I am Josephine Mengalus, an alchemist on the path to immortality by becoming a lich. Alchemy is the study of combining magic with science, to create a higher form of study that surpasses both. Souls are power sources that possess large amounts of energy, and can be used for spells or rituals, or to power certain machinery based on magic principles. The souls id made up of two parts. The first contains the memories and personalities of the individual, everything that makes them "them". The second contains the life force of the person, that is immortal and remains after death. I plan to harvest a large number of souls for my soul forge, a specialized container built to hold spirits. Through the use of a dark ritual, I plan to use this soul forge to elevate my to lichdom and make me a god among men. Of course, the devil is in the details, and I must arrange to collect a large number of souls in a short amount of time as well as remain inconspicuous from prying eyes.
My first thought was to raise the souls of the recently deceased. However, souls maintain strong connections to their bodies after death, making it almost impossible to remove. That connection fades the longer a person is dead, bringing me to my second idea of raising the souls of the long departed who died centuries ago. These souls are "blank slates" who have lost all memories from life and have no remaining connection to their physical forms. However, the longer a person is dead, the harder they are to raise. It would take a massive amount of time and power to harvest. Which brings me to my last idea: harvesting the souls of unborn children.
It takes 9 months for a child's physical body to be created, during which time the soul develops last in the third trimester. These are the Goldilocks souls: blank slates that lack any attachments or memories, and new enough to be easily harvested. I cast a powerful spell that magically harvested ( or "murdered", for the politically correct crowd) the souls of millions of children across the country, drawing their souls into my forge. There are a few alchemists of my craft who would protest this on the grounds that casting such a spell in the name of science violates certain "moral" principles. As idiotic as these excuses may seem to you, they have highlighted a problem.
The spirits of these children are known as half-souls. These undeveloped souls, while malleable and easily taken, do not possess only half the volume of energy as a full soul. Logically, I assume that stitching and combining a number of half-souls together would increase their volume and provide for a higher energy output. However, this is not the case, as the quantity of energy that the souls output remain the same. How can this be the case?