On Souls & Sorcery
“The Multiverse is a Mental construct: It is thought. More precisely, it is the thoughts held in the Mind of the All.”
The Earthers of Sanctuary, like many other mortal cultures across reality, have myriad notions about what exactly a soul is. Most of them miss the mark completely.
A soul enters into existence from the unmanifested absolute called the Ain-Soph, which, though seemingly outside of reality proper, is still an aspect of the thoughts of The All.
From the unknowable beyond, this splinter of the singular consciousness that is all existence itself (it helps to think of consciousness as a property of reality like gravity or light) eventually coalesces into a soul and falls into existence proper where it incarnates into a material form at the moment of conception. It then lives a life and dies. Upon dying, the soul leaves its material body and drifts unconsciously through the realms of reality until a biological conception occurs somewhere and provides a new host for it to incarnate into again. This pattern repeats for a soul a varying and unknowable number of times until, having discerned the delusion of distinct, egoic identity and its true nature as an aspect of the All, it finally dies one last death and let’s go one last time to completely and return to the perfect grace of the realm beyond realms from whence it came all those lifetimes ago.
Between incarnations, a disembodied soul is unconscious and unaware. It also imperceptible to most living creatures save those magical beings and sorcerers, who can – with great force of will – perceive it as a tiny sphere of lime-green light.
At the instant of incarnation, during which an un-incarnated soul enters its new organic host, the soul becomes sentient, takes on a distinct identity, and loses all awareness (except on rare occasions) of its previous and future incarnations. But another phenomenon occurs at this time – and this is where our interest lies.
At the precise moment a soul incarnates, a burst of a nigh-imperceptible material known as aetheric plasma is released. This precious variation on the typical aether that is generated by the bodies of all living things, is only ever present at the exact instant a soul transfers into a new biological form. The natural purpose of the release of this aetheric plasma is to cause a nullification of local probability fields in order to facilitate the instantaneous transfer of the soul across any distance in spacetime into its new biological form.
Effectively, for just the briefest of instances, the unconscious, un-incarnated soul brings about a momentary, highly localized obliteration of natural law in order to traverse any distance.
This temporary bubble of nil-probability is the only known medium through which a sorcerer can integrate the deepest part of their own neuroelectric network (consciousness) with the constant flux of the probability vortices that connect observer with observed in the consciousness-reality / perceiving-generating moebius loop of being. Only by way of this process can a consciousness-probability singularity manifest in which intention becomes momentarily indistinguishable from manifestation. In simplest terms, release of a bottled soul to incarnate opens a gateway that makes sorcery possible. For just a moment, on the other side of the pinprick in the fabric of spacetime, thought and reality become interchangeable equivalencies for the spellcaster.
And so bottled souls (or more precisely their burst of aetheric plasma they release upon incarnation) are the fuel of sorcery: the popular term used to describe the ability to willfully manipulate probability to transform conscious intent into manifested reality. For this reason, in the earliest days of the multiverse, they quickly became a highly coveted commodity. Eventually – and perhaps inevitably – harvesting souls at the moment of death before they bleed off any of their precious aetheric plasma has evolved into the foundation of an incredibly robust interdimensional economy.
In time, in response to demand for the bottled souls, the soul-trading houses emerged to train, manage and deploy the reapers. And on the planes in proximity to Sanctuary, the Valkyrie of Asgardian Helheim, the Keres of Olympian Hades, the Anubi of Heliopolitan Necropolis… the Yamaduta, the Memitim, the Banshee and the Dullahan… became just a few of the known agents of the soul trade that came to know the favour of gods and the fear of men.
Over countless millennia, within a theatre of constantly shifting territorial boundaries, under the watchful eye of the Celestial Necropolis, which oversaw and regulated trade in accordance with the Binary Proclamation, the soul trade grew.
And so, as so often happen in matters of commerce, a tale of relentless conquest and consolidation unfolded, and in time, the numbers of trading houses diminished even as the power of those that remained increased.
And amongst the houses that were built yet higher on the foundations of those that had fallen, friendships became tenuous and trust became the only commodity perhaps even scarcer than the soul-derived aetheric plasma so coveted for the power it bestowed.
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