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When a person dies, their soul leave the body and departs for the afterlife. There are ways for a person to be resurrected, however. The first involves calling the soul back into the mortal realm and entrapping it inside a specially built core. This core is specifically designed to contain souls that have passed on in the world of the living. This core is then placed inside an artificial construct called a golem. The soul interfaces with it, giving it control over the construct. These golems are programmed for certain purposes, say guarding a shrine, and the soul cannot step beyond those parameters given to the construct. These souls can operate so long as the construct remains intact. If they are ever destroyed, the soul departs its artificial shell and returns to the afterlife. This form of resurrection is voluntary, discussed prior to the person's death as an honor or form of repentance for crimes committed during life.

The second way of resurrection involves resurrecting someone back into their original body. The body must be in relatively good condition and not long after death. The person who comes back is called a revenant. This being looks exactly the same as the person did in life, but with grey skin and black veins over their form. Revenants have the memories of the person as well as their personality, but without their positive traits or characteristics, creating a darker and more sinister version of the individual. Unlike their golem counterparts, this being retains its free will without restrictions. These revenants are also immortal, repairing themselves if they are ever destroyed.

I need a way to explain the rules of this resurrection system in a way that satisfies these parameters. For a person to come back the way they were in life originally, they would need to be housed in these golem structures. However, resurrecting a person back to their original bodies changes them, making the individual evil and removes their positive traits, highlighting only the negative ones. How can I justify this?

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    $\begingroup$ "These golems are programmed for certain purposes, say guarding a shrine" does the soul voluntarily operate the golem to these ends or is it forced to? $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 5 '19 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ This is a very commonly used trope in many fantasy settings. $\endgroup$ – vsz Dec 6 '19 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ Whatever explanation you choose, consider initially presenting this to the audience as an unknowable mystery which has thus-far been unsolvable, with the obvious routes to investigation (interviewing returnees, etc.) having failed. $\endgroup$ – Brian Dec 6 '19 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ The assumption here of course is that your world ever contained any good people. They might all just be a bunch of jerks, and just not inclined to introspection. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Dec 6 '19 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Just for fun: what if you resurrect an evil person? Do they become good? Is your resurrection process driving them in the direction of evil, or just twisting them, for good or for bad? $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 6 '19 at 15:55

24 Answers 24

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Our entire idea of the afterlife is wrong.

Instead of an entire soul going to a good place or a bad place, The soul is sundered and the good and bad portions are split to their prospective realms. This ritual unknowingly only calls back the evil soul.

The reason that we only call back evil souls is because it is actually a voluntary thing and the good souls never want to leave paradise while evil souls would always want to return.

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    $\begingroup$ this works for the 2nd method but if only evil souls are returned it doesn't explain the 1st method $\endgroup$ – BKlassen Dec 5 '19 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ @BKlassen "These golems are programmed for certain purposes, say guarding a shrine, and the soul cannot step beyond those parameters given to the construct. " Seems covered to me. additionally, "This form of resurrection is voluntary, discussed prior to the person's death as an honor or form of repentance for crimes committed during life." $\endgroup$ – IT Alex Dec 5 '19 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like only the golem version is voluntary, which turns this answer on it's head, IMO. $\endgroup$ – jaxad0127 Dec 6 '19 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @jaxad0127: The last paragraph specifically explains why it make sense for consensual soul retrieval $\endgroup$ – Flater Dec 6 '19 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't not wanting to leave be selfish and therefore part of the "evil" half of the soul? $\endgroup$ – TheWanderer Dec 6 '19 at 17:20
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resurrecting a person back to their original bodies changes them, making the individual evil and removes their positive traits, highlighting only the negative ones.

After an entire life of getting up early, going to work, yield my boss' nagging, going back home and yield to my wife's/husband's nagging, sleep and repeat, pay taxes and consume (well, add the variation you prefer based on the locale), I am finally enjoying the leisure of the heaven described by my holy books (be it rivers of honey, gaming consoles available 24/7 or illumination, again, tune it to your religion of choice).

What I was saying? .... Ah, yeah, while I am a enjoying this pleasures, someone calls me back to the life I just left and even put me back in a partially rotten body.

Excuse me if I don't give a nut about being nice and fluffy. Have you have ever seen a kid after being awaken in the middle of nap? Well, take that grumpy and power it to $grumpy^{9^9}$. Now you are close to get why I am so evil.

