3
$\begingroup$

The soul is the metaphysical spirit of a mortal being and is the seat of human consciousness. It retains all the aspects that we consider makes us human, from personality to memories to how we experience the world around us. Souls are immortal and survives after death, when it is carried into the astral realm. This is contrasted with the body, which is mortal and has an expiration date. The body is the anchor that keeps the soul bound to the living mortal realm, serving as a container or vessel for the spirit. When the vessel dies, the spirit becomes unanchored and can no longer maintain its presence in the living world, forcing it to be carried off. The witch Dante has discovered a way to prevent this from happening, allowing her to extend her life in order to amass power.

By transferring her soul into the body of a living individual, Dante can take control of that body after her current form becomes old and decrepit. She can then live out the remaining years of that victim's life, with younger bodies naturally lasting the longest. Through this method, she can gain a form of immortality that extends her life indefinitely, repeating the cycle when it becomes necessary. However, this consistent transfer of the soul leads to visible side effects on the body. Each new body becomes deformed and disfigured after a period of time. This process speeds up with each new transfer of the soul, with every new form becoming more disfigured. This eventually leads Dante to resemble a hideous monster.

It is said that the forceful taking over of another individual's body to extend your own life is an evil act which darkens the soul, which is then reflected on the physical body. This is used to explain the effects. However, many people commit evil acts all the time, without the individuals performing them becoming deformed. Hitler has killed far more people than Dante and didn't wake up as a hideous freak, making this explanation nonsensible. How else to explain this occurrence?

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looks like you are asking for a plot element, sneaking it in as a false equivalency ("A is evil. SO... why does being evil is not A?") I'm highly tempted to VTC it as "opinion based". $\endgroup$ 22 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ What does amassing power mean? And what kind of power you are talking about? Also, how do body and soul interact with each other? Is the body a vessel and the soul is a liquid that can conform to the form of the vessel? Or would it be something closer to an attempt to force a square peg into a round hole? $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    6 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ If the soul does personality and memories, what does the brain do? $\endgroup$ 3 hours ago
11
$\begingroup$

The body is sort of "custom made" around the soul during the fetal development, and there is a snug fit between the two.

As such, when one forces a soul into a body that wasn't tailored around it from the very beginning, it will necessarily deform something in the body, as it is the weakest link in the chain.

Since small changes accumulate over time in the bodies of a same species, an "old" soul cannot keep up with them, and therefore the more the process is repeated, the more deformations will result as side effect of the process.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 basically trying to run software on the wrong hardware, with the software getting buggier with each transfer as it includes imperfect patches for trying to run each previous incompatible body. $\endgroup$ 21 hours ago
2
$\begingroup$

Let's assume people acquire their souls sometime during their foetal development. Evolution ensured that the body and the soul are a part of a rather delicate balanced mechanism (thus the most hideous criminals with a distorted, blackened soul are usually ugly in appearance).

Therefore, when the original soul departs the body, the biochemistry detects it as passing away - and the biological processes start to shut down. But since there is no physiological reason, the body kind of partially continues to function, but there are random unwanted consequences (e.g. accelerated aging of some organs, putrefaction etc.). And then a new soul is hammered into the body, which confuses the somatic stem cells and they interpret it as a part of foetal development - and that results in random embryonic-like growth of some body parts.

The result is very unpleasant and ugly.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Two options:

The process of taking over a living person's body and allow a soul to be transferred involves poisons and processes that damage the body. You have to destroy the original soul's defences, sever the links between body and soul, and then drive it out. Poisons that specifically target the link leave the body alive to be taken over, but damaged and cancerous. The stronger and more rapid the attack, the shorter the fight is and so the less damage is done to the seat of the soul and so the stronger the new soul's connections with the body can be (allowing the exercise of greater powers), but the greater the damage done to the rest of the body.

Alternatively, it's not the transfer that causes the damage to the body, but the use of magical energies involved in invoking the dark powers. It's like the way passing high voltage electricity through the body (e.g. casting lightning bolts) will leave burns. Or accelerating subatomic particles results in radioactivity. Such power flowing through a fragile human body results in the piling up of endless burns and scars and cancerous tumours. Any sort of high-energy phenomena sourced from within flesh will inevitably cause massive damage, and the greater the evil energies one tangles with, the nastier the effects are going to be. Even rapid healing of simple wounds leaves scars. As the practitioner advances in the Dark Arts, being able to call on ever greater powers, the degradation proceeds faster, but the corresponding advance in the ability to heal simple wounds also enables them to survive for longer with worse damage before having to move to a new body. Damage will arise anyway over time, but if the process of driving out the soul and moving in itself involves the use of powerful magical energies flowing through the new body, the damage is going to be built in from the start.

New contributor
Nullius in Verba is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Very good. You know that by not registering, you may be upholding a philosophical position, but you create work for reviewers every time you post? You could register, gain reputation to the point where you can pay-back to the site by performing reviews yourself, and give away your reputation in the form of bounties on particularly good answers. I'm sure that you could find a justification for not doing that - but you'd be most welcome here. tour, help center - you know the drill. $\endgroup$ 3 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! My sympathies regarding the work created, but that's not my choice or fault. I'm not the one who designed the system. I'd suggest talking to whoever writes the software. Maybe they could make it possible for a moderator to mark a particular unregistered contributor as 'recognised' so you don't get pinged every time? If that's impossible, then I guess you just have to decide whether allowing unregistered contributors is worth the pain. But I appreciate your feedback. Thanks. $\endgroup$ 2 hours ago
  • $\begingroup$ Not a bad idea, I may moot that in main meta. You're welcome. $\endgroup$ 2 hours ago

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.