Mortal Souls Material in World of Wizard's Peak | World Anvil

Mortal Souls

We, the mortal people of the Kirinal Concordance Zone, have learned many humane ways to tap into the power of our own souls. I myself am a dead soul implanted into a synthetic body and given new life. But we must be intentional and careful with our necromantic research. The non-consensual manipulation of souls is the greatest crime one can commit in the Zone.

Using souls for power is the oldest magic that there is. Even we orcs did it when old Az still whispered in our ears. Instead of magicky-necro-tech, we just called it mass sacrifice.

Nowadays we're all in the soul trade in one way or another. The devils come to make their bargains. The Tridensers re-home undead into soulforged like my friend here. The Magisters skirt the line with old-school necromancy. We all "bear the ident-a-hedron", we carry a bit of our crystallized soul in our pockets!

The oldest and ultimate power source remains the mortal souls of sophonts. They provide power over the divine and the profane. A sophont's soul is their conduit to the universe. Without it they cannot use magic, feel emotions, or make connections outside of themselves. Through it they can achieve the impossible.

In the Kirinal Concordance Zone, the power of mortal souls permeates every facet of life, shaping magic, beliefs, and the very fabric of existence. Almost everything has a spirit: sophonts, animals, plants, inanimate objects, even times in history. A soul is an immortal spirit with self awareness, a spike in the background noise of the universe. If you can say "I am" you have a soul and you have worth.

Who has a soul? That's easy, anything can have a soul. If you look at it and you can feel something looking back, there's a soul in there. Not just people, some animals, plants, and even places have souls.

Have you ever looked into someone's eyes and felt nothing looking back? They've definitely sold their soul to someone else, whether they know it or not. They've probably sold their soul to me!

While we're on the subject! Would you like to make a deal?

— Ambassador of Hell

The Soul Trade

The Soul Trade operated by the Hells is a booming enterprise, centered around a black market of souls sold for favors or stolen from the unwitting. The value of souls lies not merely in their quantity but also in their quality and potentiality. The unbaptized and unprotected souls hold particular value due to their untapped possibilities. The devils attempt to purchase whole souls, but the people of the Zone are advised to only trade away portions of it, never the whole thing, to the greedy devils.

This ruthless trade has severe consequences, leading to soulless beings and the soul-torn. The clerics and healers of the Zone work overtime to help those who have made bad bargains. They teach that all souls have value and provide power. It doesn't matter how damaged they are or what their owner may think.

Bad Old-Fashioned Necromancy

Along with the fiends of the underworld, necromancers were among the first to intentionally harness the power of souls. They performed dark rituals and sacrifices that tore and wasted souls regardless of the wishes of the spirits themselves. They defiled the bodies of the dead, forced spirits to answer questions, and burned souls to power their spells. They earned their reputation for evil and dark magic.

For Kirinalos, the worst of them was the Necromancer Dolgathan. In the years between the Kirinal Catastrophes, he was infamous for coming to the Kirinal Pit and disrupting the Discharging of the Kirinal Pit . He created a kaiju made from the bodies of the "Dead of Kirinal" and tapped into the discharge of their souls to power his apotheosis into dragon-hood.

Soulbound Technology and Soulforged

Over time ethical necromancers developed methods to utilize souls, even the souls of the living, in consensual and non-destructive ways. They devleoped soul binding technology, including the ubiquitous ident-a-hedrons and the redemptive Soulforged. Soul magic technology is a defining characteristic of the Zone's Maharlitech revolution. Ethically harnessing souls and integrating them into inanimate objects or constructs unveils both the possibilities and the perils of soul manipulation.

You think of souls as finite things that you can measure with instruments. Souls are only a limited resource if they are not refreshed! They grow to infinity with experiences, and attention, and love!

The Soul Secret: The Ultimate Renewable Resource

The Kirinalos have discovered the secret to using souls as a power source. Despite what the devils may tell you, souls are not a finite resource. You don't have to sell your entire soul to someone, you can just give a part of it and keep the rest for yourself. Then, with some laughter, some good food, and a visit to a stirring location, you'll get back the parts of youself that you gave away and more!



Cover image: Summer Camp 2023 Generic Header by Chris L

Comments

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Jul 8, 2023 00:42

The idea that souls can be "humanely" used a power source is a very unique and intriguing idea.   I have been pondering "humane" use of undead but that assumed only the corpse was being used and the soul was untouched.

Jul 8, 2023 03:47 by Chris L

I definitely need to get into the humane uses. Ident-a-hedrons and soulforged are a good start. I'm thinking of healing, communication, and divination abilities to add in when I circle back.


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Jul 9, 2023 09:57 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

The Ambassador of Hell made me laugh. I am looking forward to seeing how this develops in future, but this is a solid and intriguing base. The juxtaposition of souls being a power source and then also a commodity in hell is interesting.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 9, 2023 13:09 by Chris L

Thanks! He's untrustworthy, but definitely funny! I have a lot to add to this when I make myself some breathing room!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Jul 10, 2023 04:26 by Molly Marjorie

"If you can say "I am" you have a soul and you have worth." "Souls are only a limited resource if they are not refreshed! They grow to infinity with experiences, and attention, and love!" Simply put, there are some absolutely beautiful ideas in this article! I also love the idea that even moments in time can have souls. (The ideas that souls can be sold without knowledge or stolen if not consecrated are also interesting, if a little terrifying!)   If you are not familiar, you might look for the RPG Soulbound. In that game, the ritual that binds the souls of a party together also makes the souls stronger. When we played, we ended up on a giant ship where the captain had been killing people to feed souls to run the engine, and we were just able to feed our soul energy to the engine without hurting anyone, and it also made the ship more efficient. Just thought there might be some soul-energy concepts in there to explore.

Check out Natural Magic : a coming of age fantasy novel, because life is hard enough when you're fourteen, even without saving the world. Or listen to it in podcast form .
Jul 11, 2023 11:20 by Chris L

Thankd for the praise! I want to get back to this article to flesh it out and you've given me some great ideas and feedback here, thank you!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Jul 10, 2023 17:06 by Laure Yates

'Would you like to make a deal with me?' love that insert. Very entertaining!

Jul 11, 2023 11:21 by Chris L

Thank you!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Jul 22, 2023 11:37 by E. Christopher Clark

Just on a pure craft level—if you'll allow good ol' Professor Clark to nerd out for a second—the placement of "Through it they can achieve the impossible" at the end of a paragraph of longer sentences is a brilliant use of juxtaposition/sentence length variation.   Beyond that, though, my favorite little bit was the ambassador of hell sneaking in for a quote and trying to buy the reader's soul. For a fair price, I'm sure.

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Jul 22, 2023 13:06 by Chris L

Thank you for the compliment! That genuinely means a lot! The Ambassador of Hell is one of those guys without an article who deserves one at some point! He's even shown up in some of my games, but he's a hard guy to nail down long enough to get a read on!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Aug 21, 2023 08:26 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

Interesting stuff - always a great article from you. Love the sterotype breaking here, and ending with hope - that the soul isn't a limited resource!

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at tlcassis.com to see my latest work!
Aug 21, 2023 13:04 by Chris L

Thank you for reading it! I've always thought that "selling your soul" = "end of your life" was reductive and needlessly limiting. We all sell our souls in one way or another, but we can still get them back. We can still rebuild no matter what!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

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