I am Yosef Mengalus, a mage and Philanthropist with an interest in studying the metaphysical. The soul is the core of the human being, and the seat of what makes a person "them". Personality, emotions, ethics, consciousness , etc, are all seated within and controlled by the soul, as well as the life energy that allows the body to function. Through research, I have discovered a way to manipulate the soul to provide for a continously source of energy.

By cutting the link and disconnecting a person from their soul, I can gain access to the energy contained within it. This turns an individual into a container for soul energy, which I can extract at one's convenience in the use of spells. A person in this state is little more than a drone, with no will of their own and whose existence revolves around serving their master. Due to their ease of access and anonymity, and requirement of less energy to maintain, I have decided to use orphans, prisoners, criminals, liberals, etc: the typical dregs of society that produce nothing of value and won't be missed. These people are turned into obedient, productive workers for the state. When they are no longer functional for any reason, due to wear and tear or bodily damage from outside forces, their soul energy can be removed to provide power for a certain spell or ritual.

My philanthropic works have provided my government with a continued source of productive workers. In my mercy and acts of kindness, I have prevented these unwanted individuals from being an unnecessary burden on society and have given value to their meaningless lives. However, this business of immortality due to the disconnection of the soul puzzles me.

If the soul provides life energy to the individual in order for them to function, how can removing it give them immortality?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You might be interested in the youtube video short 'gateway' which explores what happens when scientists 'capture' the soul (youtube.com/watch?v=Et0A0BHMl4M). $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2019 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ Took me a while to get the name $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2019 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Incognito Liberals? $\endgroup$
    – WillRoss1
    Jul 7, 2020 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Could you define immortality? $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    May 6, 2021 at 19:55

6 Answers 6


Soulless husks are an empty vessel. Something has filled it.

The soul is more than simply the sum total of what makes a person be that person. The gods also have another purpose for giving mortals souls: the soul also keeps the shell from becoming a vessel for the F̴̡̰̠̎i̴̬͛̕͜ŗ̶̤̑š̶̨̞̥͑̉t̶̨̨̖͐ ̵̠͕̕C̷̡̛͉̼̄r̴̯̲̈́̈͘ͅę̶̤͈̓̇a̴̻̰͝t̸̰̠͈̿̐̓ợ̶͛͜r̷̯̥̞̂̈̕s̷͕͓̿͗̈́͜, They who Must Not be Remembered, whose rule over the mortal realm was so terrible the (current) pantheon overthrew them in an age beyond memory.

By removing the soul from the shell, you have undone this protection. Something daemonic or properly Lovecraftian (or whatever) helps itself to the new foothold you have provided. This is the true source of the 'free' energy (which, of course, isn't really free).


Dark Secrets, Part I

Necromancy 101 – Replacing the Soul by Enforcement

The marathon race is based on the story of the messenger Pheidippides, who ran from Marathon to Athens (in ancient Greece) to proclaim the victory of their troops and then collapsed dead.
(It is said that) John Henry was a railway worker who competed with the steam engines that should replace human workers, won and immediately died of exhaustion.

Those are examples of what mere mortals are capable of by sheer will...

... so what if that kind of will is inflicted and bound to a body in a way, that doesn't allow it to leave the body, even after it dropped dead?

In its natural state the body is the vessel in which a soul lives in harmony, controlling the body. When the body is too weak, the soul leaves the the inanimate body to rot.

Your procedure however resembles Necromancy:
You don't just remove the soul from the biologically still working body (which would result in a braindead standby mode) but replace it with a magical coercion.
This not-soul provides the "spirit" that inhabits and controls the body, but instead of a free personality it only consists of the enforcement to obey its orders.
And instead of a real soul it is not free to leave at death (as it would be natural) but directly bound to the physical body. This will prolong the biological livespan for many years as the body is "forced" to continue living by sheer will and not allowed to give up.
However when the body has exceeded its biological livespan (or suffered a fatal wound), when the heart has finally stopped beating and the flesh starts to rot, the body parts are still bound to that that not-soul, forced to coninue "working" (like a remote controlled prosthetic on a corpse).
This is also why the "immortal heroes" (as the common people see them) start wearing ornate armor with closed helmets after their heroic deeds as the traditional way of appreciation, disguising the fact that the armors are filled with dismembered rotting corpses. But noone wonders about never really seeing them without that armor for which unimportant mortal would have ever seen a god face to face...

In the old times traditional Necromancy was only performed on dead people by binding their own souls to their bodies (to revive them) or binding a non-soul to the corpse (to provide cheap labour)... however Necromancy is a sacrilege, an unholy art that has been banned under death penalty (how ironic) for centuries until it became forgotten, a mere legend that is told to scare little children...
"And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth." – Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings


You're quite the mage to be pulling a fast one on the second law of thermodynamics.