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Life is pain

Literally. Being alive in a body made of flesh is painful. People who have been alive for all their lives in their bodies just don't notice it. But once a soul passes on and it returns, it's suddenly aware of all this pain. It drives them insane. It makes them want to hurt others for what was done to them.

Golems, being non-living bodies, don't have the same problem. In addition, they have the extra safeguard that the soul is compelled to pursue a task. This leaves them grounded and prevents a post-resurrection insanity from creeping in.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a very important plot point in the classical video game Arcanum. $\endgroup$ – vsz Dec 6 '19 at 7:07
  • $\begingroup$ @vsz Arcanum is only one of my top games of all times, so I may have been influenced :P But I did change it, to only flesh being painful. In Arcanum, being in the realm of the living is torture for the soul. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 6 '19 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively, the fact that the body is dead can be the cause of pain. The various physical changes to the body shortly after death could easily be considered painful, and I'd imagine walking around in constant pain is enough to ruin anyone's mood... This could allow a gradient of evil depending on how long since death, with a potential loophole if the resurrection process started before the person actually died, such that they're resurrected practically immediately, and the body didn't suffer any of the consequences of death. $\endgroup$ – Spoki0 - Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '19 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Spoki0 that's a pretty good "catch" to have with resurrection. Resurrecting somebody immediately after dying results in little changes but if you wait a while, then it's going to get worse and worse. And a resurrection ritual takes at least half a day to be done... $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Dec 6 '19 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ One problem with this, reverents are immortal by constantly repairing themselves. If living is so painful why go out of their way to repair themselves? Why not jump into a lava pit and end the pain all together? $\endgroup$ – dsollen Dec 6 '19 at 15:10
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The Afterlife Bureaucracy tries to reclaim unauthorized departures

When you bind a soul to a golem, the specially made container is not just a vessel for the soul, but a contract with the Afterlife to borrow the soul for a specific task until a specific event or set of events happen. This contract combined with the explicit permission of the soul before its body's death permits the soul to depart and reside in the container without incident or side-effects because this is a contracted approved by the Afterlife and effectively signed by the three parties affected by it. It's all above board and legal.

In contrast, there is no contract for the Revenant. There is no authorization from the afterlife for the revenant's soul to depart the Afterlife, and the soul in question may not even have wanted to return in the first place. Did we also mention that the body that the revenant is called into is still basically dead?

Basically a soul has been kidnapped form the Afterlife and bound into its own body for whatever reason. The soul might want to leave to return, and the Afterlife will definitely want it back to keep the books balanced, and only the magic of the reanimation is keeping the body from decaying further than it already has. So between the soul being pulled three ways and the pain of living in an undead body, it ties up the "good" parts of the soul, leaving only the less savory parts of the soul to do its thing. It might be that due to the ritual that animates a revenant, the Afterlife can only reclaim the "good" part of the soul, and continuously tries to reclaim the rest of it.

Any proper full resurrection has to have the paperwork filled out in triplicate by hand by the being being resurrected before it can be authorized. Then there's all the paperwork that your healer doing the resurrection has to fill out. It's not a fun process and there's the issue of getting the paperwork to the Afterlife Bureaucracy in the first place, or getting it from them.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like that idea but it means that a Revenant could be happy if brought back properly. I like the idea of imagining that only the Golem works because the contract is written on him. $\endgroup$ – Dustman0 Dec 6 '19 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ 'it ties up the "good" parts of the soul': Kind of sounds like pregnancy. As any husband can tell you behind her back, the extra stress on the body and mind causes a volatile emotional state. Under this solution, a Revenant is basically that x10. Not "Evil", just too miserable and pissed off to be "Good" in any way shape or form. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '19 at 23:00
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The second way of resurrection involves resurrecting someone back into their original body.

You didn't use this explicit wording, but I assume you mean this form of resurrection places to original soul back into that original body. And in that case, the other answers here offer some interesting ideas.

But what if we tweak it slightly: The original body is resurrected without the original soul. It can still maintain the memories and some resemblance of the personality of the person, which can be explained by those being physical properties of the brain. While on the other hand the explanation for the resurrected person being evil can be from the lack of a soul - one just has to propose that the soul is where the moral/good/empathetic part of a person is.

This is a premise used by Buffy The Vampire Slayer for why vampires are evil when they come back to life.

