions took her dying body to a transformancer who performed an emergency rite. When healing failed, whatever leeching wounds the monsters inflicted never ceasing to bleed, the transformancer got creative.   Acadia's blood was drained whole from her body and replaced with that from a dread spirit. It worked, and once she recovered, Acadia found that her blood sliced like a razor once out of her veins. Using a mix of blood-inked Scribblomancy and blood magic, Acadia uses her stolen blood as a terrifying weapon and whole new style of magic.   Despite all that, she is by all accounts a pleasant enough lady. Her near-death experience has made her more cautious about heading into adventure, but after a brief stint at the Heartbreak Hotel, she's come to terms with her scars, both physical and emotional.

Mariusz Prochazka

Mariusz once hunted monsters, combining revenge and profiteering. There was always some critter somewhere causing trouble and heartache, and for a reasonable fee, Mariusz would take care of it. Sure, he earned a reputation for excessive brutality, but never towards humans. As far as anyone knows, Mariusz has never laid a finger on another human, before or after his change.   It wasn't until transformancers started asking for live specimens to get brought back that the trouble started. Though at first repulsed, Mariusz was soon intrigued by that tempting, insidious thought: just imagine what I could accomplish with this power.   Six grafts later, and Mariusz is more like his quarry than he admits - or even recognizes. Seven hearts beat within his body now, fueling incredibly physical prowess honed by years of hunting and killing. Each stolen from a vampire laid low by his own hand, and he's already looking for his next 'upgrade', despite warnings that his body is becoming unstable.
by Unsplash (Scott Umstattd)
  Barely human, Mariusz's body occasionally bloats and swells where the organs have been forced into place. At least two are outside his body, wrapped in a cocoon of skin like some pulsating, cancerous tumor. Some nights, it is impossible for him to sleep, kept awake by the thunderous drum of all seven hearts, which does nothing for his stability.  
Even those who know him think that it is only a matter of time now because he becomes a terror worse than any he has ever hunted.
by Unsplash

Cover image: by Unsplash


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12 Jul, 2021 00:49

Some limbs retain a vestige of their previous owner's identity, occasionally acting on its own.
Well, that's inconvenient. What if my new arm betrays me? I can't risk that!

12 Jul, 2021 06:13

What kind of arm would you get?

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
14 Jul, 2021 11:46

Sooo fascinating! Just the possibilities are very tempting. Bad eyesight? Don't bother with cumbersome glasses, just get new eyes :p And you can even chose the colour! Personally I'd like a new spine... Not sure about those secondary effects though... sounds like you would need to get a replacement regularly!   I love the two examples you've included at the end, it really gives a lot of depth to the world.   My first thought about the possibility of this technology was what about mixing souls half -half between a human and a monster? Who would come on top in the end? Would that just make the monster easier to deal with or just more enraged? People might not want to do that to themselves, but they don't need to be told all the deatils :p

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
15 Jul, 2021 06:40

Fortunately, the art is very limited. In Shedim, magic is still kind of lurking around and being all secret. No magic schools of Grafting here. :D   People definitely don't know all the details, but I think it's an all-or-nothing thing for now. Gotta get all that essence for True Ultimate Power at any cost... Because that never goes wrong for our antagonists, right? :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
15 Jul, 2021 05:29

Grafting monster bits onto humans? HELL YEAH. That's the best kind of thing to graft onto humans :D   But wow, the grafting souls part really caught me off guard -- I didn't expect to read that part, and then when I got into it, it made perfect sense and was easily the coolest part of the whole thing for me. I liked that energy is still needed to be charged after grafting the soul; basking in the moonlight made me laugh. <3

15 Jul, 2021 06:35

Evil, evil moonlight.... :D   It just sort of happened - seemed like a natural evolution as I was writing, but wasn't really planned :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
5 Aug, 2021 22:16

Sometimes your imagination scares me. D: But I love it.   'Some limbs retain a vestige of their previous owner's identity, occasionally acting on its own.' Oh no.   The soul grafting in particular is fascinating. And I love that you included a couple of 'case studies' at the end. :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
6 Aug, 2021 07:06

Scary imaginations are the best, it's where all the coolest ideas are :D   Thank you :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.