Removing the soul makes the soul immortal, because ultimately it's the body that dies. If I'm on the same line of thought as you, you're asking if removing the soul makes the body immortal. The body dies because something rots or fails due to "external forces"

As for this:

I have discovered a way to manipulate the soul to provide for a continously source of energy

Mother Nature says you can't have an endless energy supply, because then where are you really getting it from?

In the interests of answering your question, however, reconsider life energy:

"Life energy" is what powers the intrinsic characteristics of the soul: it energises personality, emotions, and so on. The body itself is powered by respiration and a balanced diet- it is, as you say, just a container for the soul. Now if you remove the soul of a person, they can put their body into 'ultra low power' mode. Their brain needs make a fraction of the connections it used to, they can lower their BMR, all reproductive systems can shut off, and so on. Removing the soul removes all the problems the brain causes and allows an individual to live a very long (if somewhat lifeless) existance of servitude. In turn, hormones can stop messing around with things, stem cells can be used up freely and the body can run like a well oiled machine until wear and tear kicks in.

It's worth saying that no system is 100% efficient, so wear and tear will always kick in. Thus, immortality is a physically unapproachable concept (for now), but a life extended into centuries for your workers is certainly not out of the question.

Hope it helps!

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    $\begingroup$ The second law of thermodynamics is only violated if the sum of all entropy (in all systems involved) doesn't increase. If some of the energy involved is, for example, venting heat into another dimension (let's call it hell), then no violation occurs. Sort of the same way you can move heat (high entropy energy) from one side of an air conditioner to another. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2019 at 6:49

Death is the Soul Returning to the Core

As we all know, the source of all life and magic is the big big big possibly-sentient sphere of mana in the center of the planet.

Your soul always wants to return to the core (you might not want that though) but can only escape when the body is damaged. Your process shreds up the soul so it loses this desire. So even when the body is damaged the "soul" sticks around.


Dark Secrets, Part II

Mathematics of the Metaphysical – Reversing Cause and Effect:

When the body dies, the soul is free and leaves...

...but if you are able to extract the soul from the body and trap it in some container, the body can't die. That's simple "science".
Like a lich phylactery in D'n'D, as I discovered after writing this answer.

(A bit like Matrix: Trinity is foretold to fall in love with the chosen one who can defeat death.
When Neo is killed, she kisses him and confesses her love to him and he gets up again.

In contrast a horcrux stores a part of your own soul which has to be unleashed again for resurrection.)

This could also be combined with details from the necromantic approach above:
If you trap the soul in a container (after extracting it from the body to plant the non-soul), the body will be kept alive as long as the soul is held captive. After the vault with all the soul containers has been destroyed in the middle of the story, the immortal army of your "philanthropist" starts to rot to make the second half of your story more gritty – by then the audience/reader/gamer knows the disgusting secret behind those perfect immortal heroes, so now you can make it visually obvious.


It is an aspect of the ruby glasses affect. Just as the world looks sunnier when viewed through ruby glasses, so too the universe appears to obey cause and effect when viewed through a soul (which since we are souls, is the only way we can view it).

In reality, all of the science, religion and fears of mortality which we have come to believe in and trust during this incarnation are just the diabolical machinations of our soul trying to justify its low boredom threshold and impatience.

The universe is actually perfect and would run forever without any wearing down or collapsing to entropy if not for the negative influence of all of these souls that have infested it.

Each soul comes into this perfect universe as a baby, a powerless little creature with infinite life potential but no immediate opportunities for joy or adventure. Horrified of the boredom of counting its fingers and toes, the soul instills within its new body a corrupting energy called aging. This allows the soul to get to the more adventurous part of life which of course is the teenage years and early adulthood.

After playing a young, energetic, healthy, responsibility-free beautiful person for a decade or two, the soul gets bored with its current body and wants to try out one of the other available models. So it returns to the technique which worked before, corrupting the body with the aging energy so that it can grow old, decay and die. This sets the soul free to go back to the before-and-afterlife and negotiate their next incarnation.

What your necromancer has done is separate the soul from the body before it administers the second dose of aging energy, the dose which would ultimately cause its decrepitude and death. The body, free of the souls negative influence, goes back to expressing the natural state of the universe which is perfect health and immortality. It is no longer ridden by the easily-bored and destructive tyrant which was its former soul. In joyful freedom it goes back to simply existing, and would continue to do just that, forever, if not for the machinations of it's new master, the necromancer's soul, who eventually sends it on a task which proves too physically destructive for its natural resilience and self-healing potential.


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