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Revenant Ritual brings back the same soul person had during life. During death and earlier parts of afterlife, or during resurrection, person suffers traumatic experience, and becomes broken, having symptoms similar to

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/ptsd-symptoms-self-help-treatment.htm

It is worth notice, that, according to question, body for revenant "must be in relatively good condition and not long after death.", so i assume, it was not buried properly, no all necessary rituals was performed. Probably, this rituals somehow pacifies soul, make death less traumatic experience for it? Probably, revenant soul do not want to return? Probably, while revenant ressurection ritual is performed, soul is chased by some unexplainable horrors which capture it and took it back to body? And its traumatic experience. Or probably they have not performed all funeral rituals required to make soul properly detach from body and come to afterlife, so it would not suffer

After some time in afterlife, soul begins to loose memory, and it forgets pain it received during death, and, who he/she was while living.

Golem building ritual do not requires fresh soul, it requires:

  1. either pacified by special funeral rituals soul, who have recovered from near death and after death experience, and this soul do not struggle returning, because, as it was in question - "This form of resurrection is voluntary, discussed prior to the person's death as an honor or form of repentance for crimes committed during life."

  2. or soul of person, who was dead for long time, and this soul hardly recalls that it was a human before

  3. or, probably, this is soul of domestic dog, or other animal, not humans one?,

so soul for golem is like a child, with clean memory. It do not have issues performing guard dog grade tasks, but it is not capable of anything more creative and complicated.

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You can do something like a social commentary with this.

Let's say the person is resurrected just like he was when he died - what he considers "good", "bad", "moral" and etc. would be representative of the times when he died.

As time passes, society and its morals change, eventually starting to consider prior "bad" things as "good" and vice versa. Your resurrected person can bear the spirit of past times and simply be considered "bad/evil" because he has a morality that is incompatible with the modern one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding.SE! This is a wonderfully simple and logical explanation, have an upvote! $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Dec 6 '19 at 11:58
  • $\begingroup$ I kind like this answer but OP says "must be in relatively good condition and not long after death." $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica Dec 6 '19 at 22:51
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A golem only brings back part of a person's soul. A revenant brings back the entire soul, complete with extra baggage from the realm of the dead. Whatever it saw on the other side was enough to make it evil.

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Typically, the term Revenant tends to refer specifically to people brought back to life to seek revenge. If you keep with this trope, the need for revenge may be a prerequisite to this form of resurrection; so, the problem is not that you bring back evil forms of good people, but that good people capable of forgiveness and accepting their own fate are just not candidates for this form or resurrection.

All Revenants are hateful, spiteful, angry souls, because the spell dissolved once the Revenant comes to accept his/her own death.

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They're not evil - they're just indifferent. They've seen eternity and the afterlife, so many of your petty mortal squabbles and conceits seem... pathetic, pointless, even laughable. And, they now realise some of the things society labels as "good" are actually quite the opposite. In short, they no longer see the world in the same way as a mortal does.

If you left a bunch of Revenants alone with each other, they would form a normal, well defined, smoothly operating society based on their rules and morals - and we would have a small corner of Paradise on Earth (or whatever your planet is called). It just wouldn't necessarily resemble quite what you think Paradise should be like - because you are still blinkered by your limited mortal outlook.

While a lot of them would prefer to "re-die" and return to the afterlife, they also feel a duty or responsibility to help spread this enlightenment among those still living. They are, quite literally, "born-again" evangelists for their faith.

This disconnect - the "uncanny valley" where they look like mortals but don't act like them - is what causes people to feel uncomfortable, and label them as "evil" or "sinister". This is no different to our ancestors labelling foreigners as "uncivilised", "barbaric" or "evil" in ages gone by. You see exactly the same thing in many horror stories - it's why vampires and zombies are so unsettling.

Golems, on the other hand, have a purpose - one that they agreed to in advance. If you employed a Revenant for a job, they would act in much the same way as a Golem does. Of course, some jobs that Golems do they now find distasteful - but less so than breaking their contract. Plus, the additional spells and limitations introduced when building the body help in that regard, allowing (or encouraging) the soul to distance itself mentally.

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Serotonin imbalance.

These revenants are also immortal, repairing themselves if they are ever destroyed.

Part of their immortality is that they no longer need to eat. According to that wikipedia link: "Approximately 90% of the human body's total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the GI tract, where it regulates intestinal movements". The normal digestive process is disrupted by whatever magic makes the body self-sustaining and self-repairing.

Even worse, serotonin release is what counters the hunger triggered by dopamine. If serotonin production is inhibited, but not dopamine, your revenants will always be hungry. Insatiably hungry.

