The Soul in Vernelis | World Anvil

The Soul

Written by UmbralGoat

Our Souls are what let us love. They are the reason we care and understand. Your Soul is you.
— Kara Sarelias to her brother

Souls are a metaphysical property of all living creatures, the culmination of all conscious thoughts, emotions, morals and beliefs. They embody one's whole being within their Aura; at rest, it's believed they envelope one entirely, but they can be acted upon by magic to manifest them physically.

The theory that describes the Soul's function is known as Soul Theory. They are thought to regulate the flow of energy throughout the body, a network with a core in the right side of the chest opposite the heart.

The origins of Souls is disputed. Some believe that they are a by-product of evolution and only certain advanced creatures like the Faelen, Humans and Dragons have them, granting them sapience. Others believe they were gifted to mortal creatures by the Primeval Trinity along with magic to the Dragons. Still others believe that Souls as they're conceptualized do not exist at all, and that magic results from something else entirely.

The Stratum

Similar to the Soul, the Stratum is intrinsic to all sentience life. Souls and Strata come in pairs; one is not formed without the other. Soul Theory posits that Strata are a more fundamental aspect of a creature than the Soul. It acts to bind one's Soul to their body, and it is believed to drive the Soul with the subconscious and pure motivation.

The Stratum is no less important to life than the Soul. When one dies, the Stratum breaks down, freeing the Soul of its body and allowing it to persist. Unlike the Soul, the Stratum can not be physically manifested.

Soul Magic

Soul Magic is the first, less powerful class of magic below Signant Magic.
Soul Magic refers to the most basic form of magic on Vernelis that all creatures are capable of performing with little training. It originates from the dominant magic energy that the world itself radiates, forming a background field that the Soul can manipulate.

Soul Magic allows users to manipulate aspects of nature within their Aura, the region of the Soul's influence that surrounds the user. Auras vary greatly in size, ranging from just beyond the body to several kilometers away. They even have "blindspots".

There is difficulty in performing magic with a mortal Soul, though, as it is not an instinctual power as it is for the divine. For a Fælen to perform magic takes training.
In the modern day, magic is a very regulated practice, with special permission required to perform anything outside of very basic everyday uses in many places, especially in the Celestial Commonwealth. These special cases include educational practice, work requirements, and the military of most areas.

The use of magic, no matter the level of skill, can easily strain the Soul, a condition that progressively worsens as the Soul is utilized for magic. This Soulstrain can manifest in several different ways depending on the type of magic being used. At its worst, Soulstrain can put one into a coma, as the Soul forcefully takes its rest


There is evidence that magic is deeply connected to sound through mechanisms not completely understood. The organization of sound, music, through proper use, has been shown to bring about magical effects. This is often not practical at all for typical use, however, as Souls are much more convenient and efficient.


It's just this... Burning, aching nothing.

  For much of history, it was believed that the Soul was integral to life itself, and that the loss of a Soul would result immediately in death. Though, while incredibly rare, life without a Soul has proven possible.

The only known way for one to lose their Soul is if they were born with Soulrot, a very rare condition. Those who survive with Soulrot are very likely to die as their Soul withers away, often succumbing to complications before their Soul actually vanishes. However, those who manage to survive past the disappearance of the Soul are considered Soulless.

The consequences of living without a Soul affect one mentally, physically, and magically. Without a Soul to guide energy through the body, one ceases to feel their emotions, if ever in short, unpredictable episodes.

The practice of Soul Magic is effectively impossible, though only because it requires an unrealistic amount of mental strength and will to control magic with just the mind. It is also extremely dangerous, and carries a significant risk of death.
Metaphysical property
Typically self-sustaining
Soul Theory
Magical manipulation

Soul Magic
Magic Type
Very common

Cover image: by Sebastian Wagner


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Jan 1, 2022 19:38

Interesting concepts mostly related to magic use. What other philosophical extensions apply? Magic and Theology?

Jan 8, 2022 04:33

Under the Celestial Pantheon, Souls are believed to be delivered to a realm overseen by the Celestial Dragon of Dreams and Death, Pluto. There, they become Spirits, which roam this realm parallel to the living world and can manifest in strange ways within the dreams of the living.

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Jan 4, 2022 13:48

As always, this is a very nicely written and formatted article! I really like how you explain the workings of magic in this world, while still leaving a lot of room for interpretation and speculation.   I'm still curious, are there more believes tied to the soul? Is it similar to some beliefs in our world, where the soul can move on to an afterlife? Is the soul at all tied to religion or belief, or is it 'just' the source of an individual's magic?   This is a very interesting piece of lore in your world and I love how you have tied it into many more articles I've read over the course of Worldember.

Worldember is coming! Want to find more of my things: SatriumHub
Jan 8, 2022 04:26

Thanks Satrium! The afterlife is still a rather finicky subject I'm working on, but yes it is believed that the Soul moves onto a realm watched over by Pluto, the Celestial Dragon of Dreams and Death. There, a Soul is believed to become a spirit that can manifest in strange ways that can even affect the living.

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May 4, 2022 15:57

If soul goes to afterlife, what happens to soulles people? Are their soul already at afterlife or when they die there is have no afterlife for them?

Jun 3, 2022 00:15

As of right now that is correct! Those without Souls or have their Souls destroyed will not experience an afterlife.

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Jan 18, 2022 10:35 by Tim de Roos

The way you built out the concept of a soul from something super metaphysical to something with theories, conditions and magic tied to it is truly inspirational! I've been writing a bit about souls and spirits as well during WorldEmber, and your article has made it clear to me that I need to make a greater effort to build it out further and tie it to more aspects of my world.