4
$\begingroup$

When a person dies, their soul ascends to the astral realm to rest with the gods. However, a piece of them, called the Ka, remains on earth. This piece is the off cast remains of the soul and a reflection of who that person was, from their personality, beliefs, characteristics, etc. It is like a footprint or echo of that soul, which represents their presence on earth. While it is reflective of that person, it is truly just the discarded remains of their spirit, and thus bypasses the laws against necromancy.

There is a ritual that uses the Ka of a person as a power source. The Ka is compressed into an artificial construct called a golem, and used to carry out certain tasks. This procedure is viewed differently across cultures. It is seen in some places as a way to honor great warriors after their death, serving as an honorary guard for royalty or soldiers on the battlefield. In others, it is used as a way for individuals to work off debt after they pass on, as a way to spare their families from those responsibilities. Still in others, it is viewed as a form of atonement for prisoners to continue serving their sentence after they die. Regardless of how it is seen, it is an accepted practice across nations.

The Ka has no control over whether it is resurrected or not. However, The recently deceased are not prime candidates for this ritual because they are more difficult to bring back to life. Those who have been dead for decades or centuries are far easier to use. The farther back you go, the more simpler it is to use someone's Ka for the resurrection procedure (etc: Julius Caesar vs your dead grandpa). How can this make sense?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The Ka is still linked to the ascended soul after death, making it difficult to separate and bind. The link grows more tenuous as the years go by, making separating the Ka easier. $\endgroup$ – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Mar 6 at 14:49
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, this may be a stupid question but if the recently deceased are rarely raised, and most resurrected Kas come from many years earlier, how can some of the uses you describe work? I'm thinking specifically of "a way for individuals to work off debt after they pass on" and "prisoners to continue serving their sentence after they die" $\endgroup$ – cecilian - Monica was mistreat Mar 6 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ This somewhat reminds me of the reddit button. It had a timer of how long it had been since someone clicked the button, you could only click it once and your profile would be permanently marked with the time on the button when you clicked it. The ease of resurrecting someone famous increases as time goes on, but also the risk that someone else already did does as well. $\endgroup$ – Muuski Mar 6 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ @cecilian The asker doesn't indicate that the process is rare, rather they say it is more commonly done for individuals that have been gone for an exceptional period of time. From my understanding, it is very likely to be brought back, and only a matter of time. Whether to be honored or enslaved is only a matter of energy expended. $\endgroup$ – David Shader Mar 6 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ If the living exploded and caught fire when they died, then they'd be very hard to resurrect. $\endgroup$ – EDL Mar 7 at 4:36
8
$\begingroup$

Regular, living souls are impossible to bind into golems because of reasons. Maybe the gods have Decreed It So or it is something involving Mana.

The Ka and Spirit at the moment of death are the same soul. The Ka has the spirits's divine protection, the Spirit has the Ka's mortal coils. Think the two halves of a walnut, one falling into a stream and the other onto earth.

As the Spirit passes on into the afterlife it will slowly be absorbed by that realm, possibly claimed by gods or even reincarnated. Ka and Spirit will slowly drift apart in being over the years, the spirit losing the Ka's individuality and the Ka slowly becoming easier to bind and manipulate.

This is why it is hard to contact the spirits of the long-dead and easy to bind an old Ka.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

The recently dead leave a Ka too weak to use right away, however it is entangled and reinforced as alive people pray or have thoughts towards the deceased as time goes by. More popular or known persons reinforce their Ka faster than unknown folks.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This is how Necromancy works in Dresden Files: the recently deceased aren't that powerful, but the older a corpse is, the more power it has. The logical conclusion of this is considered by many readers to be one of the highlights of the entire series up to that point. $\endgroup$ – Nzall Mar 6 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Nzall Corpses might come and go, but polka is forever. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Mar 7 at 16:06
4
$\begingroup$