Once you throw off the body's balance of serotonin levels, there are implications for emotion and mood:

Serotonin has been implicated in cognition, mood, anxiety and psychosis, but strong clarity has not been achieved

This gives a lot of leeway if you want to hand-wave the impact.

Serotonin release is also tied to our body's normal diurnal schedule. Perhaps revenants are nocturnal, or don't sleep at all.

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You could always make it so that only the Revenants are the only ones actually resurrected, and the Golems souls are captured at the moment leading up to death, and extracted into the container. So they never experience the afterlife or what it feels like being dragged back to the world of the living.

So the Golems contract is decided before death, and on completion of their contract they're allowed to go to the afterlife.

Whereas the Revenants are actually resurrected and for whatever reason, either the experience of actually dying, the experience of the afterlife, or the experience of being dragged back damages their soul somehow making it corrupt?

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You can explain your rules of the resurrection system through biology. When one dies, the tissues start decaying pretty fast, so when the soul is forced back into a decaying body, the resurrected person would be in tremendous pain due to the damaged nervous system, decayed organs and atrophied muscles. That constant pain damages the psyche of the resurrected person to the point where the person simply becomes evil, because no amount of magical healing can restore the decayed body. The soul core has been created to address this issue. By trapping the soul in the core of a golem, the conscience is present but the actual nervous system doesn't exist anymore so no pain can be felt.

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As stated, the soul bound to their own body is a revenant, in other words, a hungry ghost that seeks revenge. The original purpose of the ritual was to bring back a soul to fulfil their, or their summoner's, desire for revenge. Good or positive traits require a full resurrection, which is far more expensive, and quite unnecessary for a being whose sole purpose in unlife is to destroy. Add to the fact that the body is decaying, while the nerves are still intact, to allow it to move and respond to stimulus, meaning that the revenant is in constant, excruciating pain, which further dampens their mood.

The resurrection ritual had no such defects, but the cost was too high, so it wasn't used very often and was eventually lost.

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It's not the resurrection, it is living and especially dying that makes people evil. That's why they are not usually returned back.

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The soul is not an elementary structure, but rather a compound or mixture of all the traits of the person.

When a soul dies on Earth, the entire soul is evaluated for admission to Heaven. If deemed worthy, the negative aspects are overlooked, and the soul is allowed in. It could be that this is the default, there is enough good in most people's souls (except the particularly evil).

However, getting a soul out is more difficult. It's like the soul is being pulled out of Heaven, and Heaven is doing all it can to hold onto the "good" portion, while not being too bothered with keeping the "evil" part. By the time the soul gets back into the body, it is severely tilted towards evil because nearly all the Good has been left behind in Heaven. So you're resurrecting someone, but not getting the complete person.

This adds an interesting optional side-effect. If someone was so evil that they actually went to Hell, and if Hell exhibits the same behaviour, then someone who ended up there and who gets resurrected might end up being more "good" than when they were first alive...

Note: I'm using the words Heaven and Hell here just as place-holders for whatever the equivalent of your afterlife is

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Cerebral hypoxia PTSD

When someones dies, their soul is still attached to the body, and so is suffering the effects of this process. A very painfully process. This changes the soul in a primal way.

When reincarnate in the same body, the soul will meet the same brain and will remember that pain from their departure, forever, This is no way someone can be the same.

When reincarnate (reincoreate?) in a golem, there is no PTSD, so the soul is free from these effects.

Bonus: grey skin -> body hypoxia -> brain hypoxia -> background continuous pain -> evil.

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The undead are hangry.

Revenants are fueled by occult powers which is good since being dead leaves the digestive system in a questionable state. But even though they can't eat and don't need to, they are hungry. Very hungry, and therefore extremely grumpy and irritable, prone to snippy yelling and other surly behaviors. As during life, the good side is suppressed by the hypoglycemic grumpiness that emerges during bouts of hanger.

If there were some way to magically feed the revenants, they would likely be more pleasant. They might then use concealer for those black vein marks.

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You didn't just bring back the person you resurrected! There are many beings in the afterlife, some live in heaven and are at rest and happy, but some, evil, souls suffer torment and torture for what they did. To those souls the afterlife is literally hell, they would do anything to get out of it.

So when they see a soul being resurrected, pulled by some powerful magic back up out of the afterlife, they see it as an escape line, a way to get out of their torment. They do everything they can to jump on this escape, to forcefully grab hold of the soul being resurrected and get dragged back up out of the afterlife with it, into the body the soul originally resurrected in. Again I stress these other souls tagging along with the resurrection are all evil, because only evil souls would want to escape the after life.

