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Soul Jars

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Mythical past

Millennia ago, legendary Propoetides Mages-Kings ruled an immense empire spreading over the whole continent and beyond. Their capital was Amathus, and today there still lies below its ground a gigantic complex that serves as the imperial mausoleum. Each member of the imperial family was laid to rest there. However, what resides inside each of their alcoves is not a mere body but their very soul.   According to the legend , the very first Mage-King that founded the imperial dynasty stole from the gods secrets of powerful magic and offered their spoils to their subjects. The gods were, of course, furious at this transgression and cursed the whole family to the worst possible kind of afterlife.   In order to escape this fate, the clever Mages-Kings invented a mechanism to trap souls after the demise of their corporal envelope. The imperial mausoleum was built as a most secure fortress to house what became known as the imperial family's soul jars. The idea was that it would remain untouched by any of the challenges throw at it by time so that the precious souls it protects would know eternal rest.

Disturbed rest

Unfortunately for the imperial family, the Merchants-Mages descendants of their empire have recently invented artificial bodies that only need to have a soul bound to them to be brought to life, enslaved to their creators' will. And with the souls of the most powerful mages the world has ever known lying just below their feet, the new masters of Amathus do not have to look very hard for their raw materials...   Soul jars, for all of their sophistication and robustness, are still very delicate. Any mage that manages to pass the challenges of the mausoleum and find a jar will have no problem opening it and taking hold of its precious content. In addition, once a jar is opened, it is destroyed forever. And the secrets of their manufacture are now lost. This means that even if the enslaved imperial souls ever manage to free themselves from their masters, they would have no mean to go back to their eternal rest. The only way for them would be forwards, towards the afterlife designed for them by the gods and the eternal torment that awaits them...

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Cover image: Soul jars by AmélieIS with images from Pixabay (DEZAB and MemoryCatcher) and Wikipedia (Cleveland Museum of Art and Adiddles123)


Author's Notes

Written for TC's mini camp challenge part 2: archeological item.

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21 Jun, 2022 21:41

What an excellent, devious, and delightful idea you've written out here >:D I love the idea of delving into the mausoleum to try and escape with a powerful soul. And that it has no real choice but to obey, because the alternative is worse. xD

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
21 Jun, 2022 22:26

Thanks :D There are more to control the souls, of course, starting with the fact that they wake up without memories XD And some special magic to bind them too. But the legends are why the new mages feel confident playing with the souls of people so much more powerful than they are...

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
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