A person is born with a certain amount of mana, or life-force, which steadily increases as they age. This mana allows our biological forms to function and is used to power spells in magic rituals. When a person dies, their soul is transported to the afterlife, where it is abosrbed by God and used as a living battery. Therefore, The purpose of a human soul is to gather mana during its life cycle in order to make God stronger. The physical form is used as a receptacle for the soul, which houses it and allows it to exist in the mortal world.

Even though a person gains mana throughout their life, their aging bodies prevent them from taking full advantage of it. There is a spell which allows an individual to steal the mana from other living beings in order to power themselves. When a person is murdered, their mana can be absorbed by their killer using this ritual. Unfortunately, while the soul is unlimited in storage capacity of mana, The physical form is not. Everyone has different limitations as to how much their form can maintain. A person that is born with a mana level of 50 will have a body with less capacity than someone born with a level of 300. If the former steals the mana of the latter using this ritual and adds it to their own soul, along with the mana that he will gain during his lifetime, the soul will absorb more power than the body can store, causing it to break apart.

The solution around this is to contain stolen mana inside a homunculus, an artificial human which lacks a soul. These beings are specially built servants that are built for variety of purposes and tasks, such as defending their master. Its main purpose is to house excess mana, allowing the mage to use it only when needed and eliminating the danger of absorbing it themselves. The problem is that a homunculus needs life force in order to function. Since it doesn't contain its own life force due to the fact that it is artificial, it must use the mana that it stores to power itself. This is a hilarious conundrum, for it must use the same excess mana that it was meant to contain as a means to make itself function, thereby making its creation pointless.

How can I build an homunculus to make it more efficient at holding energy?

  • $\begingroup$ You seem to have cut off the final question. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 22:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I hope you know what bank lockers are, you put your valuables (investments, black money, and gold) in them to keep them safe, but you have to pay for the locker too. You can buy more valuables from the money that you might pay for the locker, but its good to have a locker !! $\endgroup$
    – V.Aggarwal
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 7:08

3 Answers 3


It's not pointless

There's a running joke in my family about the pointlessness of my doing the dishes when you're only going to make them dirty again.

Sure the homunculi aren't a permanent mana store, but then nor is the person you stole the mana from in the first place. They either die or their batteries run flat, then you need more people to steal mana from to recharge yourself or your homunculi. If a homunculus runs relatively efficiently it can do your dishes while providing a store for your excess mana, if it doesn't run efficiently then yes it's pointless and you're better off keeping the person you stole the mana off in the first place as a domestic and having to feed them instead.

No matter what you have costs in long term mana storage, either feeding slaves/servants or recharging homunculi, and if you absolutely have to murder someone it's better to have a homunculus to hand to store that mana rather than letting it all go to waste.

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    $\begingroup$ Yep. All about efficiency. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 20:25


If you can hold x100, x1000 times the amount of energy it burns, it is a large boon. Like capacitors. They discharge, yet they are cornerstones of the electric world.

You may get additional benefits using a dedicated container instead of small containers. Water tanks hold hot water more efficiently the more mass they have. Consider square cube law actually helping.

Optionally, look at banks, holding money yet it needs to pay its employees. Similar conundrum.

Also, and this is indeed the sweetest one. A construct can be trusted to follow orders while holding a vast amount of invaluable resources(mana). Even if the efficiency isn't all that great, the absolute certainty that no slave will steal you, no disgruntled employee will run away with it is invaluable.

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    $\begingroup$ Note that capacitors can't hold their charge for very long but have a high discharge rate whereas batteries can hold a charge for months and months but have a low discharge rate. In both cases, the maximum storage is based on physical size. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Draco, correct!. Now a technician which serves CRTs would know to let a screen discharge for over a week before touching it. So for a living organism holding this resource for days could be enough. Or maybe not. Depends on the needs of the Homunculus' Master. For long term we store fat, which isn't instantaneous to access. Maybe storing long term has a drawback that makes Homunculii instant discharge capability a greater boon than the reduced timeframe. Regards. $\endgroup$
    – Gustavo
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 22:30

It's not really a conundrum:

Homonculi are this setting's equivalent of fuel trucks: they must consume the same thing which they're responsible for transporting.

The simplest solution is that a homunculus' construction will determine its "fuel efficiency".

A homunculus produced with inferior materials or by an unskilled craftsman will have poor efficiency, burning mana at a significant rate just to achieve human levels of mobility. In these cases, the homunculus would only animate when absolutely necessary, remaining idle otherwise.

Conversely, a very skilled craftsman with access to extremely high-quality materials could produce a homunculus with humanlike capabilities who'd only burn mana about as fast as a human gathers it. In this way, its master could mystically link with it to keep it permanently charged with his own mana at the same rate he naturally acquires it, while always having access to a massive hoard of mana within the homunculus itself.

Another possibility is that part of the ritual for creating a homunculus is binding a soul to it, sort of like putting a solar panel on an electric fuel truck. The homunculus could drain that soul's mana as quickly as it accumulates it. If non-sentient beings have souls in this setting, then perhaps animal sacrifices could be used for this purpose. Otherwise, it would further mark homunculi as tools of nefarious individuals, as the highest-quality ones have human souls bound helplessly to them.


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