With the golem approach the core the soul is dragged in is designed specifically for a single persons soul, the core does not allow the other souls trying to escape the afterlife to enter it, and so while they may piggy back along with the original resurrection they get rejected by the core and, having no vessel to house them, immediately get dragged back into the afterlife once the resurrection is completed.

However, the original body is not designed with these protections. The body can in fact act as a vessel for multuple souls, and so you get not only the original soul back, but one (or more) evil soul all housed within the single body. The original owner of the body get's control of it, either by virtue of the resurrection magic or because the body only naturally responds to it's original soul, but he has to contend with an evil soul residing in his body with him.

From here there are many different options for how the body goes evil. Perhaps the soul is the moral fiber of a person, and having another evil soul in the body directly taints the mind towards the evil's and vices of that soul. Alternatively the original owner of the body is in complete control and isn't actually forced to do evil, however, having to deal with an evil spectator, constantly tempting him to evil, throwing evil thoughts in his head, or torturing him with visions etc is so hard to deal with that the person ends up being tempted by the other soul, or suffering so much with dealing with it that his good qualities are diminished by his suffering.

I don't know the work very well, but I believe sin-eater's rpg from the new world of darkness did something like the later, so you could potentially look at it for some inspiration.

This option also adds the potential for outlines, a soul that is resurrected without any evil souls managing to piggyback, or a resurrection that actually get's a relatively good soul tagging along to complete some unfinished business etc, ie the rare reverent that isn't evil, but everyone presumes it is. Though it's possible the physical traits you described for a reverent only happen if the body is stressed by being possessed by two souls, thus the rare resurrection that didn't have any soul piggy back along with it may not look like a reverent, it may not be possible to tell the Resurrection even happened.

In fact this could help explain why someone would resurrect a reverent knowing they would be evil, if they are hoping that, against all odds, this one resurrection went off without any piggybacking evil souls and they get their loved one back as normal; even though 95% of all body resurrections go bad. Though this is optional depending on what you would like to do in your world. My point is only that there is allot of room to play with how a reverent is affected by having to deal with a second, evil, soul that gives you lots of wiggle room for justifying exactly how your revarant's behave.

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The Afterlife only judges your good intentions, and holds onto them. When called, necromancers get the rest.

The Afterlife doesn't weigh souls based on negative or positive actions or memories, but they instead weigh how good your intentions were. These good intentions are a major cause for progress, either for the mortal realm or the Afterlife. Maybe they're copied into angels, or used as an energy source, or new souls are generated from these, or whatever.

While your soul normally stays in one piece during your eternal rest, a resurrection spell can interrupt that. The "important" parts, the parts 'Heaven' cares about, stays there. The necromancer gets the memories, the logic, the experience of the rest of the soul, effectively creating a person that has no remorse or kindness.

Circumventing the Afterlife means your soul stays intact, which is why mages have to resort to using a consensual reliquary before you die, as this prevents the kindness of your soul being separated.

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A golem core shields its soul from evil

The reason that a golem core can only be entered by the willing, has to do with its construction, it was constructed with that one person in mind, and the magic pulls them immediately towards the golem.

“But you can bring Arlen back.” Jayse fixed his eyes on the witch intently.

“I can,” she sniffed, “but not without... issue.”

“Issue?! You created the Shrine Protector, there were no issues!”

“Yes, that was Hans, and we molded the Shrine Protector to his soul while he was still alive. They have to be a great fit, you know, the body and the soul, otherwise they just slide off. They are always being drawn back to the Veil. So you would need to bring me Arlen’s body—nothing else will fit her soul proper, now. Unless she was already in a golem and didn’t tell you. So I’ll need her body, head intact, and not too decayed! Healing magic on the dead is... clumsy.”

And then there is the evil part. Either the evil is part of this world and it “rolls off” of our bodies normally but she has lost that defense mechanism, or the good is being constantly produced by the soul but now it cannot stay close by:

“Okay, I’ll do it! We need her! I... I need her.” Jayse hid his tears, but she could see his eyes were misty. This was not just about the castle. He started for the door. She grabbed his arm.

“You need to understand,” she said. “Arlen will not be the same.”

“Not the same, how?”

