1
$\begingroup$

I am Yosef Mengalus, a dark mage who specializes in the manipulation of souls. A human soul is essentially raw mana condensed and shaped into form held together by various spiritual components. This soul is eternal, and carries on to the afterlife after the death of the individual. Through ancient methods, a living body can be deconstructed to expose the soul, which can be unraveled into its original state of raw mana and its other basic components. This provides for a large amount of energy and power, which has many applications, such as a continued supply of energy or weapons of mass destruction. To accomplish this, I have built soul extraction chambers around the country. Individuals are forced into the chamber and dissolved, allowing for their soul energy to be harvested for future use.

The problem is that soul energy is very unstable, leading to a short half-life. After the soul is broken apart, it tends to decay rather quickly, becoming completely worthless after about 30 minutes. This prevents it from being a reliable source of power. It is also radioactive in this state, which is a danger to other beings exposed to it.

I need a permanent way to keep the elements of a soul from decaying so it can be stored long term for future use, while providing protection from the radiation that it gives off.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just as a point of fact, the science tag is for questions which are asking about a society's view of science. This really doesn't fit your question. $\endgroup$ – 011358 smell Sep 18 at 12:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'd like to point that if you can dissolve the soul in your machinery the soul isn't eternal (if it were you wouldn't be able to dissolve it) and other natural magical processes could dissolve it too. $\endgroup$ – Geronimo Sep 18 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ This seems really open ended. I'm having trouble even thinking of a non-answer. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 18 at 22:45
14
$\begingroup$

Fish goes off very quickly in hot countries. The trick to keeping it fresh in a market stall or a restaurant is to keep it in a naturally preserved state. Alive. Usually on display in a tank so customers can pick their own.

Given the nature of the character you're using as a base for your mage, the simplest way for him to store the soul energy from people is in its natural container, only extracting energy as needed from a "just in time" supply chain. Such a system provides all the protections required with only minimal complexity and maintenance outlay, much of it is in fact self maintaining if occasionally rebelious.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

I like the idea of artificial beings used to "store" the energy.

Since the soul is eternal in the right conditions, I'm thinking about a being which could easily retain the mana while preventing it from dissipating. Since it's artificial, it can be made in a way which permits the mage to access the stored energy more easily than a real life being.

Furthermore, you can use this opportunity to use this being for narrative reasons. If you want "single use" style consumables, you can make it small and easy to replace, like a firefly (also I like the idea of lights around a character, which goes out when they are used up). A bigger creature can behave like a trained dog. It can be some kind of homonculus able of speech and though, or reflecting the speech and though of the mage - or of the souls it carries. You can have different ones, all of the above if you wish so! Huge soul batteries for factories, insect-like single-use pre-made spells, companions or even automatons able to feed the mage energy while also using it themselves to accomplish whatever tasks they have been build for.

It can be a breakthrough only your character possess (it's own creation), or it can shape a whole society. Your call.

I like this idea.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

The traditional method is crystals or gemstones.

Crystals are naturally rare, just like the ability to store souls is valuable. it's far from free to do this.

This is because of how the souls passes on. The crystalline structure of the container prevent this natural dissipation.

Of course, there's all kinds of differences between gemstones. Bigger ones hold more juice, while higher quality ones leak slower.

Examples

  1. In the Diablo games, the souls of the prime evils can be contained in soulstones
  2. Stormlight Archives from Brandon Sanderson stores the local version of Mana in gemstones. Gemstones are common, used as money, and often encased in glass for durability.
  3. Many games use mana crystals.
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

I'd like to build on to Separatrix idea, to keep the soul energy in its "natural container" as long as possible.

Depending on how gruesome you want this part of your story to be, maybe you want to have a really hateable character, I'd like to point out that a person would not need to be, how to say this, complete, in order to stay alive. If there are large quantities of people needed as containers, you only keep as little of a person, enough necessary to survive, which also keeps them from escaping.

Another twist, if you prefer to keep people intact, is to have children be the victims. They are smaller and therefore need less resources during "storage", but will of course make the villian just as hateable.

Please don't combine these ideas :(

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ why not?? They are so deliciously evil, and right up my alley as a mad scientist. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Sep 19 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ By his name, this mage is apparently based on Joseph Mengele, if you want to know how evil it's possible for a real person to be, look up what he did. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Sep 19 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ If you're going the "as gruesome as possible" route, combine this with the fact that a child's soul is purer and therefore yields more power upon processing.... $\endgroup$ – Gloweye Sep 24 at 6:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.