The soul is not owned by just a single individual, it is owned by many. The recently dead soul has many people vying for its' Ka. There could be many reasons for that. The soul owners don't want to be brought back by those they have wronged and will resist the ritual - or others will resist on their behalf. After time has passed, there are less people thus lessening the pull from the afterlife.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I had a couple ideas, but after seeing your answer I think they're just different variants of your idea so I won't contribute an independent answer, rather they're potential improvements to your idea. Feel free to incorporate this into your answer if you like. The first is that the Ka loses it's free will after time in the afterlife, but becoming a Golem is unpleasant: right after dying, they would fight being thrust into a Golem. The other is that the afterlife is absolutely perfect, but years of perfection get so boring that even being a Golem is better than another day in stagnant paradise. $\endgroup$ – Davy M Mar 6 at 23:06
3
$\begingroup$

When the soul is separated from the ka there is a snap as the connection breaks. This makes the ka ring like a bell as waves from the snap travel across its surface. This can more mystically be seen as the ka crying out in anger or sorrow over its death.

Since the ka is immaterial it has...

  1. Low inertia so the distortions the ringing sound causes to the ka are relatively large a stop the binding spells from properly attaching. The ka twist and shakes itself lose from the bindings. The superstitious interpret that as the ka resisting the binding but it is really just a simple physical phenomenon of the ka vibrating faster than the binding can adapt.

  2. Low resistance, or is it viscosity? Whatever the word the ka loses its vibration energy very slowly over time. Trying to bind it causes resistance which makes the vibrations calm down faster. This can be alternately be interpreted as soothing or exhausting the ka.

These have the effect you want. The binding ritual needs to calm down the ka sufficiently that the binding can attach properly. The time and effort needed for this increases with the sound of disconnecting from the soul still ringing in the ka. The sound grows weaker with time and with previous attempts to soothe or bind the ka. So older ka are easier to bind.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

PSTD.

Have you ever died?
Let me tell you its a dreadful affair. Some people develop phobias for less dramatic events and never again will see a spider the same way.

But you can get therapy, socialize, rehab. No such option is available beyond the veil, only reinforce the PSTD with the other recently deceased.

After centuries of self-reflection, it is possible to come to terms with it. And let there be light.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

The knowledge of Ka and how to tangle it's usage get more and more spreaded as the time pass.
Like a knowledge about lunar eclypses in ancient egypt toward our times.
So there is much higher probability to use ancient Ka as it's "person" didn't break the image while dying.
Additionally, with time there where different religions an belief and some might even deny exsitence of Ka making it imposible to hide or destroy. So a polytheistic Julius Cesar might not know he will leave such footprint while your grandpa done what is neccesary to protect himself.

Another thing is time. Let's say the Ka is like a mirror. When it's shattered the fragments are very sharp. So sharp the picture is too distorted. Let say the person realy liked bread. The one fragment can reflect that the person like brearererereread.
But with time the edges get dulled. The picture get a little blurred but is much more readable. So if someone liek chocolate cake with cream you might see a dark/brownish pastry. cucumbers instead of chilli mustard pickles. Not so sharp but better than "cucumumumcumbubbebbeeers".

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

The soul is erratic in its behavior. Any attempts at manipulating it in any way tends to go really wrong, so people stopped trying to do so. (at least openly)

Souls are Ka are linked to the world through the body, and when someone dies the link between the body and soul is severed, thus ascending to the afterlife and leaving the Ka behind. This Ka, however, still pertains the soul's erratic behavior, though to a lesser extent: It's difficult to manipulate, but as time passes it starts to settle down, calmer and calmer as time passes until it simply exists.

Think of it like dirt and wind: Wind moves dirt and turns into dust, getting it everywhere. The wind calms down but the dust is still floating, taking a while before it settles and becomes easier to pickup

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Maybe newer Ka has a stronger connection to Earth.

Since the person it belongs/belonged to just died, the connection and force of the energy would still be strong seeing as its newly established. So this energy could fade over time, making the connection weaker and therefore easier to break in order to place the Ka in a golem.

Depending on how difficult you want it to be to use a new Ka for such purposes, you could place limitations like the caster having to be of a certain caliber to do such things, so it's quite customizable.

Hope I was helpful! And happy writing.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

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.