“Once we pull her soul back from the Veil, and bind it back to the body, it keeps getting drawn back. All of its light gets sucked that way. You may find her darker. Angrier. Crueler. No emotional control, acting like the world exists just for her. All of that light which your soul can keep close, all of that is constantly returning to the Veil.”

“So, she acts, I guess, like people act when they are hurt? Am I sentencing her to a life of pain?”

“Well, yes and no. Pain snuffs out that light too, but from what I know of the folks who have ‘come back’ this way... it doesn’t hurt, as far as I can tell, but they just aren’t the same. Death-touched, is what the ancients used to call it—they forbade this practice outright, don’t you know. She’ll be touched by death.” The witch was clearly running out of words to describe it.

“But she will still know the way through the caves to get into the castle?”

“Hard to say. Probably? But it is very likely that her love for you will be gone. You may have to persuade her some other way, some appeal to her more... selfish interests. Power. Lust. Fear. Take your pick. She’s going to be half-animal now. Death-touched. She’s not going to want to depose the Prince just ’cause it’s the right thing to do. That light in her is constantly drawn back to the Veil.”

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Evil exists as biology

Normal people have not just a soul and a body, but an aura of life that shields them from evil. The creation of a revenant does not restore this shield, so the body becomes vulnerable to evil's influence. Evil takes hold of the world indirectly through pestilence and biology. Worms, parasites, bacteria, viruses. Anything that writhes, wriggles, or spreads disease can be loosely linked to the agents of evil's influence on the world.

Natural birth, the creation of life, happens within a body already protected by the aura of life. The child shares its mother's womb, as well as its aura. The one you have as an adult is an extension of your mother's aura right from the beginning. The black veins are the disease of evil spreading through the body, lured by life's light. The infection permeates the air, inescapable, and cannot be inoculated against.

The golems are mechanical things, with no biological bodies to infect, evil can find no sway over them.

Possible extensions of the theme: holy/sacred places purify the air of its evil, a reverent made in a church can be safe, so long as it never leaves the grounds

The aura you have can be traced to your mother, and hers to her mother and so on and so forth. Through a maternal lineage some special individuals could identify if two auras are related. This could be the basis of a magical test of bloodlines, not just for adopted children but for proof of royalty.

A character could be a nun in a church, never leaving its grounds, and discovered to be a revenant. Of course 99% of revenants are evil, so the desire to hide this person's nature could be a taboo, or story point.

The church survives through re-revenant-ing its highest members. The head of the church having been alive, though always on holy grounds, for the last (insert large number here) years.

A pure revenent-ed woman's child would not have its mothers aura, so its children would be evil. This could be the basis of an evil organization/creature's brood queens.

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Soulsplit

Alternatively (or in addition depending on how you look at it) to @alexIT's answer:

Upon death your soul is split in two, the good half and evil half.

Resurrecting someone into their original body summons evil half of their soul. Rezing into a golem summons the good half. Turns out you can actually resurrect someone twice, putting their evil half into their original body, and the good half into a golem at the same time!

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Two things stand out to me about your scenario here:

1) Golem souls are screened. Revenant souls...are not necessarily.

2) Golems are temporary, Revenants are eternal.

The first item suggests that there is some sort of soul-characteristic that makes it suitable for return. In this case, the method itself isn't to blame...incorrectly-housed golems would be equally sinister and dark (though this might be glossed over by carefully constrained programming), and an appropriately "noble" soul would actually come through the Revenant process successfully, but those instances are few and rare enough that "everyone knows" the process only produces twisted, dark parodies of the original.


The second one comes with its own interesting ramification. At the moment of death, souls gain a metaphysical understanding of what "eternity" really means. If I asked you to hold my coat for me while I tied my shoe, you'd probably be willing to help me out. If I asked you to come to this exact spot and hold my coat for an hour today, tomorrow, and every day for the rest of your life...I suspect you'd be less likely to agree.

Golem "service" is temporary. Even if temporary means ten thousand years, that's still nothing compared to ETERNITY. It's an honor or a repentence, and in either case it's recongized positively in whatever afterlife your system has in place.

Being returned as a Revenant...is forever. It's permanent. It's a complete severance from the afterlife/rebirth/whatever happens beyond the grave. For a soul that has a perception of eternity, and realizing their entire eternity has now been irrevokably altered? That's going to warp and twist even the noblest of spirits.


Speaking of the afterlife...be prepared to describe it in fairly intricate detail. Two different forms of fully-sentient resurrection means that there will be no shortage of prospective individuals that could be interviewed about what "really happens" beyond the grave.

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